Entering Wednesday evening’s 1A Evergreen League contest between the Elma Eagles and Montesano Bulldogs, one thing was on the back of the minds of Elma’s seniors: They had yet to beat East County rival Montesano.
Playing without leading scorer senior Trace Ridgway, who sat out of Wednesday’s game while nursing a slight knee strain, Montesano (5-2 overall, 4-1 1A Evergreen) struggled to find consistent offense and Elma (3-4, 2-3) took advantage.
The Eagles went on a 10-0 run on two buckets each from Canon Seaberg and Sawyer Witt to take a 17-8 lead in the final two minutes of the first quarter.
Monte trimmed Elma’s lead to 17-12 early in the second quarter on four straight points from Caydon Lovell, but Elma responded with another big run, scoring nine straight points and taking a 26-12 lead when Carson Seaberg made a steal at half-court then fed brother Canon on the break with 2:40 left.
The Bulldogs ended the half on a 6-0 run capped by a buzzer-beating three from Lovell to cut the deficit to 26-18 at the half.
In the third quarter, Elma’s lead was cut to as little as three points at 30-27 on a Tyler Christian 3-pointer with just under five minutes left in the frame.
But Elma weathered the storm and pushed the lead to 37-29 on a Logan Witt layup and foul with 1:22 left in the quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter, Montesano’s Colby Adams hit a three to trim Elma’s lead to 39-32, but Elma was once again up to the task. The Eagles regained the double-digit lead for good on a Logan Witt free throw with 4:58 left and took a 13-point lead on a baseline jumper from Witt with 2:45 left to play.
The Eagles sealed the deal with 1:48 left after great defense on one end of the court translated into a high-percentage basket on the other end. After Elma’s defense forced a tough running jumper late in the shot clock, Logan Witt rose for the rebound as Elma transitioned into its offense.
Canon Seaberg quickly moved the ball up-court and five passes later, Elma senior Brady Johnston found Church open under the basket for an easy two points and a 53-36 lead with 1:48 left.
Sawyer Witt scored in the paint with 1:23 left to complete the 55-36 victory, the first for Elma’s seniors over Montesano.
“To come out here and beat them on their floor, it means a lot,” said Johnston, who made several unselfish assists in the victory. “We got close last year and close the last game we played them, but it feels good.”
“To me, it’s everything for the seniors,” said an emotional Elma head coach Luke Niemi. “It’s been four years of these guys playing hard. I talked before the game that it is all about opportunity and this was their last opportunity to beat (Montesano) on its home floor. So it’s special for them and I’m really happy for them.”
Typical of the balanced and unselfish was they played on Wednesday, three Eagles players scored in double digits with not one scoring over 15 points. Logan Witt led the Eagles with 11 points with Church (11 points) and Canon Seaberg (10 pts.) also scoring in double figures.
Lovell led Monte with 14 points for a Bulldogs team that sorely missed Ridgway’s scoring and leadership.
“We could’ve tried to have him play, but that’s not the best thing for him,” Monte head coach Doug Galloway said of the league MVP candidate who injured his knee the previous night against Tenino. “We’re hoping it’s not serious and we just don’t want to compound it in case it is.”
Galloway added he was proud of the way his team kept battling without Ridgway and was quick to credit Elma’s balanced performance.
“I’m proud of the kids for working their tails off. … We hung in with them for a lot of the game,” he said. “Late in the game we were taking some chances and that led to some easy hoops. … Still, you have to hand it to Elma. They played with energy, set solid screens, got people open and rebounded the ball extremely well. They’re a good basketball team. They wanted this one and they got it. They worked for it.”
Elma’s upset win pulls them one step closer to the top of the league standings, where Monte and Hoquiam — after the Grizzlies’ 64-59 win in Tenino on Wednesday — sit tied atop the league with identical 4-1 records.
“We just got to run the table and try to get as far as we can,” Johnston said. “We got to try to win out and see how high we can get. We know we can run the table and win league.”
Shelton 51, Aberdeen 36
Aberdeen cracked 10 points in just one quarter as the Bobcats fell to Shelton 51-36 on Wednesday in Aberdeen.
