MENLO — Montesano’s staunch defense came through in a game where the offense struggled to get into a flow in the Bulldog’s 57-37 win at Tenino on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs (10-7, 4-1 Evergreen 1A) found ways to jump in passing lanes early on. Montesano racked up eight steals in the game and also defended well in the half-court, allowing only one Beaver to get into double figures.
Bulldogs head coach Doug Galloway was happy to pick up the league win on the road, but was disappointed with the lack of energy on offense.
“I didn’t think we had very much energy tonight,” he said. “It didn’t feel like we brought the energy and it was kind of a lackluster game, but I’m happy we can have a lackluster game and still get a win.”
One player who Galloway thought provided a spark was Trace Ridgway. The sophomore guard came off the bench and scored a game-high 12 points for the Bulldogs.
Ridgway said scoring wasn’t his primary goal and that he was more focused on energizing his teammates.
“When I’m watching the game from the bench, sometimes I’ll think we’re not crashing the boards hard enough or that we need to get more rebounds,” he said. “I just tried to go out there and try to excite my teammates, go hard and maybe get some points.”
Montesano struggled at times putting the ball in the hoop, but Tenino (10-6, 1-4) had an even more difficult time putting points on the board.
The Beavers were held to single-digit scoring in the first and fourth quarters and had their best offensive quarter in the second when they put up 11 points.
Montesano carried a 31-10 lead into half time and got a lift from Tanner Nicklas in the third quarter where he scored six of his eight points to help his team expand the lead.
Galloway was pleased to see his team build a first-half lead and is hoping the energy will be higher next time out.
“At some point in time, our opponent is ourselves,” he said. “We have to get better each and every time. We had some sickness going through our program and stuff like that, so hopefully it was just an anomaly.”
Montesano will host Forks on Friday in a pivotal league matchup at 7 p.m.. The Spartans are also 4-1 in the 1A Evergreen and Friday’s game could help decide the league title with only two league games left on Monte’s schedule.
Galloway said his team can put itself in a good position with a win on Friday.
“We beat them up there, so if we win Friday that should give us at least a tie of the league and we’ll control our own destiny,” he said.
Taholah 75, North River 42
Taholah’s Jayson Mowitch could not be stopped as the Chitwhins won in convincing fashion over the Mustangs 75-42 at home on Tuesday.
Mowitch scored 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds on a night where the Chitwhins made a point to play an up-tempo style.
Taholah head coach Tyler Crossguns said he liked the pace his team played at.
“Our defense was very spotty, but ended the game with 19 steals,” he said. “As a team we were 33-of-66 from the field. I wanted to push the ball tonight and we did.”
Taholah (10-4, 6-2 1B coastal), also got some solid performances from Izaiah Mowitch and James Dan who scored 16 and 11 points, respectively.
North River falls to 3-2 overall with the loss.
The Mustangs will take on Oakville at 7 p.m. on Friday in Oakville.
Taholah will also hit the road when it takes on the Elks in Lake Quinault on Friday at 7:15 p.m.