Girls Prep Basketball Roundup: With offense lacking, Montesano beats Elma to advance to district-title game

Also: Hoquiam’s season ends with elimination-game loss to Castle Rock

Montesano advanced to the district-title game for the fourth consecutive season while Hoquiam’s season ended in the elimination round as we review Saturday’s girls prep basketball playoff action.


Montesano 37, Elma 22

Despite a lack of offense, Montesano advanced to its fourth-straight 1A District 4 championship game with a 37-22 victory over Elma in a semifinal matchup on Saturday at Montesano High School.

Neither Monte (14-9 overall) nor East County rival Elma (8-11) produced much offense as both teams shot less than 30% from the field.

The Eagles hit 9-of-39 shots (23%) while the Bulldogs were 15 of 53 from the field (28%).

“We couldn’t hit water if we fell out of a boat,” Elma head coach Brandi Henry said. “You win basketball games by putting the ball in the basket and that was a struggle for us tonight.”

The difference for Monte was the play of its defense and of sophomore forward Jillie Dalan, who was the only player in the game to break double digits with 21 points on 8-of-21 shooting (38%) while grabbing a game-high 15 rebounds.

“There are times that I put pressure on myself, but I know that I have a whole team that’s supporting me and it helps me to calm down,” Dalan said. “If I have to step up, I know that later in the game, my teammates are going to step up and are going to do their jobs and I think we did a good job of that tonight.”

Monte led by a slim 7-6 margin after one quarter on a free throw by sophomore Lex Stanfield as the Bulldogs were out of sorts on offense, with four turnovers in the period.

With both teams mistake-prone in the second quarter, Monte took a 17-11 lead into the half, sparked mostly by a four-point possession after Dalan scored and was fouled, missed a free throw that was rebounded by Stanfield, then scored again off an offensive rebound.

“(Elma head coach) Brandi Henry had her girls ready to play today,” Monte head coach Mark Mansfield said. “They played really hard and had us on our heels in the first half. Thankfully, we were able to weather the storm.”

Monte seized control of the game in the third quarter as Elma went ice cold from the field. The Bulldogs made a concerted effort to feed Dalan the ball and the Dogs’ leading scorer responded, scoring eight of her team’s 10 points in the frame.

Dalan’s performance, combined with Elma hitting 1-of-14 shots (7%), led to Monte carrying a 27-13 lead into the final eight minutes of play.

“This week, we’ve been just a little bit off, especially offensively,” Mansfield said. “But we came out in the third quarter and picked up the defensive intensity and (Elma) got two points that quarter.”

PHOTO BY FOREST WORGUM Elma’s Eliza Sibbett (22) scores on a layup during the Eagles’ 37-22 loss to Montesano in a 1A District 4 semifinal game on Saturday in Montesano.

PHOTO BY FOREST WORGUM Elma’s Eliza Sibbett (22) scores on a layup during the Eagles’ 37-22 loss to Montesano in a 1A District 4 semifinal game on Saturday in Montesano.

The Eagles would trim the deficit to 30-20 on a jump shot by senior forward Eliza Sibbett with 5:31 left to play.

But Monte responded with a 7-0 run capped by a Dalan free throw to put the game away and earn a trip to the state tournament.

“I’m so proud from where we started back in November,” Mansfield said. “They’ve come together as a group and bought into what we are trying to do, defensively. Some days, the offense is better than others, but our defense usually shows up.”

“We were pretty hyped that we won,” Monte freshman point guard Tieander Olson said of the postgame celebration. “We’re really pumped that we won and we’re in regionals now. I’m just really happy right now.”

“This year, I’m so grateful,” Dalan said. “It’s a young team and no one had any expectation of us making it this far. I’m just very grateful for our team.”

Monte had scored 50-or-more points in five consecutive games entering Saturday’s semifinal, but saw that streak snapped as Elma did a better job breaking the Bulldogs press – Monte had just seven steals in the game – and taking care of the basketball, with 16 turnovers compared to 20 for Monte.

