Boys Prep Basketball Roundup: Hoquiam holds Tenino to season-low in key league victory

Also: Montesano upset bid falls short against league-leading Eatonville

A few short weeks ago, the Hoquiam Grizzlies were in the basement of the 1A Evergreen after a lackluster 0-3 start to the league schedule.

How things have changed.

The Grizzlies played outstanding defense and got an MVP-caliber performance from star guard Michael Lorton Watkins to defeat second-place Tenino 47-33 on Tuesday in Tenino, picking up their third consecutive league win in the process.

Hoquiam (13-4 overall, 3-3 1A Evergreen) held Tenino (11-7, 4-2) to its lowest scoring output of the season and made the smart, heads-up plays in the second half to secure the victory.

Trailing 21-20 at halftime, the Grizzlies used its aggressive defense to hold the Beavers to four points in the third quarter to take a 36-25 lead into the final period.

In the fourth quarter, rebounding and clutch baskets were key in Hoquiam holding the double-digit lead.

Justice Stankavich and Aiden Butcher each made critical shots down the stretch while the Grizzlies got two key offensive rebounds on back-to-back possessions late in the game that allowed Hoquiam to chew up the clock.

“We did a really good job of taking care of the ball and I honestly couldn’t be more happy with how we did that,” Hoquiam head coach Jeff Niemi said. “Any time you can get a minute off the clock when there is four minutes left and you’re up by double digits, you’re feeling pretty good about it. It was huge.”

JOSH KIRSHENBAUM / THE CHRONICLE Hoquiam head coach Jeff Niemi cheers as time runs out on the Grizzlies’ 47-33 win Tuesday in Tenino.

JOSH KIRSHENBAUM / THE CHRONICLE Hoquiam head coach Jeff Niemi cheers as time runs out on the Grizzlies’ 47-33 win Tuesday in Tenino.

Hoquiam’s defense held Tenino to 11 of 38 shooting (29%) and leading-scorer Noah Schow, who was hampered with foul trouble, to a season low 12 points.

The Grizzlies also forced 19 turnovers and outrebounded Tenino 35-31, including a 10-8 advantage on the offensive boards, holding the Beavers without an offensive board in the second half.

“Kids just did a great job, hunkering down and covering their area,” Niemi said. “We did not allow an offensive rebound in second half after giving up eight in first half, so just outstanding adjustments. I’m super happy about that. … We just took care of the ball down the stretch and got stops, it was outstanding.”

Lorton Watkins led all scorers with 22 points — 18 in the second half — while filling up the stat sheet with 10 rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks.

Owen McNeill and Stankavich added seven points apiece as the Grizzlies went 21 of 56 from the floor as a team (38%) and committed 10 turnovers.

“We had one guy playing great, yes, but also it was a team effort, all around,” Niemi said.

With the win, Hoquiam pulls to within one game of Tenino for second place in the league.

The Grizzlies host Aberdeen at 7 p.m. Friday and will honor its 2003 team that finished 26-1 and placed fourth in the state at halftime.

Hoquiam 12 9 16 10 — 47

Tenino 12 10 4 7 — 33

Scoring: Hoquiam — Lorton Watkins 22, McNeill 7, Stankavich 7, Jump 6, Templer 3, Butcher 2. Tenino — Schow 12, Gonia 8, O’Connor 6, Feltus 6, Hart 1.

Eatonville 66, Montesano 53

Montesano’s bid to knock off the league-leaders fell short in a 66-53 loss to Eatonville on Tuesday in Montesano.

The Bulldogs (3-13, 0-6 1A Evergreen) led 15-13 after the first quarter, paced by Cam Taylor’s 10 points in the frame.

Eatonville (9-6, 5-0) took a 32-28 lead into the half and led 48-44 entering the fourth quarter as Montesano stayed close to the Cruisers.

Eatonville made 8 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter and held the Bulldogs to nine points in the frame to secure the victory.

The Bulldogs were led by junior standout Tyce Peterson with 15 points.

Taylor finished with 14 points while Soren Cobb and Christian Olsen scored six apiece for the Bulldogs.

Monte shot 22 of 59 from the field (37%), including 9 of 30 (30%) in the second half.

”The boys played incredible help-side defense throughout the game. We were tough and gritty as well, winning most of the 50/50 balls,” Montesano head coach Mack Bertram said. “Our bench came in and stepped up in ways that don’t show up on a stat sheet with effort and executing the game plan. … I am pleased with how we battled tonight. If we finish a couple layups and rotate defensively, I believe the final score is different.”

Monte hosts Elma at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Eatonville 13 19 16 18 — 66

Montesano 15 13 16 9 — 53

Scoring: Montesano — Peterson 15, Taylor 14, Cobb 6, Olsen 6, Adams 4, Damasciewicz 4, Bruland 3.

Other scores

North River 90, Oakville 82

Taholah 61, Lake Quinault 47

Wishkah Valley 30, Mary M. Knight 18