In a matchup featuring two of the Twin Harbors top girls basketball talents, it was a defensive effort that turned out to be the key as Montesano defeated Aberdeen 59-25 on Wednesday in Montesano.
Though the game produced highlight-reel moments by both Montesano’s McKynnlie Dalan and Aberdeen’s Maddie Gore — two of the top hoopers on the Harbor — Montesano’s team defense proved to be the difference in the game, making life miserable for Aberdeen shooters.
Aberdeen (6-2 overall) took an early 8-7 lead on one of those highlight moments from Gore. The senior guard used a crossover dribble to create space into a step-back 3-pointer with 2:30 to go in the first quarter.
But it was all Montesano after that as Dalan immediately took over the game. The Bulldogs senior standout forward scored 14 straight points to close out the quarter, using her 6-foot-1 frame to dominate the offensive glass and the paint.
Dalan even hit from long-range, burying a three at the buzzer to give Monte a 21-8 lead at the end of the first period.
Monte (6-1) extended its lead in the second quarter to 17 points at 29-12 on a bucket in the paint by freshman Evanjillie “Jillie” Dalan with 4:30 to go in the first half.
Bulldogs senior forward Jaiden King closed out the quarter with two layups that book-ended a bucket by Aberdeen’s Zoe Troeh to give Monte a 34-15 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, Montesano pushed its lead to more than 30 points as its defense forced multiple turnovers, jump ball-possession changes and steals that led to fast-break points.
Leading 45-20, Monte went on a 8-0 run that culminated with a pair of free throws by Jillie Dalan to take a 53-20 lead.
Stanfield would hit back-to-back buckets with less than a minute to go in the period to put Monte up 57-22 at the end of the third, allowing the Bulldogs to play its reserves for most of the fourth quarter in the 59-25 victory.
Montesano held a 40-15 advantage on the boards and recorded 23 steals in the victory.
The Bulldogs’ on-ball defensive pressure kept Aberdeen’s offense from getting into a rhythm, making it difficult for Aberdeen to get up a shot for long stretches of the game.
Gore finished with 15 points, but the rest of the Bobcats combined for just 10 points in the game.
“Tonight, we did a real good job defensively getting after Gore,” Montesano head coach Mark Mansfield said. “She made some tough shots but I think we made her work for her points. It was a real good team defensive effort tonight and we did a nice job of disrupting what they wanted to do.”
The Bulldogs went 22-for-63 shooting in the game (35%) and hit 12 of 23 free throws in the game (52%).
McKynnlie Dalan scored 28 points to go along with seven rebounds for the Bulldogs in a stellar performance.
Jillie Dalan had a double-double with 10 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
King (8 points), Stanfield (7 points, 5 rebounds) and senior guard Vanna Prom (4 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals) also made significant contributions in the Monte victory.
Aberdeen hosts WF West at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 4.
Hoquiam 61, Morton-White Pass 45
Hoquiam bounced back with a more energetic effort en route to a 61-45 win over Morton-White Pass in the second night of the Raymond Holiday Classic on Wednesday in Raymond.
One day after falling to Raymond, the Grizzlies (5-3) got big games from three of its senior starters.
Center Chloe Kennedy led the way with 22 points and 18 rebounds.
Point guard Graci Bonney-Spradlin scored 18 points and dished out nine assists with fellow guard Ella Folkers dropping 16 points and recording four steals.
The Grizzlies led 26-19 at the half and secured the win with a 21-15 fourth quarter.
Hoquiam shot 20 of 55 from the field (36%) and went 17 of 27 from the free throw line (63%).
The Grizzlies won the rebounding battle 45-32, but committed 30 turnovers in the game.
Hoquiam hosts Elma at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
Raymond 57, Tenino 13
Raymond got plenty of offense on Wednesday and didn’t require a prolific scoring night from standout sophomore Karsyn Freeman to do it in a 57-13 win over Tenino in the Raymond Holiday Classic.
Raymond (6-4) had the game well in hand by halftime, leading 33-5 behind the shooting of Kyndal Koski, who scored 14 points and hit four 3-pointers in the first half.
The Seagulls outscored the Beavers 19-4 in the third quarter to help secure the victory.
Raymond had 20 steals as a team in the game, led by Koski with five.
Koski finished with a game-best 19 points, including five 3-pointers.
“The second game playing back-to-back can sometimes be a drain on a team’s energy and body, but I was really proud of our young group to put that aside and come ready to compete against a tall, long, athletic Tenino team,” Raymond head coach Jason Koski said. “Our team defense played better position-wise as the game progressed.”
Freeman finished with 11 points with Kassie Koski (6 points), Megan Kongbouakhay (6 points) and Paige Williams (5 points) making multiple field goals in the game for the Seagulls.
Raymond hosts North Beach at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 4.