Boys Prep Basketball Roundup: Montesano wins battle of Bulldogs, beats Stevenson in district first-round game

Also: Elma comes up clutch in win over La Center; Hoquiam rally falls short against Seton Catholic

The 1A District 4 Boys Basketball Tournament tipped-off on Wednesday with Montesano and Elma picking up first-round victories.


Montesano 75, Stevenson 58

Montesano picked a fine time to have its highest scoring game of the season.

The Bulldogs scored more than 70 points for the first time in 2023-24 to defeat their mascot counterparts, the Stevenson Bulldogs, 75-58 in the first round of the 1A District 4 Tournament on Wednesday in Montesano.

“I could see it in their eyes. They were hungry,” Monte head coach Leonard Barnes said of his players’ mindset going into the game. “They wanted to win and show how hard they worked this year to get a W and get one step closer.”

Monte (17-5 overall) started quick, opening up a 17-7 lead halfway through the first quarter and led 20-13 after eight minutes of play thanks to six points apiece from senior forward Tyce Peterson and junior guard Delon Chan.

Montesano doubled its lead by halftime by shooting 8 for 16 (50%) as a team in the second quarter to take a comfortable 39-25 advantage at the half.

Monte went up by more than 20 late in the third quarter when Peterson hit a baseline jump shot with just under two minutes left for a 52-31 lead.

Stevenson had no answers for Peterson as the Monte senior captain hit a buzzer-beating three that brought the crowd to its feet to close out the third, putting Monte up 59-37.

Peterson wasn’t done wowing the Monte faithful, drawing another roar with a dazzling one-touch, no-look pass to senior post Cam Taylor for an easy bucket underneath and a 61-42 lead with a minute gone in the fourth quarter.

“The atmosphere of high school basketball in this gym is really special to me,” Peterson said. “With the student section and just playing with my best friends, whom I love, it’s just special for me to be able to come and do this.”

PHOTO BY FOREST WORGUM Montesano senior Tyce Peterson drains a 3-pointer during the Bulldogs’ 75-58 victory over Stevenson in a 1A District 4 Tournament game on Wednesday in Montesano.

PHOTO BY FOREST WORGUM Montesano senior Tyce Peterson drains a 3-pointer during the Bulldogs’ 75-58 victory over Stevenson in a 1A District 4 Tournament game on Wednesday in Montesano.

Peterson then hit a contested jump shot and – after Monte senior guard Jaxson Wilson ripped a steal away and scored – Peterson followed with a left-handed bank shot to put Monte up 67-46 with 5:31 left to play.

Monte broke 70 points when a Chan drive and layup put the Bulldogs up 71-46 at 4:45 of the fourth quarter.

Montesano closed out its scoring on a Peyton Damasiewicz cutting bucket in the paint off a bounce pass from Chan for a 75-56 lead with 2:37 left in the fourth.

Monte hit 31-of-58 shots in the game (53%), most of that damage coming on the interior as the Bulldogs shot 60% from inside the 3-point line (27-45).

“We just came out and were really solid inside,” Barnes said. “We had super-balanced scoring, our defense had five blocked shots tonight, we passed the ball really well. I’m really proud of them. It was a great team win, but our defense and rebounding keyed it.”

Monte had three players score in double figures and six players with at least seven points in the game.

Chan led all scorers with 20 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists.

PHOTO BY FOREST WORGUM Montesano guard Peyton Damasiewicz scores on a layup during a 75-58 victory over Stevenson in a 1A District 4 Tournament game on Wednesday in Montesano.

PHOTO BY FOREST WORGUM Montesano guard Peyton Damasiewicz scores on a layup during a 75-58 victory over Stevenson in a 1A District 4 Tournament game on Wednesday in Montesano.

Peterson had 19 points, four rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals while senior forward Gabe Bodwell had eight points and led Monte with 10 rebounds.

Monte had 37 rebounds and 11 assists to 16 turnovers as a team.

With the victory, Montesano won its district first-round game for the first time since the 2018-19 season and just its third district win since 2019-20.

“Being the captain the last two years, we’ve been through a lot of adversity and struggle,” Peterson said. “Now, I think we’re starting to pick up what we needed to pick up and are finally showing Monte some good boys basketball after its struggled the past couple of years.”

Third-seeded Monte advances to the district semis against No. 2 Seton Catholic at 6 p.m. on Friday at Seton Catholic High School, with a berth to the state tournament and spot in the district-championship game at stake.

“Just take it step by step,” Peterson said. “It’s going to be a tough game. … We need to take our time, play our brand of basketball and not let other people take advantage of us.”

Stevenson 13 12 12 21 – 58

Montesano 20 19 20 16 – 75

Scoring: Stevenson – Waymire 15, Bach 15, Blackledge 14, Funk 6, Wyninger 4, Green 2, Anderson 2. Montesano – Chan 20, Peterson 19, Damasiewicz 10, Bodwell 8, Wilson 7, Taylor 7, Cobb 4.

