RAYMOND — Montesano and Morton/White Pass registered clean sweeps on the opening day of the Raymond Coed New Year’s Classic Basketball Tournament.
Monte’s boys and girls topped host Raymond in Friday’s evening session. The Bulldog girls remained unbeaten with a 63-21 triumph, while the boys withstood a second-half challenge from the Gulls to prevail, 50-41.
Morton/White Pass, meanwhile, registered a pair of decisive victories over Hoquiam. The Timberwolves took the boys game, 73-34, and the girls contest, 41-21.
Although pairings are pre-determined and no champions officially crowned, Montesano and Morton/White Pass will clash in the de facto title games this afternoon. The Bulldog and MWP girls will face off at 2 p.m., followed by the boys game at 3:30.
Hoquiam-Raymond confrontations will make up the night shift, with the girls facing off at 5:30 and the boys at 7 p.m.
Bulldogs 50, Gulls 41
Montesano countered a Raymond second-half run with one of its own.
After struggling offensively in the first half, Raymond (3-3) came out firing in the third quarter. A Kason Koski 3-pointer capped an 18-2 second-half-opening run that gave the Gulls their first lead of the game, 31-29.
Koski scored nine points during that stretch, all on treys. Jayce Freeman scored six points and Darol Ratsavongsy added a 3- pointer to round out the scoring during the run.
Raymond hit eight of its first nine shots after the break and all four of its attempts from long range in the third quarter.
“It all started with our defense. We played a lot more aggressive,” Raymond head coach Pat Rogers said of his team’s third quarter scoring flurry. “We just went after it, got some turnovers, hit some shots, but it basically all started from our defense. We finally saw the aggressiveness. Now we just need to put it together for four quarters.”
However, Montesano (5-2) quickly regrouped and got back to playing the kind of defense that had held Raymond to 13 first-half points. After a 20-point second quarter, the Gulls managed just eight in the fourth.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Kody Usher hit a shot from beyond the arc that sparked an 11-0 Montesano run that essentially put the game out of Raymond’s reach, 48-38. Usher scored seven points during the run and Kenny Roy chipped in four. Roy finished with a game-high 20 points.
“We stopped moving. We stopped being aggressive, but I was really proud of the kids for how they stopped the bleeding,” Montesano head coach Doug Galloway said. “Raymond came out (in the third quarter) and shot really well. They hit some open jumpers and turned it up defensively. I was proud of the way we stopped the bleeding and hit a couple of buckets.”
T’Wolves 73, Grizzlies 34
Last year, Hoquiam and Morton/White Pass battled in an epic two-overtime thriller that the Grizzlies claimed, 79-78. Unfortunately, Hoquiam couldn’t bring back the seniors from last year’s team to help out this year’s team against a fully stocked MWP squad.
The T’Wolves brought all but one player back from last year’s team and showcased that talent from the opening tip. The Grizzlies never led, never got the T’Wolves into a preferred half-court game and never caught up to MWP’s transition/slashing offense.
“(Morton/White Pass) is a very good team and we knew that coming in,” HHS head coach Curtis Eccles said. “We knew from last year that they had everyone back. We knew it was going to be a challenge. We’re learning how to play better defense, put bodies on guys and not allow them to do what they want to do. Unfortunately for us, Morton/White Pass was able to do whatever they wanted tonight.”
MWP’s 23-7 first-quarter margin expanded into a 41-14 halftime score and both teams used the second half to mix in their reserves to get their work in.
Kaleb Poquette and Zach Walton led all scorers with 15 points each for MWP. Blake Kelly led Hoquiam (2-5) with 10 points.
Bulldogs 63, Gulls 21
A 15-1 run put Montesano up 15-3 late in the first quarter and the Bulldogs never looked back. Impressive freshman post Jordan Spradlin scored six of her game-high 17 points during that stretch. Spradlin also pulled down 12 boards as the Bulldogs improved to 5-0 for the season.
Megan Choate added a trey and two assists during the run. The junior guard finished with nine points and seven assists.
Montesano shot 50 percent from the field.
