ROCHESTER — A third-quarter scoring drought proved fatal to the regional hopes of Montesano’s boys.
Limiting Monte to one field goal in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, Forks eliminated the Bulldogs from the District IV Class 1A Boys Basketball Tournament, 59-47, on Wednesday at Rochester.
Marky Adams scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half as the Spartans (16-7) won the rubber match in their three-game series with Montesano. Forks will face La Center on Friday at Chehalis in the game to decide the district’s third and final regional berth.
The Bulldogs closed out their season with a 13-10 record.
Although trailing narrowly for much of the first half, the Bulldogs were well-positioned at intermission.
After mustering a pair of one-point leads late in the half, Monte forged a 26-all deadlock on L.J. Valley’s two free throws with six seconds remaining. Jeffery Schumack’s 3-point basket at the buzzer gave Forks a 29-26 edge at the midway point.
Among other things, the Bulldogs had done a decent job of denying the 6-foot-9 Adams the ball in the first half. That changed as the third quarter opened.
Forks’ senior center sandwiched a pair of conventional three-point plays around a layin off a lob pass from Schumack to score the opening eight points of the second half.
Montesano’s Trevor Ridgway countered with a baseline jumper less than three minutes into the third quarter, but that was his team’s only basket until the 5:59 mark of the final period. By that time, the Spartans had established a double-digit lead they never relinquished.
The Bulldogs hit only 1-of-9 field-goal attempts and committed five turnovers in the third quarter. Montesano coach Doug Galloway said his team’s difficulties extended to the defensive end.
“We stopped moving the ball,” Galloway said. “We didn’t come out with any defensive intensity, we didn’t have any ball pressure.”
The Spartans led by as many as 20 midway through the fourth quarter. Sparked by reserve guard Noah Quinn, the Bulldogs forced several turnovers and erupted for 14 points in the final three minutes, but never came closer than 11.
Tallying all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter, Quinn actually took Montesano scoring honors. Valley added eight points and eight rebounds, while senior guard Nick Chapman hit all six of his free throws to also finish with eight points. The latter was cited by Galloway for his all-around play.
Even without his scoring contributions, Adams had a significant impact on the outcome. He pulled down 17 rebounds, blocked three shots and probably altered at least 10 of Monte’s inside attempts.
Galloway saluted his team’s seniors — Chapman, Quinn, Lyle Burbidge and Austin Peterson.
Still seeking their first state berth since 1982, the Bulldogs made significant progress in the boys program this season. They were in the running for at least a share of the Evergreen 1A League title until the regular-season finalé.
“I thought we did a great job,” Galloway concluded. “We had a few bumps in the road, but we always call it a success road. We had a lot of success this year.”
Forks 10 19 11 19 — 59 Montesano 7 19 3 18 — 47
Forks (59) — Schumack 14, Baysinger 5, Browning 16, Prose 4, Adams 18, Ramsey 1, Maxfield, Tejano 1, Flores, Archibald, Johnson, Jacoby. FG — 19-52 (.365). FT — 18-34.
Montesano (47) — Ridgway 4, Chapman 8, Valley 8, Dierkop 3, Nicklas 2, Burbidge 4, Bates, Winter 6, Quinn 10, Albert, Farmer 2, Wallace. FG — 17-60 (.283). FT — 10-14.