Montesano took a big step toward claiming a 1A Evergreen League title as the Bulldogs picked up a clutch 49-45 victory over the Elma Eagles on Tuesday in Elma.
In a gritty, physical game it was Monte (9-7 overall, 4-0 Evergreen 1A) that made the plays over the final eight minutes to pick up the victory. Down 33-31 entering the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs seized control of the game with a 9-0 run to open the frame and take a 40-33 lead with 4:40 remaining.
Elma (9-6, 2-1) responded when Kali Rambo hit a three to cut the deficit to 40-35. But on the next possession, Monte regained a seven-point lead when McKynnlie Dalan did what keyed the Bulldogs second-half surge: Multiple offensive rebounds that turned into points.
Dalan grabbed Monte’s third offensive rebound of the trip, scored and was fouled to complete a 3-point play and give Monte a 43-36 lead with 3:35 remaining.
After another Rambo three made it a 43-39 game at the 2:41 mark, Monte’s relentless aggression on the offensive glass paid off yet again when Paige Lisherness grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to stretch the Bulldogs’ lead to 45-39 with 1:45 left on the clock.
But Elma refused to quit, cutting Monte’s lead to 45-42 on a Kayli Johnson 3-pointer 28 seconds later.
The Eagles quickly called timeout to set up its press defense, which Monte struggled with mightily in the first half.
Monte was ready for it. The Bulldogs were able to break pressure and scored on the break when Lisherness fed a perfect bounce pass to a cutting Cassadie Golding who hit the layup to make it a 47-42 ballgame with just over a minute left to play.
Johnson followed with her second, and Elma’s fourth 3-pointer of the quarter, to pull the Eagles within a bucket at 47-45 with 43 seconds on the clock.
But Elma’s inability to secure a defensive rebound against a taller Monte team proved fatal as Bulldogs center Zoe Hutchings grabbed two offensive rebounds before her putback pushed Monte’s lead to 49-45 with 34.7 second left.
Elma had its chances in the game’s waning moments, but the 3-pointers that kept them in the game earlier in the quarter failed to drop in the final minute and Montesano was able to secure a final rebound and run out the clock to pick up the win.
“In the first half, we struggled a bit … Elma is experienced. They are strong and physical and maybe we weren’t quite ready for that,” Montesano head coach Mark Mansfield said. “We talked at halftime that we needed to control what we could control. … We did a better job of coming to the ball, being stronger with it and attacking.”
“The rebounding just killed us,” Elma head coach Lisa Johnson said. “We didn’t go in and crash the boards like we needed to and we didn’t box out to keep them off the glass. Two or three times to let them shoot in there, you just can’t do it. … It’s just not going to work.”
Elma’s rebounding issues weren’t the only problem for the Eagles on Tuesday as they also struggled from the field. Elma shot just 23% on 14-for-60 shooting as the Eagles were forced to dial up long-distance shots against Monte’s 2-3 zone. The Eagles managed just one 2-point field goal in the second half.
“We didn’t shoot the ball very well in the first quarter and couldn’t get anything to go in,” Johnson said, adding her team had far too many turnovers, which also contributed to the loss. “The reality is we got killed on the boards and didn’t value the ball enough.”
Monte was led by Hutchings and Dalan, each of whom scored 14 points to lead a Monte team that shot 21-of-55 from the field (38%).
“It’s McKynnlie Dalan’s birthday today so we gave her a little celebration,” Hutchings said of Monte’s post-game locker room festivities “This probably makes her birthday much better. … There was a lot of screaming, happiness and smiles.”
The win puts Monte in sole possession of first place in the 1A Evergreen League, but the Bulldogs acknowledge they haven’t won anything yet.
“This isn’t our peaking point,” Hutchings said. “We still have a long way to go from here. This gives us a lot of motivation to get better and put the grind in to get better every day.”
“We told them to enjoy this tonight,” Mansfield said. “I’m really proud of the girls. They’ve showed that mental toughness and poise that you hope for, and with as young as we are, we haven’t always seen it. It was nice to see it tonight.”
Chief Leschi 60, Willapa Valley 27
Willapa Valley shot a woeful nine percent from the floor in the first half en route to a 60-27 loss to Chief Leschi on Tuesday at Chief Leschi High School.
Willapa Valley (8-6, 7-5 Pacific 2B) fell to fifth place in the Pacific League after facing a halftime deficit of 26-9 after going 2-for-22 from the field in the first half.
