Hoquiam finds its offensive rhythm to knock off Medical Lake in regional loser-out game

CHENEY — A rough start didn’t deter Hoquiam on Saturday afternoon, but it did open up to an offensive showcase in the final three quarters to secure a state tournament berth.

Down 15-12 after one quarter, the Grizzlies found their offensive rhythm and ran away from the Cardinals for a 90-75 win in this regional 1A loser-out contest at Cheney High School.

The win for Hoquiam (17-7), which was the No. 16 seed in the WIAA 1A RPI rankings, locks in a state 1A tournament berth next week in Yakima.

On Wednesday, the Grizzlies will take on Newport in a first-round, loser-out contest at 9 p.m. at the Yakima SunDome.

“We didn’t shoot well in the first quarter, but the boys noted that they didn’t shoot well, but were only down by three,” HHS head coach Curtis Eccles said. “They understood that they were a much better shooting team than what they showed and they went out there and proved it.”

Senior Jack Adams III led all scorers with 34 points and 13 rebounds, with Jace Varner adding 21 points and nine rebounds and Jerod Steen 17 points for Hoquiam. Steen was cited by Eccles for his defense on Medical Lake’s leading scorer, Nizhole Sherman, who was held to just nine points in the contest.

Drew Hostetter led Medical Lake with 19 points. Hoquiam’s Zach Spradlin added 11 points, six assists and four steals and he scored nine of his 11 points in the key second quarter.

“Zach was a spark for us in the second quarter,” Eccles added. “He hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the quarter and that set the fire for the rest of the team to follow.”

Adams hit 10-of-11 free throws in the fourth quarter, while Hoquiam hit 13-for-15 from the line as a team in the final frame to hold off a late Medical Lake charge. The Cardinals got to within 11 in the fourth, but no closer.

Eccles also cited his assistant coaches — Ed Dawson, Tracy Pelan, Keith Reynvaan, Neal Fisher — for their work in getting the team ready.

Hoquiam 12 27 24 27 — 90 Med. Lake 15 16 18 23 — 75

Hoquiam (90) — Adams 34, Varner 21, Steen 17, Spradlin 11, Nash 4, James 3, Espedal, Brown. FG — 29-58. FT — 24-29.

Medical Lake (75) — Hostetter 19, J. Johnson 13, Sherman 9, Butler 9, Jazmer 7, Steech 4, Westfall 3, Mason 4, Duran 2, Collins. FG — 22-50. FT — 14-21.