MONTESANO — Just three days after their rousing upset victory over previously unbeaten Elma, the Montesano Bulldogs avoided the dreaded trap-game scenario with a 74-51 victory over Hoquiam on Thursday.
Playing its third-straight home game, Monte was led by junior center Zoe Hutchings, who scored a team-best 22 points — 15 in the second half — while grabbing 11 rebounds.
Monte (10-7 overall, 4-1 Evergreen 1A) built an early lead thanks to an 18-4 first-quarter advantage.
But Hoquiam (7-8, 0-5), which scored just four points in the first eight minutes, got back into the game with an 18-point second quarter sparked by senior Rylee Vonhof, who scored 10 of her game-high 22 points in the second frame.
“Rylee has been playing out of her mind lately,” Hoquiam head coach Denny Hinchen praised. “They can talk about (Elma center Jalyn) Sackrider and Hutchings, but here’s a girl that’s been carrying the load all year long. She battles those girls and puts up the same numbers, if not better.”
Hoquiam went on a 6-0 run in the second capped by Sharaya Brydon’s fast-break layup to cut the deficit down to 13 points, forcing Monte head coach Julie Graves to call timeout.
When play resumed, Monte’s Zoee Lisherness putback her own miss to slow the tide, but Hoquiam wasn’t finished. The Grizzlies ran off another eight straight points, closing the gap to 27-20 on a Jade Cox bucket with 1:44 left in the half, causing Graves to use another timeout.
Hoquiam cut the lead to 27-22 on a Vonhof fake-left, shoot-right move in the paint with under a minute left until halftime.
Monte senior guard Glory Grubb scored just before the half to stop the bleeding and give the Bulldogs a 29-22 lead at the break.
“We had a big lead and then we kind of dropped,” Hutchings said. “It was mostly our defense, we weren’t blocking out or doing any of that. But once we learned that it’s all about defense we decided to block out their shooters and since Rylee (Vonhof) was scoring all their points, get up on Riley.”
Hoquiam would get no closer in the second half, as Monte responded each and every time Hoquiam would attempt a run and collapsed on Vonhof in the paint, limiting her opportunities.
The Grizzlies cut the lead to 39-32 on a Brydon shot with 1:42 left in the third only to have Monte’s Lexi Lovell bury home a 3-pointer on the subsequent possession, pushing Monte’s lead back up to 10.
Lovell was key to Monte keeping the Grizzlies at arm’s length in the third quarter. The senior shooting guard scored eight of her 19 points in the frame to pace Monte.
While Lovell hit shots in the third quarter, her backcourt teammate, Grubb, knocked down some big shots in the fourth. Grubb, who had eight points on the evening, buried two big 3-pointers in the final two-plus minutes to push the lead close to 20.
“I think if we hit some of those passes that were wide open against their press in the first quarter, it’s a different game,” said Hinchen, whose team committed 22 turnovers in the game. “Turnovers got us tonight.”
Though the game was close at the half, Hutchings was proud of how her and her teammates kept their poise and played solid basketball to earn the league victory.
“With any big win, you can have a letdown,” Hutchings said, referring to Monday’s emotional victory over Elma. “We just came back and played well. … In the fourth quarter, that’s where we took off.”
The win gives Monte the league lead at 4-1 for the time being as both Forks and Elma — both of which were tied with Monte entering Thursday’s action — were idle.
Monte plays at Tenino at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
A depleted Hoquiam squad, which will likely be without standout Maddi German for the remainder of the season after she suffered a knee injury last month, got more bad news as senior Kylee Bagwell has been out for the past two games with a foot injury.
“There’s 20 points I’m missing right there,” Hinchen said of missing two of his most consistent scorers. “It’s my first year so I think God is testing me.”
The Grizzlies travel to Elma to take on the Eagles at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Raymond 62, Pe Ell 33
Raymond freshman Kyra Gardner had a triple-double as the Seagulls opened up a big halftime lead and never looked back in a 62-33 win at Raymond High School on Thursday.