“Our biggest thing is defense,” Olson said. “We’ve always won with our defense and we’re always going to win with our defense. Our defense brought it today. … Especially in the third quarter.”

RYAN SPARKS / THE DAILY WORLD Montesano’s Tieander Olson (2) drives the lane against Elma’s Olivia Moore during the Bulldogs’ 37-22 win in a 1A District 4 semifinal game on Saturday in Montesano.

RYAN SPARKS / THE DAILY WORLD Montesano’s Tieander Olson (2) drives the lane against Elma’s Olivia Moore during the Bulldogs’ 37-22 win in a 1A District 4 semifinal game on Saturday in Montesano.

“All week in practice we’ve been harping on defense. If we play good defense, that will carry in to our offense,” Dalan said. “Tonight, we just made sure we had to be talking and moving and we went through a few different defenses and we really picked up on them.”

If the Eagles are to advance to the state tournament they will have to win two games in the elimination bracket.

The Eagles face Castle Rock in an elimination game on Thursday (time, location to be determined).

“We held a good basketball team to under 40 points, that’s huge. I thought they handled the press well tonight, so those are some positive takeaways,” Henry said of the loss. “Let it hurt and sink in tonight, come Monday you have to flush it out. … We have to look ahead to Thursday because our season is not over.”

Monte looks to win its fourth-consecutive district championship when the top-seeded Bulldogs face No. 2 Seton Catholic, a team they walloped 72-36 in last season’s title game.

The championship game is set for 4:30 p.m. on Saturday at Hoquiam High School.

Elma 6 5 2 9 – 22

Montesano 7 10 10 10 – 37

Scoring: Elma – E. Sibbett 9, Weld 5, M. Sibbett 4, Spencer 2, Moore 2. Montesano – Dalan 21, Olson 6, Forster 4, Stanfield 3, Parkin 2, Jones 1.

Castle Rock 48, Hoquiam 34

Hoquiam saw a first half lead evaporate in a 48-34 season-ending loss to Castle Rock in a 1A District 4 Tournament elimination game on Saturday at Castle Rock High School.

The Grizzlies (4-17) held a 25-16 lead after a first half highlighted by a buzzer-beating three at the end of the first quarter by sophomore guard Lexi LaBounty.

The Rockets (8-13) got hot in the third quarter, outscoring Hoquiam 25-4 led by senior guards Kelsey Poyner and Laynee Logan, with 10 points and two threes, respectively.

The Grizzlies never recovered, scoring nine total points in the second half to suffer the loss.

“This was a tale of two halves. We played pretty well in the first half, and then Castle Rock added more pressure in the third period and we could not match,” Hoquiam head coach Chad Allan said. “We were not picking up their two shooters quick enough and allowed them to gain confidence and hit six threes in the third alone.”

LaBounty led Hoquiam with 11 points to go along with three assists and three steals.

Senior Avery Howard capped off her prep basketball career with eight points and four rebounds while fellow senior Dylan Little led the Grizzlies with seven rebounds.

Hoquiam shot 17% from the field on 8-of-45 shooting and had 25 turnovers in the game.

“Not the finish we planned on, but every team but one ends a season with a loss. Our’s just came earlier than we wanted,” Allan said. “We want to thank our seniors (Howard, Little, Briana Herrera) for all their efforts, and I want to make sure my whole team knows how proud of them I am as people. The off-season will prove if we want to be a better program.”

Hoquiam 9 16 4 5 – 34

Castle Rock 5 11 25 7 – 48

Scoring: Hoquiam – LaBounty 11, Howard 8, Brodhead 6, Stewart 6, Gordon 2, Little 1. Castle Rock – Pogner 13, Logan 9, Davis 9, Ogden 8, Alblinger 4, Buchanan 3, Bayes 2.

Other games

1B District 4 Tournament quarterfinal

Willapa Valley 54, Mary M. Knight 32 (Friday)