MONTESANO — The Montesano band’s rendition of “Taking Care of Business” wound up applying — with varying degrees of difficulty — to both Bulldog basketball teams on Friday.
Monte’s boys used their defense to rally from 11 points down to pull away from Tenino, 55-43, in the second half of an Evergreen 1A League coed doubleheader at Bo Griffith Memorial Gym.
Earlier, the unbeaten Bulldog girls overpowered the Beavers, 67-23.
Bulldogs 55, Beavers 43
Getting the ball inside to 6-foot-5 standout Nihls Peterson and hitting three 3-point shots in the opening 10 minutes, underdog Tenino blasted out to a 24-13 lead.
After Montesano coach Doug Galloway called time and shifted his troops from a zone to a man-to-man, the Bulldogs (4-4, 9-7) turned up the heat on their defensive pressure. That swung the momentum permanently in their favor.
“The last couple of games, we’ve had to come out of our zone … and that’s not a bad thing,” Galloway explained. “We played good defense the rest of the way in our man-to-man. We’ve played good solid man-to-man and I’m real proud of the boys.”
The Bulldogs forced the Beavers into 22 turnovers while committing only 12 of their own. Monte’s Kenny Roy and Evan Bialkowsky, meanwhile, began taking the ball to the hoop effectively.
The active Roy, 7 of 13 from the field, paced all scorers with 19 points, while the powerful Bialkowsky contributed 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
Scoring 13 of the first half’s final 16 points, Montesano wiped out all but one point of the deficit by intermission. Despite going scoreless from the field for the opening 4:51 of the second half, the Bulldogs moved ahead to stay at 36-34 on a pair of Kaleb Chastain free throws with 55 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Roy drove for a conventional three-point play to end the quarter.
Kody Usher’s 3-point basket increased the advantage to eight, 47-39, at the 4:49 mark of the fourth period. The Beavers’ shooting touch iced over (they were 4-of-25 from the field in the final stanza) as Monte pulled away.
Roy and reserve Alex Hopsecger grabbed seven rebounds apiece, while Usher came up with five steals.
Peterson topped Tenino with 14 points, but nine of those came in the first quarter.
Bulldogs 67, Beavers 23
In contrast to the boys game, this contest was settled very early.
Resisting the temptation to let down against a winless opponent, Montesano (8-0, 16-0) pressured the Beavers into 13 turnovers in the first quarter alone. Although Bulldog coach Julie Graves pulled the press at the beginning of the second period, her club continued on a run of 25 successive points that widened the gap to 31-2 en route to 42-8 halftime bulge.
Mixing a pair of treys with steals and drives, junior point guard Megan Choate scored all 16 of her points in the first half. Freshman post Jordan Spradlin tallied 9 of her 11 markers in the opening two periods.
Cold from the perimeter at the outset, Monte hit 11 of 18 from the field in the second period — the majority of those from close range.
“I thought we played well in the first half,” Graves said. “I thought we took care of the ball and made the most of our possessions.”
The Bulldogs, in fact, committed only four turnovers in the opening three quarters. Combined with a substantial rebounding advantage, that allowed Monte to more than double Tenino’s shot total.
The final 12 minutes was played under the 40-point running-clock mercy rule.
Monte reserves saw extensive action in the second half. One of those, sophomore Tianna Schurr, reached double figures with 10 points. Myranda Floch also scored 10 for the Bulldogs.
Choate also collected six steals, two more than Floch. Spradlin led Monte rebounders with 12, while Choate, Shayla Floch and freshman Cheyann Bartlett handed out three steals.
No Beaver scored more than six points.
Both Bulldog teams make the short trip to Elma for critical contests next week. The girls game is scheduled for Tuesday, while the boys face off Wednesday.
Tenino (23) — Vens, Bronson 5, Tibbetts 2, Richardson 2, Masters 6, Ford, Gubbe 2, Cantrell, Richards 6, Holmgren, Dowies. FG — 10-29 (.345). FT — 2-2.
Montesano (67) — Choate 16, Miller 3, Kloempken 4, Spradlin 11, M. Floch 10, S. Floch 8, Bartlett 3, Schurr 10, Howard 2. FG — 29-70 (.414). FT — 7-12.
JV — Montesano 48, Tenino 15. Ashley Black 17 points for Montesano.
Tenino (43) — Guzman 3, Bailon 2, Peterson 14, Pier 10, O’Brien, Herd, Hisaw, Davido 3, Caldwell 3, Engebreth 8, Hill. FG — 17-52 (.327). FT — 5-16.
Montesano (55) — Truax 5, Usher 11, Chastain 4, Roy 19, Bialkowsky 13, Hopsecger 3, Herzog, Nelson, Lovell. FG — 20-54 (.370). FT — 13-22.
JV — Montesano 40, Tenino 22. Brandon Lovell 11 points for Montesano.