Montesano and Hoquiam engaged in a classic rivalry doubleheader on Thursday night and both schools had something to cheer about at the end.
Montesano’s unbeaten girls struggled offensively against Hoquiam’s defense, but prevailed, 46-42.
Hoquiam’s boys kept their league record unblemished by adjusting in the second half to run away from Montesano, 55-36.
Grizzlies 55, Bulldogs 36
Ragged and ugly, the first half was tough for both teams, with Montesano having the upper hand.
The Bulldogs produced enough offense through the pileup of fouls and turnovers to grab a 23-19 halftime lead. The Grizzlies were held to just 2-for-15 shooting in the first quarter and 6-for-28 in the first half.
However, Hoquiam (5-0, 6-5) gave the home crowd a preview of what the second half would bring when Jace Varner hit an elbow jumper at the buzzer.
Then, the third quarter happened. Hoquiam forced 12 turnovers, flipped the halftime deficit into a 34-27 third-quarter lead and never allowed Montesano (2-3, 6-6) back in the game.
“Our halftime adjustments were the key, ” HHS head coach Curtis Eccles said. “We adjusted our defense — we felt we had too much pressure, which allowed them easy baskets. We laid off, played half-court and then surprised them at times. That made the difference, because it created the offense. It was a great team effort.”
“I don’t know,” Montesano head coach Doug Galloway said. “We had a good first half and came out in the second half and didn’t perform the same way. That’s on us. I have to figure it out. We didn’t take care of the ball in the second half. I don’t know how many turnovers we had (33 overall), but we had quite a few. We’ll figure it out.”
Hoquiam’s three freshmen — Jack Adams III, Varner and Jerod Steen — made their marks in the third frame. Adams III and Varner each came off the bench to supply points and defensive intensity. Steen also made life tough for Montesano’s Logan Truax and Jake Herzog in the back court.
The Bulldogs never found their first-half offensive rhythm. Seven of the 12 third-quarter turnovers came in the first three minutes of the half and they lost two key offensive players — Kenny Roy and Evan Bialkowsky — to fouls early in the fourth quarter.
The third-quarter narrative continued for Hoquiam, which hit its best offensive stretch of the game. A 15-3 run in 3 1/2 minutes — powered by 3-point baskets from Steen and Adams III — put the Grizzlies up for good at 49-30.
Jack Adams III led all scorers with 18 points, with Blake Kelly added seven points, eight rebounds and five steals. Evan Newton also swiped five steals and Varner pulled down seven boards. Roy led Montesano with 15 points, 12 of them in the second quarter.
Coach Eccles cited Varner and Adams III for their efforts coming off the bench.
Bulldogs 46, Grizzlies 42
Montesano, which entered the contest with an average victory margin of 26 points, endured its share of adversity in this one.
Unable to consistently get the ball inside Hoquiam’s active 2-3 and 1-2-2 zones to ace center Jordan Spradlin, the Bulldogs (5-0, 10-0) connected on only 1 of their first 12 field-goal attempts. They also missed their opening 11 shots in the second half and made only 4-of-14 free throws after intermission.
“That was our worst start to a game this year and I don’t think we were very focused,” Monte coach Julie Graves said. “You can credit Hoquiam for not quitting. They played hard throughout the game.”
The Bulldogs owed this victory primarily to a 14-0 run to end the first half and an enormous rebounding advantage. They used control of the glass to launch 35 shots — 21 more than the Grizzlies — in the first half alone.
And while Spradlin had to work hard to net her game-high 17 points, the agile 6-1 freshman did pull down 22 rebounds.
In addition to the rebounding disparity, the Grizzlies (3-2, 5-6) were plagued by 22 turnovers. They also lost senior guard Brandi Creviston to a sprained ankle late in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs, who trailed only at 8-6, owned a slim 20-17 lead midway through the second quarter. Then Cortney Miller hit a baseline jumper and Kasie Klompken knocked down a 3-point basket to trigger the 14-point run in the final three minutes.
Spradlin scored the final seven points of the half — not including what might have been the most spectacular non-basket of the season. She leaped for a rebound while being pushed backward and put in the follow shot in one motion for what appeared to be a potential three-point play. Officials ruled, however, that the foul occurred prior to the shot.
Despite their slow start to the second half, the Bulldogs appeared to be safe with a 46-30 bulge at the midpoint of the fourth quarter. But the Grizzlies then pressed the Dogs, who had handled the ball well until then, into four turnovers in the final three minutes.
Ellie Quercia and Arleen Kramer converted back-to-back steals to narrow the deficit to 46-40 with 55 seconds left. Following a Bulldog miss, Quercia tipped the rebound to Olivia Rose, who drove the length of the court for another layin with 33 seconds on the clock.
Although Monte missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity, the Grizzlies were unable to connect on their final two shots.
“Defensively, I was happy,” Hoquiam coach Mark Maxfield said. “The kids (executed) the plan I put in. And I liked the hustle, they had to cover a lot of ground. I think what happened was when Brandi went down, it kind of took the wind out of our sails and it took a while to figure out that we could play without her.”
Filling in for Creviston, Rose scored all eight of her points in the second half to share team scoring honors with Quercia. Senior post Mikaila Johnson turned in a strong outing, scoring seven points and helping to neutralize Spradlin in the paint. Maxfield also cited Kylie Stewart for fine play.
Shayla Floch, the only Bulldog reserve to see action, contributed 10 points and three assists. Her sister Myranda had six rebounds, as did junior floor leader Megan Choate.
North Beach will be the next opponent for both teams. The Bulldogs visit the Hyaks tonight, while the Grizzlies will travel to Oyehut on Monday night.
On Tuesday, Hoquiam’s boys visit Elma, while Monte’s boys host Rochester.
Montesano (36) — Truax 6, Chastain 7, Lovell, Roy 15, Nelson, Herzog 2, Hopsecger 4, Chapman, Bialkowsky 2. FG — 15-47 (.319). FT — 6-18.
Hoquiam (55) — Oliver 3, B. Kelly 7, Newton 6, D. Kelly 1, White, Steen 7, Adams 18, Varner 6, Standstipher, Anderson 2, Brydon 5. FG — 18-57 (.316). FT — 15-24.
Montesano (46) — M. Floch, Choate 5, Miller 6, Kloempken 8, Spradlin 17, S. Floch 10. FG — 16-63 (.254). FT — 10-20.
Hoquiam (42) — Quercia 8, Creviston 5, Stewart 3, Johnson 7, Doyle 2, Parker 5, Rose 8, Kramer 4, Sansaver. FG — 17-44 (.386). FT — 6-9.
JV — Montesano 31, Hoquiam 23. Tianna Schurr 10 points for Montesano.