Undefeated Elma girls continue to roll opponents

ELMA — Even on a night in which they lacked their offensive A game, Elma’s girls continued to play the W game.

Limiting Hoquiam to 11 first-half points, the well-balanced Eagles easily remained unbeaten with 69-37 victory over the Grizzlies in an Evergreen 1A League girls basketball game Friday night at Elma.

Fourth-ranked among Class 1A teams in the Tacoma News-Tribune’s state poll, the Eagles will take a 2-0 league record and a 14-0 overall mark into next Tuesday’s league showdown with Montesano.

Hoquiam fell to 1-1 in league and 6-6 overall.

Elma coach Lisa Johnson was the first to acknowledge that her team wasn’t fully in sync offensively. The Eagles shot barely 30 percent from the field and committed 15 turnovers.

But they predictably dominated the glass against the much smaller Grizzlies. And while Hoquiam had some success beating Elma’s press, the Eagles invariably dropped back well enough to strongly contest — and often block — Hoquiam’s attempts at transition layups.

“Our defense was there,” Johnson said. “Offensively, we played timid and there’s no reason for us doing that.”

Elma, as usual, was the epitome of scoring balance. Nine Eagles scored at least five points, with sophomores Quin Mikel and Kali Rambo tallying a team-high 10. Mikel also yanked down 12 rebounds.

Junior post Rylee Vonhof, in contrast, scored all 11 of Hoquiam’s first-half points. She fouled out in the third quarter with a game-high 15.

A very tightly called game by the South Sound officiating crew probably did neither team favors in attempting to find an offensive rhythm. Sixteen fouls were called in the first quarter alone and the teams combined for 31 free throws in the first half.

Elma led only 5-4 before Rambo, Kassedy Olson and Brooke Sutherby combined on a 12-3 Eagle run in the final 2:26 of the first quarter.

The Eagles owned a double-digit lead from that point forward.

Hoquiam actually played the Eagles even for the first 12 minutes of the second half. Grizzly coach Mark Maxfield had few complaints about his team’s showing.

“Let’s face it, they’re definitely a formidable team for us to match up against,” Maxfield said. “But I thought we played our guts out and really competed. As advertised, they’re a good team.”

Although severely limited by foul trouble in the first half, Hoquiam forward Maddie German had 10 rebounds, two more than Vonhof.

Molly Johnston had eight rebounds and Kayli Johnson five assists for Elma.

While the Eagles visit Montesano on Tuesday, Hoquiam hosts Forks as part of a co-ed doubleheader.

Hoquiam 7 4 16 10 — 37

Elma 17 14 14 24 — 69

Hoquiam (37) — Jade Cox 2, Jump 2, Bagwell 2, Krohn 8, Vonhof 15, German 8. FG — 11-49 (.224). FT — 15-30.

Elma (69) — Sackrider 8, Johnson 9, Mikel 10, Johnston 7, Rambo 10, Bieker 5, Burgher 8, Sutherby 6, Olson 6, Bol. FG — 21-69 (.304). FT — 22-29.

JV — Elma 51, Hoquiam 47, OT.

Elma’s Molly Johnston works to try and get around Hoquiam’s Rylee Vonhof on her way to the hoop on Friday. (Brendan Carl Photography)

Elma’s Molly Johnston works to try and get around Hoquiam’s Rylee Vonhof on her way to the hoop on Friday. (Brendan Carl Photography)