Boys Prep Basketball Roundup: Hoquiam’s hot start leads to win over North Beach

Also: Aberdeen win for first time this season; Willapa Valley downs Pe Ell

Hoquiam defeated North Beach while Aberdeen picked up its first victory of the season as we review Thursday’s boys prep basketball action on the Harbor.


Hoquiam 71, North Beach 31

Hoquiam wasted little time in getting its offense going en route to a 71-31 win over North Beach on Thursday at Hoquiam Square Garden.

The Grizzlies (3-0 overall) scored 21 points in the first quarter – 16 by freshman phenom Lincoln Niemi – to take an 11-point lead into the second frame of the non-league contest.

The Grizzlies high-octane offense continued to roll, outscoring the Hyaks (0-3) 24-8 in the second quarter. Six Grizzlies scored in the frame, led by sophomore guard Joey Bozich’s eight points and seven from senior center Aiden Butcher.

By the time the dust settled on the first half, Hoquiam held a commanding 45-18 lead.

“We really came out of the gate hot,” Hoquiam head coach Jeff Niemi said. “We shared the ball well in that first quarter and it was pretty much the same story in the second quarter.”

While the Grizzlies offense slowed a bit in the third quarter – scoring 13 points – the Hoquiam defense held North Beach to one point on a free throw by Kobe Charley, which allowed Coach Niemi to rest his starters in the final period.

Hoquiam was lights out from the floor on Thursday, shooting 46% from the field on 27-of-59 shooting, including 11-of-30 from 3-point range (37%).

Lincoln Niemi led the way with 22 points on 9-of-18 shooting (50%), to go along with six rebounds and four assists.

Hoquiam senior Zander Jump had a solid all-around floor game with 12 points, five steals and three assists.

PHOTO BY FOREST WORGUM Hoquiam senior Zander Jump (11) puts up a shot against North Beach’s Jeremiah Eastman during the Grizzlies’ 71-31 victory on Thursday at Hoquiam Square Garden.

PHOTO BY FOREST WORGUM Hoquiam senior Zander Jump (11) puts up a shot against North Beach’s Jeremiah Eastman during the Grizzlies’ 71-31 victory on Thursday at Hoquiam Square Garden.

“We had three guys in double figures tonight and 15 assists as a team, I’m pretty happy with those numbers,” Coach Niemi said. “That’s what we’re trying to do. Our big thing we work on is when the help comes, pass to where the help just came from and we’re doing a pretty good job of that.”

North Beach shot 13-of-46 from the floor (28%) and were led by Jeremiah Eastman with eight points.

Hoquiam held a 39-35 rebounding advantage and committed eight turnovers to 18 for the Hyaks.

This weekend, the Grizzlies travel to Wenatchee College to compete in the Native American Classic, with Hoquiam taking on Lake Roosevelt on Friday and Omak on Saturday.

North Beach will play its third game in three days when it faces Ocosta in a 2B Pacific League game at 7 p.m. on Friday in Westport.

North Beach 10 8 1 11 – 31

Hoquiam 21 24 13 7 – 71

Scoring: North Beach – Eastman 8, Hovland 7, K. Charley 6, J. Charley 6, Curry 2, Williams 2. Hoquiam – Niemi 22, Jump 12, Bozich 11, Butcher 9, Fabian 4, Byron 3, Bryson 3, LaBounty 2.

Aberdeen 57, Centralia 53

Aberdeen picked a fine time to earn its first win of the season, defeating Centralia 57-53 in a 2A Evergreen Conference game on Thursday in Aberdeen.

The Bobcats (1-3, 1-1 2A Evergreen) were led by sophomore Jhacob Quezada, who had a breakout performance with a game-high 24 points.

Baylor Ainsworth and Manny Garcia also finished in double-digits for Aberdeen, scoring 18 and 13 points, respectively.

The Bobcats are scheduled to face Raymond at 4:30 p.m. Saturday in Raymond.

Centralia 16 14 10 13 — 53

Aberdeen 18 14 14 11 — 57

Scoring: Centralia – Ballard 17, Jenkins 16, Daarud 8, Sprague 5, Wasson 5, Haines 2. Aberdeen – Quezada 24, Ainsworth 18, M. Garcia 13, I. Garcia 2.

Willapa Valley 57, Pe Ell 44

Willapa Valley picked up a league victory over combo-school compatriot Pe Ell 57-44 on Thursday in Menlo.

The Vikings (2-2, 2-0 1B Columbia Valley) and Trojans (1-4, 1-1) combined for a low-scoring first half, with Willapa Valley holding a 22-17 lead at halftime.

“I thought Pe Ell really did a nice job initially in the first half of playing a nice extended 1-2-2 zone,” Vikings head coach Derek Rask said. “They controlled the pace for most of the first half and disrupted our rhythm offensively.”

After making some halftime tweaks, Willapa Valley built its lead up to as much as 15 points over the final 16 minutes of game time.

“In the second half, we kind of figured it out. We made a couple of adjustments at halftime and started playing with the pace we wanted to play with,” Rask said. “We got the ball up the floor in transition and were able to string together a little run there in the third quarter.”

Vikings junior guard Nathan Fluke and sophomore guard/forward Hank Swartz scored 19 points apiece, with Fluke adding four assists and three steals to his stat line and Swartz grabbing 11 rebounds to record a double-double.

Willapa Valley shot 18-for-54 from the floor (33%).

Senior Carter Phelps led Pe Ell with 12 points.

The Trojans went 14-for-45 from the field (31%).

Willapa Valley plays at Ocosta in a non-league contest scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday.

Pe Ell 10 7 11 16 – 44

Willapa Valley 13 9 16 19 – 57

Scoring: Pe Ell – Phelps 12. Willapa Valley – Fluke 19, Swartz 19, King 8, Ritzman 4, Young 2, Ruelas 2, Keeton 2, Sliva 1.