“A win is a win, even if it’s an ugly one.”
Those were the words of Elma head coach Matt Ferrier after his Eagles defeated Montesano 50-34 in an East County Civil War matchup on Thursday in Montesano.
But with Elma fighting for positioning in the ultra-competitive 1A Evergreen League, Ferrier and the Eagles are thrilled with the victory nonetheless.
Elma (9-6 overall, 3-3 1A Evergreen) took a slim 13-11 lead after one quarter and held a 27-19 lead at the half.
The two teams combined for 17 points in the third quarter before the Eagles put the game away by outscoring Montesano (3-14, 0-7) 14-8 over the final eight minutes of the game.
“We needed a victory and we got it,” said Ferrier, whose team moved into a tie for third place with Hoquiam and sit a half-game behind Tenino in the league standings with the win. “The minute we decided to play passionately the game changed in our favor. We played more physical, more energetic and with more of a sense of urgency in the fourth quarter.”
Elma was led by sophomore guard Traden Carter with 18 points, seven rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists.
Junior post AJ Holmes scored 10 points with senior post Gibson Cain adding nine points – six in the fourth quarter — in the victory.
Elma hit 20 of 57 shots from the field (35%), including 2 of 16 from the 3-point line (13%).
“Our decision making in our transition game wasn’t good,” Ferrier said. “Monte did a great job jamming the middle of the floor. A big adjustment from our game two weeks ago. (Montesano head coach) Mack Bertram is doing a great job.”
Monte was led by junior standout Tyce Peterson, who scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Bulldogs.
No other Montesano player score more than five points in the game.
“Tough loss tonight,” Bertram said. “Elma battled well tonight, ultimately winning the game on second-chance opportunities and 50-50 plays. The third quarter was the difference for us as we went scoreless for the first six minutes.”
Montesano plays at Rochester while Elma hosts Tenino.
Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Willapa Valley 70, Naselle 36
Willapa Valley is one step closer to locking up the 1B Columbia Valley League after beating Naselle 70-36 on Thursday at Naselle High School.
Senior Wil Clements led the way for the Vikings (13-5, 9-0 1B Columbia Valley) with 22 points, 17 rebounds and four steals.
Seniors Garrett Keeton (11 points, 6 rebounds) and Derek Fluke (10 points, 10 rebounds) also scored in double figures for a Willapa Valley team that led 23-12 after the first quarter and 39-19 at halftime.
The Vikings outscored Naselle (7-10, 7-4) 23-7 in the third quarter to put the game away.
Willapa Valley will look to remain unbeaten in league play with it faces Firm Foundation at 5 p.m. Friday.
Oakville 84, Lake Quinault 28