Raymond (8-6, 7-5 Pacific 2B) led 14-7 at the end if the first quarter, but behind Gardner’s nine points and Hannah Miller’s eight points in the frame, the Seagulls took a 35-14 lead into halftime.
“In the first quarter, we couldn’t get out of our own way,” Raymond head coach Jason Koski said. “We would get wide open lay-ins and miss the shot and then foul on the ensuing rebound. In the second quarter, we finally were able to finish some good looks.”
Gardner, who averages 20 points-per-game, finished the game with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 13 steals to record the first triple-double of her young, yet impressive prep career.
“She’s playing real well right now,” Koski said of his freshman phenom, who scored 35 points in a win over Chief Leschi on Jan. 11.
Miller finished with 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting and Ana Silva had eight points, four assists and three steals for the Seagulls.
“I felt Ana Silva had a nice well rounded game on both sides of the ball,” Koski said. “She just has a knack at being in the right place at the right time.”
Pe Ell (3-12, 3-10) was led by Charlie Carper, who scored 13 points for the Trojans, who face Ilwaco at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Pe Ell High School.
Raymond sits a half-game behind South Bend for fourth place in the 2B Pacific League and faces North Beach at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Ocean Shores.
Ocosta 53, North Beach 25
The Ocosta Wildcats are on a four-game league winning streak after a 53-25 victory over North Beach on Thursday at North Beach High School.
Ocosta point guard Kjirstin Hopfer led all scorers with 18 points.
Kaylee Barnum added 11 points for a Wildcats team that had 23 rebounds.
North Beach (4-10, 4-8 Pacific 2B) was led by Lorin Cox, who scored 13 points for the Hyaks.
North Beach sits three games behind Raymond for fifth place in league. The Hyaks host Raymond at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
With the victory, Ocosta (12-3, 12-1) sits in second place in the 2B Pacific League, a game behind Ilwaco.
The Wildcats host Life Christian Academy at 5:45 p.m. on Friday.
Willapa Valley 63, Chief Leschi 19
Willapa Valley scored as many points in the first quarter as Chief Leschi scored the entire game in a dominant 63-19 home win over the Warriors on Thursday.
The Vikings (12-3, 11-2 Pacific 2B) were led by Katie Adkins, who put up 14 points and grabbed eight redounds on a night where the Vikings shot 27-for-53 (51 percent) from the field.
Willapa Valley also got a lift from its strong defensive play. The Vikings, which normally play man-to-man, went to a zone-press defense for most of the first half.
Vikings head coach John Peterson said the win over the Warriors (4-8, 6-8) was the best his team has looked all season.
“Overall I thought this was our best game of the year,” he said. “Everybody played and everybody scored so it’s always fun to hold them to single digits scoring in every quarter. It is a testament to how hard we played on the defensive end.”
The win keeps The Vikings three games up on South Bend for third place in the 2B Pacific League standings. Both teams have five conference games left on the schedule and will meet each other in South Bend at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
— Hasani Grayson, Grays Harbor News Group
Taholah 79, Wishkah Valley 38
Taholah’s high-pressure defense created problems for Wishkah Valley in a 79-38 win over the Loggerettes Thursday on the road.
Taholah (7-3, 3-0 Coastal 1B) got off to a quick start and led 21-7 after the first quarter. The Chitwhins distributed their scoring throughout their lineup and had four players in double figures, led by Nettie Mail’s 19 points.
Wishkah also had trouble taking care of the ball in the face of Taholah’s defense as the Loggerettes turned the ball over 30 times.
Wishkah Valley head coach Dave Busz said they didn’t have an answer for slowing the Chitwhins down, but was proud of the effort his team displayed.
“They were too big for us and they would get underneath us and get those rebounds. When we tried to shut down the inside, they hit shots from the outside.” he said. “We just couldn’t stop them, but I was pleased with our effort. We weren’t intimated and we didn’t give up so I’m proud of my team for that.”
Next up for Taholah is Concordia Christian Academy. The Chitwhins will head to Tacoma for the non-league matchup at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday.
Wishkah (4-4, 2-2) will face Mary M. Knight at home on Thursday for its next game. Tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.
— Hasani Grayson, Grays Harbor News Group