MONTESANO — Despite having a roster replete with key senior contributors, it was a junior who shined on Senior Night in Montesano.
In a tight affair that featured eight lead changes, a brilliant second-half performance by junior post Kenny Roy powered Montesano to a 58-55 win over Rochester in an Evergreen 1A League boys basketball game at Bo Griffith Memorial Gym.
With about 3 1/2 minutes to go in the third quarter, a 3-pointer by Tyler Yarber punctuated an 8-1 run to give Rochester (3-8, 5-15) its biggest lead of the game, 43-35.
The Bulldogs (6-6, 11-9) responded by finishing the third period on a 10-0 run, creating a 45-43 lead. Roy scored six points during that stretch and Layne Bruner scored the other four.
Roy scored 17 of his game-high 26 points in the second half. Roy also blocked four shots and pulled down eight rebounds. Bruner chipped in 10 points, three blocks and a team-high 11 rebounds.
“We started taking some shots from the interior, which helps us immensely,” Montesano head coach Doug Schupbach said. “We did an excellent job of executing our offense and getting good looks. I’m really pleased with what we were able to do out there today. That’s what we’ve been striving to do. Kenny and Layne did a great job inside. Those shots have been for us and we just needed to hit them. We did that tonight.”
With 1:56 remaining in the game, Yarber nailed a trey from the top of the key for Rochester to cut Montesano’s lead to 56-55. Yarber paced the Warriors with 12 points.
Bruner responded by grabbing an offensive rebound and converting a field goal to put the Bulldogs up, 58-55.
After a Rochester turnover and a missed shot by Montesano, the Warriors had 17 seconds to try to tie it up, but a 3-point attempt by Yarber was off the mark.
The Warriors connected on seven of their 12 attempts from beyond the arc in the first half while they built a 33-29 halftime lead. However, the second half was a different story. An adjustment in defensive strategy by the Bulldogs helped hold the Warriors to four of 11 from long range in the second half.
“We played a zone in the first half,” Schupbach said. “They are very good stationary shooters, so we changed to man-to-man and made them shoot on the move. I thought we played well defensively in the second half. We got in front of their shooters and blocked out to get rebounds.”
Matthew Jensen shot well for the Bulldogs right out of the gate. The senior guard scored Montesano’s first eight points of the game. Jensen started with a mid-range pull up jump shot on the Bulldogs’ first possession, and then connected on two 3-pointers, both from the left wing. Jensen hit another trey in the fourth quarter, and finished with 11 points.
Montesano will host Castle Rock in a District IV 1A pigtail game on Monday night.
Roch 17 16 10 12 – 55
Monte 19 10 16 13 – 58
Rochester (55) — McLemore 8, Rigsbee 11, Yarber 12, Chambers, Gedney 10, Ranger, Wilson 7, Blanchard 4, Smith 3. FG – 20-47 (.426). FT – 4-7
Montesano (58) — Ibabao, Rogers 3, Ohashi 8, Roy 26, Smith, Nelson, Bruner 10, Jensen 11. FG – 23-51 (.451). FT – 8-18.