OYEHUT — Their basketball future is very much uncertain, but Taholah’s boys can at least claim the unofficial “championship” of North Beach’s Holiday With the Hyaks tournament.
Keanu Curleybear and Cleve Jackson sparked a furious comeback in the final two minutes as the Chitwhins nipped North Beach, 44-43, in the final game of the two-day tourney Friday.
Although pairings were pre-determined and no trophies were awarded, the Chitwhins (5-1) were the only unbeaten boys team in the tourney. They had upended Class 1A Forks on Thursday.
Forks crushed Mary M. Knight, 62-30, in the other boys game Friday.
Class 2B North Beach and 1B Mary M. Knight each swept Class 1A teams to finish 2-0 in the girls tourney. The Hyaks downed Tenino, 45-32, while the Owls downed Forks, 35-27.
BOYS Chitwhins 44, Hyaks 43
Taholah was supposed to open Coastal League play next week, but those plans are in limbo after last week’s decision by other schools to disband the league and seek sanctions against the Chitwhins due to what was described as “sportsmanship, compliance/eligibility and safety issues.”
“Right now, we have no idea (what lies ahead),” Taholah coach Greg Stewart confirmed.
The Chitwhins at least authored a spirited finale to 2012 by erasing a six-point deficit in the final 1:49.
Taholah initially continued its hot shooting from the previous night, draining four 3-point shots in the opening quarter en route to a 21-9 lead early in the second period.
The Chitwhins went cold for the next 2 1/2 periods, however. Dominating the offensive glass if not always converting their second-chance opportunities, the Hyaks (5-5) rallied to own a 37-29 advantage late in the third quarter.
North Beach, which had missed 13 consecutive shots in the first quarter, made only 1 of its first 14 field-goal tries in the fourth — many on blown layins and putback attempts — as the Chitwhins shifted from a zone to a man-to-man defense.
Still, when Justin Chong fed Gabe Hernandez for a layin to give the Hyaks a 43-37 edge with 1:49 remaining, victory appeared assured for the hosts.
Curleybear then took over, hitting a baseline jumper and putting down a three-ball to narrow the margin to one with 1:14 on the clock.
Following a Hyak turnover, the Chitwhins missed a 3-point attempt but saved the rebound from bouncing out of bounds. They found Jackson underneath for a layin that produced the deciding points with 31 seconds left.
After again turning it over, North Beach needed to foul twice in the final 14 seconds to put Taholah (which never attempted a free throw in the game) on the line. Instead, the Chitwhins were able to play keep-away for the remaining span and ran out the clock.
“We did everything wrong at the end,” Hyak coach Larry Moore fumed. “Look at how many easy (shots) we missed. And Taholah played well. They played inspired ball and they wanted it more.”
Curleybear was Taholah’s lone double-digit scorer with 12 points. Jimmy Smith-Kramer provided a lift off the bench by scoring six of his eight in the second half.
North Beach’s Tyler Turner hit four treys to account for his 12 points. He also grabbed 10 rebounds. Hernandez also produced a double-double with 10 points and 13 boards.
Spartans 62, Owls 30
Colton Raben and Braden Decker scored 14 points apiece as Forks handled Mary M. Knight with ease.
The Owls (4-5) never found an offensive rhythm.
“It was the first time we’ve seen that many big guys on the court and they couldn’t figure out how to run the offense,” Knight coach Tim Diggle said. “I know we’re a better team than we’ve shown.”
Kyle Willey paced the Owls with 10 points.
GIRLS Hyaks 45, Beavers 32
Wakeena DeLaCruz scored eight of her 15 points in the fourth quarter as North Beach pulled away from Tenino.
The Hyaks forced 30 turnovers while committing only 12 of their own in a performance winning coach Peter Fry said was far better than in a 26-25 win over Forks the previous day.
“We were able to run our zone offense effectively and get the shots we wanted,” Fry observed.
Emily Takagi, who excelled in a reserve role, gave the Hyaks a permanent lead at 29-27 with a shot that rolled around the circumference of the hoop before dropping in late in the third quarter. That was part of an 11-1 run that put North Beach in command at 36-28 early in the final stanza.
DeLaCruz turned in an outstanding all-around performance with eight rebounds, five steals and three assists. Marya Pope added four 3-pointers to add 12 points for the Hyaks (5-5).
Takagi pulled down seven rebounds, while Mousie Shale came up with five steals.
Six-one sophomore Taylor Tibbets and senior Layci Morales had nine points each for Tenino.
Owls 35, Spartans 27
Mary M. Knight limited Forks to five points in the first half to improve its record to 7-1.
The Owls led 18-5 at the half. Although their performance fell off in the second half, they were never seriously challenged.
“Our defense was there (in the first half) and we showed some patience and hit some shots,” Knight coach Lance Valley summarized. “In the second half, we came out flat.”
Miranda Sowle paced the Owls with 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. Freshman Jaycee Valley pulled down 12 rebounds.
Ten 9 8 11 4 — 32 NB 12 7 11 15 — 45
Tenino (32) — Morales 9, Richardson 3, Blosl 2, Huber 9, Tibbetts 9, Bond, Masters, Richards, Bronson, Burnham. FG — 11-32 (.344). FT — 10-16.
North Beach (45) — Sotomish 8, M. Pope 12, DeLaCruz 15, Frost 2, Shale 5, Schreiber, Pilsbury, Robles, Grossi, C. Pope, Takagi 3. FG — 18-67 (.269). FT — 3-11.
MMK 13 5 6 11 — 35 Forks 4 1 13 9 — 27
Knight (35) — Valley 7, Haury, Bearden, M. Sowle 15, A. Sowle, Ackley 1, Kiliz, Adsero 2, Dierkop 7, Frost 3. FG — 10-42 (.238). FT — 14-30.
Forks (27) — Palmer, Sheriff-Penn, Paul 4, Raben 8, Price 2, Weekes 2, Henderson 1, Williams 10, Flores, Leons. FG — 12-69 (.174). FT — 3-12.
Tah 18 7 6 13 — 44 NB 7 16 14 6 — 43
Taholah (44) — Jackson 7, Purdy 2, Stewart 3, Smith-Kramer 8, J. Curleybear 6, Tadios-Tahkeal 6, Markishtum, Capoeman, K. Curleybear 12. FG — 19-61 (.314). FT — 0-0.
North Beach (43) — Wagner 6, Thornton 9, Fry, Hernandez 10, Turner 12, Gonzalez, Justin Chong 6. FG — 15-60 (.250). FT — 7-11.
MMK 5 10 11 4 — 30 Forks 16 11 21 14 — 62
Knight (30) — Willey 10, O’Neil 3, Jimenez 7, Robecker 2, Dierkop 6, Boley, Adsero, DeWeese 2.
Forks (62) — Raben 14, Abrahams 4, Gilmore 5, Harris 2, Decker 14, Hatch 5, Jacobson 8, Gonzales 10.