ELMA — Stifling defense helped Elma build a double-digit advantage over Hoquiam in the first half on Thursday night. The Grizzlies’ offense improved after the break, but a strong second-half offensive performance helped the Eagles maintain the lead.
Elma senior guard Brooke Goldsmith scored 18 points on Senior Night in Elma to help the Eagles defeat the Grizzlies, 49-32, in an Evergreen 1A League girls’ basketball game.
Elma (10-2 in league play, 14-5 overall) held Hoquiam to just seven points in the first half. The Grizzlies turned the ball over 17 times before halftime and made just three of their 20 first-half attempts from the field.
Hoquiam (6-6, 9-11) struggled to beat Elma’s full-court press early in the game. However, even when the Grizzlies did beat the press, it did not bring them much relief. The Eagles’ 2-3 half-court zone defense proved to be just as much of a challenge.
After closing the second quarter on a 6-0 run, the Eagles carried a 21-7 lead into the locker room.
“They were taking away our passing lanes and we weren’t adjusting well to that,” Hoquiam head coach Mark Maxfield said. “We were having trouble getting any looks at all in the first half. I thought in the second half we did a lot better at getting good shots.”
The Grizzlies fared much better offensively in the third quarter. Brandi Creviston hit 3-pointers on consecutive Hoquiam possessions to cut Elma’s lead to 33-17 and provide the Grizzlies with their first real offensive spark.
Thanks to Goldsmith and Maddie Thompson, the Eagles were able to match Hoquiam’s offense late in the third quarter. Goldsmith scored eight of her game-high 18 points in the third. Thomson added six during that stretch and finished with 13.
Hoquiam made a final push in the fourth quarter. The Grizzlies forced a couple of Eagles turnovers and went on an 8-0 run that cut Elma’s lead to 40-29. Creviston led Hoquiam with five points during that stretch.
However, Elma buckled down and put Hoquiam away by finishing the game on a 9-3 run in which four different Eagles players scored.
“(In the first half), we were talking,” Elma head coach Lisa Johnson said. “We were on our toes. We were communicating well. We let up on that a little bit in the second half. We took a time out and said ‘We’ve got to communicate and play our defense with some energy.’ Once we did that it was much better.”
Johnson cited Sydney Smythe for her hard work on the boards. The senior led the team with 12 rebounds.
Elma will play a district playoff game in Chehalis on Thursday. Hoquiam will have to earn its spot in the district playoffs by winning a pigtail game against either White Salmon or Stevenson on Monday in Montesano.
Hoquiam 4 3 10 15 — 32
Elma 8 13 15 13 — 49
Hoquiam (32) – Quercia 4, Burnett, Parker, Rose 7, Kramer 3, Creviston 13, Stewart 2, Johnson, Gwinn 1, Sansaver, Doyle 2, Hilliard. FG – 11-49 (.224). FT – 7-19.
Elma (49) – M Thompson 13, Farrar 2, Elliott, Grant, Goldsmith 18, Cristelli, L Thompson 3, Smythe 1, Hall 4, A Thompson 5, Doyle 2, Lipska 1. FG – 15-50 (.300). FT – 18-33.