OYEHUT — The occasion may have been less than festive, but North Beach’s boys took their accustomed place in the championship game of the Holiday With the Hyaks basketball tournament.
The unbeaten Hyaks cruised past overmatched Mary M. Knight, 52-5, in the final game of the coed tourney’s quadrupleheader Friday at North Beach’s “House of Pain” gym.
The Hyaks (8-0) will face Tacoma Baptist, a 68-56 winner over Forks, in the boys championship game at approximately 4:30 p.m. today. Forks and Mary M. Knight will face off in a consolation game at 1 p.m.
Forks and Tacoma Baptist, meanwhile, will collide in the girls title contest at 6 p.m. The Spartans came from behind in the second half to top host North Beach, 51-48. The Crusaders topped Tenino in the tourney opener.
North Beach (1-5) takes on Tenino in a consolation contest at 2:30 p.m.
Hyaks 52, Owls 5
The heavily-favored Hyaks wasted little time demonstrating their superiority, reeling off the game’s first 17 points in less than six minutes. Corey Thornton hit a 3-point shot and a long deuce, while Gabe Hernandez and Justin Chong took turns setting up each other for layins.
Austin Thompson put Mary M. Knight on the scoreboard with a basket at the 1:54 mark. That proved to the Owls’ only points, however, until Matthew Thompson hit a three in the game’s final 13 seconds.
The game’s final 13:13 was played under the 40-point running clock mercy rule.
The Hyaks called off the press soon enough but continued to play tough half-court defense. The Owls were credited with 30 turnovers, 20 in the first half.
The hosts also moved the ball well, although they didn’t always convert their close-in shots.
“Under the circumstances, I thought our kids handled it pretty well,” North Beach coach Larry Moore said. “We tried to work on basketball things. All the kids got a chance to play and they played hard.”
Thornton topped North Beach’s balanced scoring with 11 points, while Chong and Steven Fry added 10 apiece.
Chong also grabbed seven rebounds, as did reserve Carson Ketter. Sophomore guard Mikey Beck handed out seven assists.
In contrast to the North Beach-Forks girls game that included 66 free throws, only 10 fouls were whistled in this game -- even though the same officiating crew worked both contests.
Spartans 51, Hyaks 48
Pressing the Spartans into numerous turnovers (Forks finished with 31), North Beach appeared destined for the girls championship game with a 19-9 lead midway through the second quarter. The Hyaks were still up by five at the midpoint of the third period.
Outrebounded in the first half, the Class 1A Spartans dominated the glass after intermission, drawing numerous fouls in the process. With Mercedes Flores and Courtnie Paul doing most of the damage, Forks went on a 9-0 run late in the third quarter to move in front to stay.
Down 49-43 heading into the final minute, the Hyaks closed the gap when Quay Sotomish put down a runner with 46 seconds remaining. Then Marya Pope hit a long 3-pointer to make it 49-48 with 4.8 seconds on the clock.
Forks’ Halle Palmer, fouled with 3.7 seconds left, missed both her free throws. But teammate Alexis Leons tapped the rebound back to Palmer, who was fouled again with a half-second remaining. She made both those free throws and the Hyaks were unable to get off a game-tying shot.
The Hyaks had hit only 8-of-65 field goal attempts in a 43-40 loss at Forks earlier in the season. They fared marginally better on this occasion, but North Beach coach Brett Mackey wasn’t impressed with 23 percent field-goal shooting that included a bushel of close-in misses. He was even less thrilled with an 11-of-30 performance from the foul line.
“We’ve got work to do,” Mackey said. “They got after the boards in the second half and we didn’t do a good job of blocking out and we had silly turnovers. We just weren’t prepared enough.”
Continually able to beat the Spartan press, the athletic Sotomish paced all scorers with 19 points. She also collected nine rebounds and six steals. Pope nailed four treys in adding 14 points.
Paul, 12-of-18 from the foul line, topped Forks with 18 points. The 6-foot Leons added 14 points.
Outscored from the field, the Spartans won it by making 23 of 36 free throws.
Mary M. Knight (5) — Anderson, Pais, A. Thompson 2, Beste, Werly, Diggle, M. Thompson 3, Kenyon, McGee, Compton, Renecker. FG — 2-29 (.069). FT — 0-0.
North Beach (52) — Beck 2, Thornton 11, Gonzales 2, Hernandez 7, Fry 10, Justin Chong 10, Takagi, Ketter 4, Perez 2, Bridge 2, Jordan Chong 2. FG — 23-57 (.404). FT — 5-9.
Forks (51) — Palmer 4, Paul 18, Smith, Weekes 2, Flores 8, Leons 14, DeMatties 2, Banks 3. FG — 14-50 (.280). FT — 23-36.
North Beach (48) — Sotomish 19, M. Garman 1, M. Pope 14, Takagi 1, Shale 3, R. Moore 3, Robles 5, L. Garman 2. FG — 16-69 (.232). FT — 11-30.