It has been a rough season in many ways for the Hoquiam Grizzlies.
With players in and out of the lineup due to illness, injuries and academic issues, the Grizzlies found themselves struggling at times just to get seven healthy players dressed for a game.
But with a 55-48 victory over Tenino on Senior Night at Hoquiam High School, Hoquiam has something it can hang its hat on.
With the win and Montesano’s 55-54 victory over Forks, the Grizzlies end the regular season tied with the Spartans and Elma for second place in the 1A Evergreen League, an accomplishment that not so long ago seemed out of reach.
“Second place means a lot. There were a couple games where we only had six players. We got one player back on Monday and then another went down on Tuesday,” Hoquiam head coach Curtis Eccles said, referencing a recent back-to-back on the schedule in which Grizzly Troy McMinn returned after an illness only to have Cayden Kempf go down with a bone bruise. “We were barely holding on, but we won our last three in a row and finishing second is something to really be proud about considering all the adversity we’ve faced.”
Hoquiam (8-12 overall, 4-4 Evergreen 1A) was in control for much of the game against Tenino (6-14, 0-8), holding a double-digit lead until late in the fourth quarter.
Dane McMillan led the way for Hoquiam with 15 points.
Cameron Bumstead scored 14 points and Zack Elsos added five points and eight rebounds for the Grizzlies.
Garrett Dick scored eight points in a return to the lineup for Hoquiam.
“We really just wanted the kids to have some fun and the seniors to get a lot of playing time,” Eccles said.
Hoquiam will enter the 1A District 4 Tournament as the league’s No. 4 seed with Forks and Elma earning the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds, respectively.
The Grizzlies will face the Trico League’s No. 1 seed, King’s Way Christian, at 7 p.m. on Friday at King’s Way Christian High School.
Montesano 55, Forks 54
Montesano completed a perfect league season on Monday, and it needed some late-game heroics to do so.
Trace Ridgway scored to give Monte the lead with less than 10 seconds left and Cole Daniels’ defensive play helped seal the deal in the Bulldogs’ 55-54 victory over Forks at Forks High School.
With 13 seconds left and Montesano up 53-52, Forks’ Trey Baysinger was fouled and made both free throws as the Spartans took a one-point lead.
On the ensuing possession, Ridgway took the ball the length of the floor, drove the lane and hit a contested left-handed layup as Monte (15-, 8-0 Evergreen 1A) regained the lead with seven seconds left.
Forks (13-7, 4-4) called timeout and, after Monte committed its one foul to give, the Spartans had a chance to take a last shot with five seconds left.
But Daniels got a hand on the inbound play at halfcourt, forcing the ball into the back court.
Spartans guard Tony Flores, who was named co-MVP of the league on Monday with Baysinger, retrieved the ball, took a couple of dribbles and let go a half-court shot that bounced off the rim to give Monte a thrilling 55-54 victory.
“That was a good game for us because we’d rather be playing than sitting,” Montesano head coach Doug Galloway said. “It was good for us. Sometimes you need to get a little check on yourself before districts.”
Ben Wills led Monte with 12 points while Daniels chipped in with 11 points.
Ray Davis scored 19 points to lead Forks.
Flores and Baysinger added 18 and 16 points for the Spartans, respectively.
Hoquiam 57, Tenino 45
Maddie German topped off her prep career with 19 points as the Hoquiam Grizzlies finished the regular season with a 57-45 victory over Tenino on Monday in Hoquiam.
German scored 19 points to lead the Grizzlies to the Senior Night-victory.
Charli Sampson-Eastman hit five 3-pointers on the night and scored 16 points for the Grizzlies while Sharaya Brydon finished the night with 12 points for Hoquiam (4-16, 1-7 Evergreen 1A).
“What a great team effort tonight, finishing the season playing the way I knew we could play,” Grizzlies head coach Chad Allan said. “I am happy for this team to show everyone what I saw in them. Maddie German and Taylor Strom finished on Senior Night strong and the future for Charli Sampson-Eastman and Sharaya Brydon showed a glimpse of good things to come.”
Hoquiam’s defense held Tenino all-leaguer Ashley Schow to just seven points in the first half as the Grizzlies held a 32-21 lead at halftime. Schow scored 15 points in the second half to finish the game with 22 points.
Furthering Allan’s enthusiasm for the future of Hoquiam basketball was the performance of the Grizzlies’ junior varsity team, which finished 18-1 this season.
Montesano 60, Forks 38
Montesano responded from a bitter loss to Elma over the weekend to trounce Forks 60-38 on Monday at Forks.
The Bulldogs (12-8, 7-1 Evergreen 1A) found themselves in a dogfight for the first three quarters as the Spartans (8-11, 2-6) stayed close in their Senior Night game.
But Monte took control in the fourth quarter, outscoring Forks 16-3 in the frame to close out the regular season with the victory.
Zoe Hutchings led Monte with 23 points.
McKynnlie Dalan and Paige Lisherness added 15 and 14 points for the Bulldogs, respectively.
With the victory, Monte ends the regular season tied with Elma atop the 1A Evergreen League and will enter the playoffs as the league’s No. 2 seed.
“We’re real proud of the girls and how hard they’ve worked,” Monte head coach Mark Mansfield said. “It was good to get back on court after Friday. While we struggled at times, we found a way to get the job done at end.”
Monte will host the Stevenson-White Salmon winner at 6 p.m. on Thursday in a 1A District 4 first-round game at Montesano High School.
Napavine 53, South Bend 31
South Bend fell behind by seven points early and never recovered in a season-ending 53-31 loss to Napavine on Monday in a 2B District 4 play-in game at South Bend High School.
Napavine (8-12) started the game on a 7-0 run as South Bend (6-15) had trouble early and throughout the game handling the Tigers’ press defense.
“Turnovers and pressure defenses have plagued us all season and it showed again tonight,” South Bend head coach Randy Carlson said. “I give our girls credit, they played with heart and passion. It was a great season as now our younger players have something to build on. I would like to thank our two seniors, Alise Rohr and Marianna Viveros for the dedication to the program.”
Rohr led the Indians with eight points with Zaira Medina and Viveros scoring seven and six points, respectively.