MONTESANO — Defense was the calling card for the Montesano girls and Rainier boys at Bo Griffith Memorial Gym on Friday night.
The Bulldogs forced the Mountaineers into a flurry of turnovers in the first quarter and posted a doughnut in the third quarter to roll out a 45-23 Evergreen 1A girls basketball win.
Prior to Montesano’s girls shutting off the scoreboard, Rainier’s boys withstood a charge by Montesano by ending this Evergreen 1A boys basketball opener on a 13-2 run for a 48-37 victory.
On Monday, Montesano will return home for another coed doubleheader, this time a non-league tilt with Raymond.
Bulldogs 45, Mountaineers 23
Montesano established the tone of this nightcap to the doubleheader early and often.
Driven by a full-court trapping defense that was super effective, the Bulldogs (1-0, 2-0) banked 11 Mountie turnovers and held the visitors scoreless until the final seconds of the first quarter.
Freshman post Jordan Spradlin scored eight of her game-high 20 points in the opening frame, six of them on offensive rebound putbacks. Myranda Floch, Cortney Miller, Megan Choate, Shayla Floch and Hannah Jensen also scored in the 17-2 quarter.
Montesano’s offense fell back in the second and fourth quarters, but the defense stayed in the second. Eight more turnovers for a first-half total of 19 for Rainier allowed the Bulldogs to run off with a 24-8 halftime score.
“The girls worked really hard on defense,” Montesano head coach Julie Graves said. “The game plan was to go out and pressure them as much as we could. We came out with intensity in the first quarter, but we dropped off in the second quarter. The offense played in spurts and that was a part of the 10-day layoff we’ve had. We’re young and we’re still learning how to work together.”
The Bulldog pressure defense came back into play in the third quarter, but only in spots. The Mounties were 0-for-9 from the field and added six more turnovers. Monte went inside-out with Spradlin, Kasie Kloempken, Miller and Choate contributing to a 17-0 frame and a dominant 38-8 score after three quarters.
Rainier closed the gap somewhat as Monte rotated its entire bench in the fourth quarter.
Spradlin pulled down nine rebounds and Myranda Floch pulled down six rebounds for Monte. Peyton Dungan led Rainier with 10 points, eight of which came in the fourth quarter.
Mountaineers 48, Bulldogs 37
Momentum and scoring spurts were traded liberally in the first three quarters, but Rainier had the final run and defensive stand in the fourth.
Monte (0-1, 2-2) fought back from a 26-18 halftime deficit to tie the game at 31-31 after three quarters, a 13-5 frame. Kody Usher’s 3-point basket from the corner with 1.1 seconds left tied the game to set up the pivotal fourth quarter.
Both teams’ offenses found trouble early on, giving each possession an added emphasis as time wound down. Usher’s driving hook shot tied the game at 35-35 with 5:20 left in the contest. Rainier’s Bailey Miller grabbed the lead again on a mid-range jumper at 37-35 and the run began.
The Bulldogs misfired on shots inside and turned the ball over four times in the final 5 minutes of the game. Single free-throw conversions by Usher and Kenny Roy represented the final points for the hosts.
Rainier slowly extended the lead before guard Todd Eygabroad came off the bench to hit a dagger 3-point shot with 49 seconds left for an insurmountable 46-37 lead.
“We didn’t shoot the ball very well and we didn’t execute very well,” Montesano head coach Doug Galloway said. “That was the most man-to-man pressure we’ve faced this season. It is a learning experience as you go along. Now we get to see where we need to get to. Unfortunately, it came in a league game.”
Usher and Kaleb Chastain led Montesano in scoring with 10 points each. Zack Froembling led all scorers with 13 points for Rainier.
Rainier 2 6 0 15 — 23 Monte 17 7 14 7 — 45
Rainier (23) — Schaff, Haley, Champlin, Thomas 2, Ivy, Spivey 5, Dungan 10, Justice 6. FG — 10-40 (.250). FT — 2-4.
Montesano (45) — Jensen 2, Quinn, My. Floch 2, Bartlett, Schurr, Talley 2, Choate 6, Howard, Toyra 3, Miller 3, Sh. Floch 1, Kloempken 6, Spradlin 20. FG — 18-58 (.310). FT — 7-18.
JV — Montesano 47, Rainier 27.
Rainier 7 19 5 17 — 48 Monte 10 8 13 6 — 37
Rainier (48) — Eygabroad 8, Froembling 13, Dragt 6, Buchler, Miller 4, Shaw 5, Coker 12. FG — 17-48 (.354). FT — 9-15.
Montesano (37) — Landry 2, Truax 3, Usher 10, Chastain 10, Roy 7, Herzog 1, Hopsecger 4, Bialkowsky. FG — 16-50 (.320). FT — 4-13.