“We pushed the ball better tonight and tried to get some transition baskets,” said Montesano head coach Julie Graves. “We had some good ball movement, attacked when we had an opening and shared the ball really well. I thought we rebounded well, too.”
Raymond’s Alex Gilbert put the first points on the board for either team with a fast break layup early in the first quarter. However, it was all downhill from there for the Gulls (4-3).
“They’re a good team. We already knew that. We played them before and they beat us,” said Raymond head coach Jon Schray. “We weren’t rotating quick enough on defense. We weren’t getting back in transition. We didn’t really run our offense right. It was like it was the first game of the season, so it was pretty frustrating. They’re a good club, but we made it worse on ourselves.”
A Spradlin free throw with 1:14 left in the third quarter put Montesano up 61-21 and the running-clock mercy rule was enforced from that point on. Raymond did not score in the fourth quarter.
Myranda Floch was cited by Graves for her solid play on defense and in transition. Floch scored 10 points in the game, six of which came on a fast break.
T’Wolves 41, Grizzlies 21
A spirited start by Hoquiam gave the Grizzlies a small 9-4 lead after the first quarter. The Grizzlies used their defense to slow Morton/White Pass into 2-for-13 shooting from the field and dictate the pace of the game.
After that, it was all Timberwolves.
MWP took Hoquiam’s cue and stepped up its defensive intensity. The Grizzlies were unable to get clean looks at the basket and their turnover rate rose. The T’Wolves began to find their range on their field-goal attempts and hit just enough of them to run off with a 12-12 halftime score.
The second quarter became a harbinger of the second half as Hoquiam’s offense disappeared against MWP’s defense. The T’Wolves took the lead early in the second half and held the Grizzlies to 12 points in the final three quarters.
“The girls got timid,” HHS head coach Mark Maxfield said. “I don’t know if it was because they put more pressure on us defensively, but we got a lot more timid and played a more defensive offensive game. I don’t know what happened. I liked the intensity when they came out, but for some reason, it went away. Maybe Morton/White Pass’ pressure was too much for us.”
At one point, MWP streaked on a 35-6 run that started in the second quarter and finished with a 39-15 lead with 4:29 remaining in the game.
Ashley Kelley led all scorers with 18 points for Morton/White Pass. Ellie Quercia led Hoquiam with seven points.
Montesano (50) – Truax 7, Usher 13, Chastain, Roy 20, Herzog 2, Hopsecger 2, Biakowsky 6. FG – 21-52 (.404). FT – 3-12.
Raymond (41) – Maneman, Freeman 8, Newman 8, Koski 14, Ratsavongsy 10, Lund 1. FG – 16-41 (.390). FT – 2-6.
Hoquiam (34) — Oliver, B. Kelly 10, Newton 6, D. Kelly 2, White, Steen 5, Adams III 5, Varner 2, Ky. Standstipher, Ko. Standstipher 4, Anderson, Brydon. FG — 15-53 (.283). FT — 1-3.
Morton/White Pass (73) — Poquette 15, Ko. Dunlap 4, Elledge, Kolb 6, Walton 15, Hanson, Ka. Dunlap 14, Laclef 2, Coliette 2, Reynolds 3, Eveland 6. FG — 29-64 (.453). FT — 10-20.
Montesano (63) – M. Floch 10, Quinn, Schurr, Choate 9, Howard, Toyra, Miller 8, S. Floch 8, Kloempken 7, Spradlin 17, Bartlett 4, Jensen, Talley. FG – 28-56 (.500). FT – 5-10.
Raymond (21) – Williams 6, Gilbert 5, Collins, Dunsmoor, Gradner 8, Garcia 2, Newman, Flemetis, Oatfield. FG – 7-50 (.140). FT – 5-11.
Morton/White Pass (41) — Elledge 7, Atkinson 3, Brooks 2, Kelley 18, Allen 3, Kolb, Smathers, Walton, Armstrong, Robbins 6, Eveland 2. FG — 12-44 (.273). FT — 15-16.
Hoquiam (21) — Quercia 7, Parker 4, Rose, Creviston, Stewart 4, Johnson, Gwinn, Sansaver, Doyle 4, Hilliard. FG — 7-40 (.175). FT — 5-6.