ELMA — Hoquiam started the game on an 11-0 run and never looked back in a 58-23 win over the eagles in Elma on Friday night.
Rayyon Dayton put on a dominating display with 16 points to go along with 16 rebounds and help lift Hoquiam (5-6, 2-0 Evergreen 2A) to its third straight victory.
Dayton said he felt confident from the tip-off when he hit a jumper from the elbow to score the Grizzlies’ first points.
“Getting your first bucket is a good way to start the game, so from there I kind of felt like I was going to have a good game, but I couldn’t do it without my team,” he said.
Dayton’s bucket on Hoquiam’s first possession of the game was the start of an 11-0 run as Elma didn’t get on the board until the 2:53 mark of the first quarter.
Hoquiam head coach Curtis Eccles said he was hoping for a fast start.
“That’s exactly what we were looking for,” he said. “Like I told them yesterday in practice, it’s about tempo. We wanted to keep the tempo up and I thought they did a fantastic job tonight.”
While Hoquiam found their rhythm taking the ball inside, Elma found itself unable to answer as its jump shots weren’t falling. Despite getting some open looks around the perimeter, the Eagles shot just 20 percent from the field.
Cody Vollan led Elma with nine points and rarely got a shot off without a hand in his face.
“We played a little man but for the most part our zone defense was our bread and butter,” Eccles said. “I thought our guys did great job of closing out. We knew going in we needed to close out on Cody Vollan.”
Finding ways to put points on the scoreboard has been an issue for Elma in the early going for a team that has only scored 50 or more points twice.
Elma head coach Jeff Niemi is confident his team will break out of its slump when the Eagles face the Beavers in Tenino on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
“I’m trying to make sure they are confident,” he said. “Sometimes it’s hard when you’re in it, but all it takes is one game to break out of it so hopefully that happens Tuesday night.”
Hoquiam’s scoring slowed a bit in the second half but the Grizzlies shot well enough to take a 27-8 lead into halftime after a second quarter where he Eagles only made one shot from the field.
Despite the lopsided score Elma should have some positives to take away on from their defensive effort. Hoquiam’s Matt Brown was held to eight points and often found himself double teamed when he posted up.
Dayton ended up being the lone Grizzly in double figures, but Niemi is still waiting for the offense to find its rhythm.
“We followed our defensive game plan in the first half as far as limiting Brown but we just couldn’t get the ball to go in the basket,” he said. “That was the game right there.”
Hoquiam will be looking to push its win streak to four games when they host Winlock in a non-league affair on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
After injuries hampered his team in the early going, Eccles said he is happy to see his team gelling at the right time.
“We have our five starters back, we have a solidified rotation and guys off the bench are understanding their roles. Guys are really starting to develop chemistry,” he said.