Elma 65, La Center 59

Elma made the clutch plays down the stretch to earn a hard-fought 65-59 win over La Center in a 1A District 4 Tournament first-round game on Wednesday at La Center High School.

The Eagles (14-7) took a 48-38 lead on a Cason Seaberg fast-break layup with 3:40 to go in the third quarter, their largest lead of the second half.

But La Center (10-13) began to chip away and eventually tied the game at 52-all on a three from junior guard Jayce Grotte with 5:25 to play in the fourth quarter.

Elma went back up by five at 57-52 after junior guard Traden Carter scored and was fouled with 2:56 left.

The Wildcats once again battled back to tie the game at 59-59 on a three from senior guard Anthony Larkin with 48.9 seconds on the clock.

After gaining possession on a steal from senior post Carter Studer, Elma head coach Matt Ferrier called a time out with 21.2 seconds left.

On the subsequent possession, Elma senior guard Grant Vessey drove the baseline, but his layup attempt rolled off the rim. Elma sophomore forward Isaac McGaffey was there for the offensive rebound and putback to give Elma a 61-59 lead with 6.2 left to play.

Dribbling up the sideline while closely defended by Carter, Grotte turned the ball over out of bounds with 2.1 seconds on the clock.

On the following inbound play, La Center’s Parker McKinney was called for an intentional foul on Carter, who was knocked to the floor on the play, giving Elma a pair of free throws and the ball.

Seaberg buried both free throws and put the exclamation point on the win with an emphatic one-handed breakaway dunk on the game’s final play to secure Elma’s rousing 65-59 victory.

“So incredibly proud of them. We went on the road to win versus a damn good basketball team. Their record doesn’t indicate how long and athletic they are,” Ferrier said. “We are very fortunate that we left with a win. Big testament to our focus level in the fourth quarter.”

Seaberg led all scorers with 33 points on 14-of-25 shooting (56%).

Vessey had 10 points while McGaffey led Elma with 10 rebounds.

The Eagles went 28 of 61 from the field (46%) and had 31 rebounds and 15 assists in the game.

“We came with a game plan and down the stretch we executed it,” Ferrier said. “Keys on the board were handle the press, check. Rebound the basketball, check. Jam up the key to make it difficult on their big guys, check. Make it fun, a very big check.”

Fifth-seed Elma advances to the district semifinals for the second-straight season and will face No. 1 Tenino – a team it lost to twice in league play – at 7 p.m. on Friday in Tenino.

Elma 19 14 19 13 – 65

La Center 22 12 13 12 – 59

Scoring: Seaberg 33, Vessey 10, McGaffey 7, Holmes 6, Flores 4, Carter 3, Studer 2.

Seton Catholic 71, Hoquiam 56

Try as it may, Hoquiam couldn’t recover from a poor-shooting first half en route to a 71-56 loss to Seton Catholic in a 1A District 4 Tournament first-round game on Wednesday in Vancouver.

The 7th-seeded Grizzlies (10-11) struggled from the field in the first half, socring 12 points and trailing by 20 at halftime against the No. 2 Cougars (15-5).

Hoquiam rallied in the second half, cutting the deficit to 10 points with approximately three minutes left to play in the game.

But the Cougars were able to make plays late in the fourth quarter, forcing the Grizzlies to foul as Hoquiam’s valiant comeback attempt fell short.

“Take care of the ball a little better and that’s an interesting game right there,” said Hoquiam head coach Jeff Niemi, whose team committed 21 turnovers to just six for Seton Catholic.

Niemi added poor interior shooting was also a contributing factor in the loss.

“We’ve got to find a way to finish better inside,” he said.

Hoquiam went 22 of 59 from the field (37%), including 15 of 35 from inside the 3-point line (43%).

The Grizzlies were led by senior forward Zander Jump, who had a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds and sophomore guard Joey Bozich with 11 points.

The Cougars were 29 of 69 from the floor (42%) and shot 60% from inside the arc (21-35).

Hoquiam won the battle on the boards, outrebounding the Cougars 48-32, led by senior post Chris Bryson with 14.

The loss send the Grizzlies to the elimination round, where they’ll face No. 6 Stevenson at 6 p.m. on Friday at Stevenson High School.

Niemi said there were plenty of positives his team can carry forward into Friday’s do-or-die matchup.

“I told them we won the second half against a really good team, which is positive and we can build on it,” he said. “We were in the game until the end and after scoring 12 in the first half and being down 20, that’s a great job. … We’re travelling to Stevenson far away, but we’re playing a game we believe we can win if we execute.”

Hoquiam 8 4 19 25 – 56

Seton Catholic 17 15 20 19 – 71

Scoring: Hoquiam – Jump 17, Bozich 11, Bryson 9, Butcher 7, Niemi 5, Byron 3, LaBounty 3, Dayton 2, Tobar 2. SC – Angelo 24, George 12, Wilson 12, Lee 11, Glassmire 6, Tran 6.

Other games

No. 1 Tenino 48, No. 8 King’s Way Christian 43