Prep notebook: The boys get their chance to lead off co-ed twin bills first

While not exactly a new concept, the Evergreen 1A League’s format for co-ed basketball basketball doubleheaders seemingly still creates a fair amount of confusion among spectators.

In most leagues (including the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges), co-ed twin bills always begin with the girls contest.

To promote gender equity, the Evergreen 1A circuit alters that format. The boys open the program during the first round of league play, with the order reversed during the second half of the league schedule.

Regardless of who goes first, the 5:45 p.m. tip-off for the opening varsity game provides less than ideal ambiance for the teams involved.

Hoquiam boys coach Curtis Eccles made note of the atmosphere when discussing his team’s performance against Rainier on Friday night. The Grizzlies won 58-19, but were offensively impressive only during the game’s first three minutes.

“There’s a lot of things that you can point to,” Eccles said. “The 5:45 start, not a big crowd, no band (the HHS band performed only during the second half of the doubleheader). The energy level wasn’t there for us.”

Road warriors

With a 5-0 record, Aberdeen’s girls basketball team is off to one of its best starts in recent year. The Bobcats hope to ride that momentum through a difficult portion of their schedule.

The luck of the draw will keep the Bobcat girls on the road for much of the first half of the Evergreen 2A Conference campaign. Thursday’s non-league victory at R.A. Long was the opening game in a stretch of four consecutive road games and the Cats will only play at Sam Benn Gym twice between now and Jan. 17.

Aberdeen’s boys, conversely, will be at home for much of that stretch and will spend the second half of the league season on the road.

Perhaps the Twin Harbor’s weirdest schedule, however, belongs to South Bend’s girls. The Indians play only once at home during a nine-game slate that began Dec. 11, then won’t leave Koplitz Fieldhouse for the final seven games of the regular season.

Tournament news

Three holiday basketball tournaments are planned for the Twin Harbors on the final weekend of December.

Perhaps the most attractive of the group will be Raymond’s Co-Ed New Year’s Classic on Dec. 28-29. The Hoquiam, Montesano and Morton/White Pass boys and girls will join the host Gulls for the tourney, which will conclude with a highly anticipated match-up between the Grizzly and Gull boys at 7 p.m. on Dec. 29.

Two long-established tourneys — Willapa Valley’s Jack Q. Pearson Classic and North Beach’s Holidays With the Hyaks event — are on tap for Dec. 27-28.

The South Bend, Pe Ell and LaConner boys and girls will join the host Vikings at Menlo. In addition to the Hyaks, the North Beach event will include the Forks and Mary M. Knight boys and girls, Taholah’s boys and Tenino’s girls.

None of the above, incidentally, are true tournaments, since pairings are pre-determined and no titles will be awarded.

A few notes

There are times when a road trip is exactly what you need. And then there is the time Aberdeen head coach Chuck Veloni and AHS senior Jaime Miranda took to get to the Tri-State Wrestling Tournament in Couer d’Alene, Idaho on Friday. The two of them were done with the Aberdeen-Hoquiam dual meet just after 8 p.m. Thursday and they took off for Idaho to get to the opening rounds of the tournament. At 4 a.m. Friday, the duo arrived at Couer d’Alene, got a few hours of sleep at the hotel and made the weigh-ins a few hours later. Then, after more than 13 hours, Miranda finally made it onto the mat and won his first match of the tournament, a pin at 1:53 against North Central-Spokane’s Heber Martinez. “It has been a long day,” Veloni noted when he called after 6 p.m. just to check in and say Miranda hadn’t wrestled yet. … Hoquiam’s girls wrestlers won’t have the chance to tell their coaches this season that they can beat them on the mat. That’s because HHS coaches Alex White and Marissa Aube has already proven their time for the Grizzlies — White is a member of the 2007 state all-classification girls wrestling championship team and a 2007 state individual champion at 135 pounds, while Aube is a three-time state qualifier and a two-time state medalist. … The holiday season is the time for alumni games and there are two events on Saturday, Dec. 22. — The Aberdeen-Hoquiam Alumni Basketball game is set to go at Hoquiam Square Garden at 7 p.m. If you are a former varsity basketball player at AHS or HHS, you are invited to play. The cost is $25 per player and you need to mail it off to HHS, c/o HHS boys basketball, 501 W. Emerson, Hoquiam, WA, 98550. If you aren’t a basketball player, but you are a former high school swimmer from Aberdeen, Hoquiam or any other high school program, you are invited to swim against the current AHS boys swimming team at 9 a.m. Saturday at the YMCA of Grays Harbor. If you are interested in swimming in the meet, email your interest (and events you’d like to swim) to AHS head coach Keith Lile at

Around Western Washington

Mark Morris girls 61, Chehalis 45 — This was a rematch of the District IV 2A title game last season and Chehalis, considered the hands-down favorites to win the Evergreen 2A title, was unable to stop the Monarchs’ offense on Friday night. Both teams came out firing in the first half, but a 16-8 third-quarter frame for the Monarchs put the Bearcats behind for good. Jamika Parker knocked down 10 points and 10 rebounds for Chehalis (3-3, 1-0), which will host Aberdeen (5-0, 1-0) next Friday. … Kalama boys 65, LaCenter 36 — Down in the Trico 1A League, the Chinooks are beginning to show their league-title form by forcing the 40-point mercy rule on the Wildcats at home on Friday. A 2-2-1 zone press defense by Kalama provided the point-of-emphasis against LaCenter. Jared Neiman led Kalama with 16 points. … Capital splits with River Ridge — The new addition to the Evergreen 2A ranks registered a key win in the boys girls schedules on Friday with a 93-82 win over the Hawks. River Ridge’s girls , who will contend with Chehalis for the league title, handled Capital easily, 60-38. Jared Eidenmuller drove the Capital boys with a game-high 24 points. Jazzlynn Brewster took care of the River Ridge offense with a game-high 16 points and seven steals.

Additional information from The Centralia Chronicle, the Daily News of Longview and The Olympian are included in this report.