Hoquiam and Forks kicked off the holiday break with a key Evergreen 1A coed basketball doubleheader at Hoquiam Square Garden on Friday night.
The Grizzly boys were in a big hurry, but dialed it down, to get into the break with a 64-39 victory over the Spartans in the twin bill opener.
In the nightcap, the Hoquiam girls took a little longer to get into their game with Forks before pulling away in the second half, 51-38.
Grizzlies 64, Spartans 39
Hoquiam head coach Curtis Eccles noted that his team learned its lesson taught to it at Rainier earlier in the week. A frantic, out-of-control Grizzly squad got into foul trouble and had to gut their way to a one-point win over the Mountaineers.
On Friday night, the Grizzlies (2-0, 2-4) dialed down the intensity and it made all the difference against the Spartans.
Forks grabbed a small 6-4 lead with 4:51 left in the opening quarter by getting Hoquiam into a transition game. The Spartans took advantage of Hoquiam’s fouls, hitting 4-of-6 attempts from the free-throw line.
After that, Hoquiam settled down, got Forks into a half-court offensive game and dominated play. The hosts finished the first stanza with a 14-2 run and extended that run into a 26-6 binge for a 30-12 lead with 3:02 left in the first half.
The Spartans were completely uncomfortable running a half-court offense, giving up 13 turnovers during the Grizzlies’ run. Hoquiam would walk into the halftime locker room with a 34-19 lead and was never threatened in the second half.
“We came back a little bit, didn’t give them as much pressure and I knew if we made it a half-court game, we could take control,” Eccles said. “Against Rainier, we got a lot of guys into foul trouble by being too aggressive. We just wanted to play solid defense, move our feet and allow them to make the mistakes. That is what happened.”
Evan Newton scored all 11 of his points in the first half, with Blake Kelly leading Hoquiam in scoring with 14 points and five rebounds. Jace Varner added 13 points and six rebounds and Devin Kelly swiped five steals.
Grizzlies 51, Spartans 38
Forks took advantage of a slow-starting and cold-shooing Hoquiam squad in the first quarter, leading 12-9. The Spartans found mid-range jumpers and offensive rebound putbacks to their liking, while the Grizzlies were 4-for-15 from the field.
Hoquiam (2-0, 3-3) reversed the trend in the second quarter, stepping up its pressure defense. Steals by Ellie Quercia were converted into layups to start, then offensive rebound putbacks from Vanessa Doyle, Mikaila Johnson and Arlene Kramer did more damage.
Offensive putbacks by Johnson and Kramer, along with transition baskets by Kramer and Kylie Stewart, edged Hoquiam to a 28-22 halftime lead with a 19-10 second frame.
“I thought the whole first half wasn’t our best, but our press in the third quarter got our energy level up,” HHS head coach Mark Maxfield said. “It got us going. It certainly wasn’t our finest performance. We got a little more excited with the defense and got us playing harder, which is what you have to do.”
Hoquiam took full control of the contest in the first four minutes of the second half. Capitalizing on eight Forks turnovers, the Grizzlies went on a 12-0 run for a 40-22 margin with 3:56 left in the third. Stewart, Brandi Creviston, Johnson, Kramer and Quercia scored in the run all on transition baskets.
The 18-point lead was the biggest of the game and Forks never got closer than 13 for the remainder of the contest.
Hoquiam’s Quercia finished with a double-double — 11 points and 11 steals — to lead all scorers. Kramer, Johnson and Doyle each added seven points each in a very evenly spread scoring line for the Grizzlies — 10 of the 13 who played scored.
Johnson added six blocked shots to her totals and Stewart, in her first start of the season, was cited for her energy on the court.
On Friday, both Hoquiam teams will return to action at the Raymond New Year’s Coed Classic against Morton/White Pass.
Forks 8 11 11 9 — 39
Hoquiam 17 17 14 16 — 64
Forks (39) — Raben 5, Lawson, Pegram, D. Sampson 2, Armas, Greene 7, Browning 2, O. Sampson 7, Gonzales 16. FG — 15-46 (.326). FT — 8-15.
Hoquiam (64) — Oliver 3, B. Kelly 14, Newton 11, D. Kelly 7, White 2, Adams III 4, Varner 13, Ko. Standstipher, Anderson 10, Brydon. FG — 28-56 (.500). FT — 6-10.
Forks 12 10 6 10 — 38
Hoquiam 9 19 13 10 — 51
Forks (38) — Palmer, Klahn, Paul 10, Smith, Weekes 9, Henderson 4, Collins 2, Flores 9, Leons 4. FG — 15-52 (.289). FT — 8-14.
Hoquiam (51) — Quercia 11, Parker 2, Rose 4, Creviston 5, Stewart 6, Johnson 7, Gwinn, Sansaver, Doyle 7, Hilliard, Gregg 2, Kramer 7. FG — 19-64 (.297). FT — 9-22.