”We just shot absolutely horrible,” Vikings head coach John Peterson said. “It’s not fun to play a game like that and it’s hard on everybody. … We’re going to get back to work and start winning.”
Katie Adkins was the only Vikings player in double figures with 10 points to go along with nine rebounds.
Life Christian 30, South Bend 20
A lack of offensive production led to South Bend’s 30-20 loss to Life Christian Academy on Tuesday in Tacoma.
“I thought our defense played well,we just couldn’t do anything offensively,” South Bend head coach Randy Carlson said after his team scored just three points in both the first and third quarters and missed approximately 12 layups in the first half.
South Bend (6-9, 6-7 Pacific 2B) was led by Alise Rohr’s eight points in the game.
Sequoia Turner led LCA (4-10, 4-9) with 11 points.
Forks 52, Hoquiam 29
Hoquiam is still searching for its first league win of the season after the Grizzlies fell to the Forks Spartans 52-29 on Tuesday in Forks.
Charlie Sampson-Eastman scored 10 points for the Grizzlies (2-11, 0-3 Evergreen 1A).
Sharaya Brydon and Sadie Carlyle added six points apiece for Hoquiam.
North River 52, Lake Quinault 50
Despite high-production games from Kat Neeland and Naveah Preebe, the Lake Quinault Elks lost by a bucket 52-50 to North River at North River High School on Tuesday.
Neelend recorded a triple-double, scoring 15 points to go along with 20 rebounds and 10 assists for the Elks.
Preebe scored a team-best 21 points for Lake Quinault.
BOYS PREP BASKETBALL
Tumwater 66, Aberdeen 42
Playing in its fourth game in five days, the Aberdeen Bobcats couldn’t keep pace with Tumwater, falling to the Thunderbirds 66-42 on Tuesday in Tumwater.
Wyatt Johnson and Kayden Seibert scored 10 points each for Aberdeen (5-9, 1-4 Evergreen 2A) which was playing the second leg of a back-to-back after losing 82-37 to Mountlake Terrace on Monday.
“We embraced the challenge, but unfortunately, our effort wasn’t enough to beat a quality Tumwater team,” Aberdeen head coach Mark Buckman said of the grueling five-day stint. “We look forward to getting back to practice tomorrow and continue working toward our goal of competing in the postseason.”
Willapa Valley 68, Chief Leschi 48
After a sluggish first half, the Willapa Valley Vikings responded to earn a 68-48 comeback win over Chief Leschi on Tuesday at Chief Leschi High School.
Facing an 11-point deficit at the half, Willapa Valley (11-4, 10-2 Pacific 2B) responded with 44 points in the second half while the Vikings defense put the clamps down on the Warriors (8-7, 6-7), allowing just 13 points over the final 16 minutes.
“I don’t know if it was the bus trip, but that’s the second game in a row where we didn’t play well in the first half. We weren’t focused,” said Vikings head coach Jay Pearson, whose team had 10 turnovers and allowed eight 3-pointers in the first half. “In the second half, we made them put the ball on the floor and the wheels fell off for them.”
Logan Walker led the way for Willapa Valley, scoring 26 points.
Allen Deniston (12 points, 15 rebounds) and Chad Flemetis (14 points) also scored in double figures for the Vikings, which won on the road at Chief Leschi for the first time in Pearson’s 10-year tenure.
Raymond 58, Pe Ell 43
Tre’ Seydel and Adrian Quintana each had a double-double to lead the Raymond Seagulls past the Pe Ell Trojans on Tuesday at Raymond High School.
Seydel scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as Raymond (5-9, 5-7 Pacific 2B) moved 2.5 games ahead of Pe Ell (4-11, 3-10) in the Pacific League standings.
Quintana compiled 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Seagulls.
Jeremiah Yost led the Trojans with 13 points followed by Max Smith, who scored 10 points in the contest.
Ocosta 74, North Beach 54
Ocosta played solid defense and took care of the basketball en route to a 74-54 victory over North Beach on Tuesday in Ocean Shores.
Ocosta (7-7, 7-6 Pacific 2B) held North Beach (3-12, 3-10) to 19-for-46 shooting from the field (41%) and committed just seven turnovers in the game.
The Wildcats were led by Cole Hatton’s 19 points.
Omar Luque (18 points) and Kyle Wardlow (11 pts.) provided 29 points-in-the-paint for Ocosta.
North Beach was led by Reagan Harnagy and Josh Bighead, who scored 18 and 11 points, respectively.