Aberdeen (2-3 overall, 2A Evergreen) managed just 10 points in the first quarter and failed to score more than nine points in each subsequent quarter en route to the loss.
Kayden Seibert and Angel Baltazar led Aberdeen with eight points each.
Andrew Troeh added six points for the Bocats.
Aberdeen trailed 21-18 at the half but were outscored 30-18 over the final 16 minutes of the game, scoring nine points in each of the third and fourth quarters.
The Bobcats were called for 19 fouls in the contest, leading to 14-of-21 free throws by Shelton.
Mary M. Knight 65, Lake Quinault 24
Lake Quinault is still searching for its first win of the season after a 65-24 defeat to Mary M. Knight on Tuesday in Elma.
Dylan Ralph made six 3-pointers in the game and scored a game-high 23 points for Mary M. Knight (0-7 overall).
The Owls’ Isaiah Compton (20 pts.) and Quinnton Krippelcz (16 pts.) also scored in double digits.
Lake Quinault (0-4) was led by Jesus Mendoza’s 10 points.
Champ Wells added five points for the Elks in the loss.
Hoquiam 64, Tenino 59
Ilwaco 66, North Beach 39
Raymond 46, South Bend 53
GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL
Montesano 53, Elma 8
Montesano held Elma to three points in the first half en route to a 53-8 victory on Wednesday in Elma.
Montesano (6-1 overall, 4-1 1A Evergreen) held the Eagles scoreless in the first quarter and allowed a lone field goal from Elma’s Jackie DeMoss in earning a 41-3 halftime lead.
Paige Lisherness scored 17 points to lead Monte, which had eight players score in the game.
Zoee Lisherness and Mikayla Stanfield scored eight points each for the Bulldogs, which hit 21-of-40 shots (53%) and converted on 10-of-14 free throws (71%).
Janessa Sample led Elma with three points on a fourth-quarter 3-pointer.
Ilwaco 66, South Bend 26
South Bend had trouble stopping one of the Pacific League’s best players in a 66-26 loss to Ilwaco on Wednesday in South Bend.
Ilwaco’s Erika Glenn scored 33 points as the Fishermen (4-1 overall, 2B Pacific) handed South Bend its fifth straight loss to start the season.
Ilwaco used its full-court trap to pressure South Bend ball-handlers, using Indians turnovers to stretch out to a 35-11 lead by halftime.
“After the Raymond game I thought we would be a little tentative,” South Bend head coach Randy Carlson said. “Our lack of moving well on defense in the first half led to easy shots by Glenn. We need to be able to convert on our open shots and learn to control the ball at times.”
Elli Capps led South Bend with 11 points.
Mackenzie Kuiken added six points for an Indians team that went 11-for-51 from the field (22%).
Aberdeen 63, Shelton 22
Aberdeen capitalized on Shelton turnovers and had a sizeable rebound advantage in earning a 63-22 victory over the Highclimbers on Wednesday in Shelton.
Aberdeen (2-4 overall, 2A Evergreen) led 15-2 after one quarter and 32-6 at the half as Shelton committed 37 turnovers in the game and was outrebounded by the Bobcats 37-21.
Maddi Gore led Aberdeen with 13 points.
Kaely Chum, Abby Martinez and Zoe Filan each scored seven points for Aberdeen.
The Bobcats shot 23-for-64 from the field (36%) and hit 15-of-27 free throws (56%).
Shelton made just five field goals in 34 shots on the evening (15%).
Tenino 49, Hoquiam 25
Forks 66, North Beach 24
GIRLS PREP BOWLING
Aberdeen 1393, Shelton 1305
Aberdeen broke through for its first victory of the season in a 1,393-1,305 win over Shelton on Wednesday at Rainier Lanes in Aberdeen.
Down by 47 pins after Shelton won the Game 1, Aberdeen mounted a comeback led by Bailee Taylor, who posted the high game of the match with a 142 to lead the Bobcats to a 58 pin victory in Game 2.
Aberdeen (1-5 overall) took the third game by 77 pins to pick up its first victory of the season.
Taylor and Cameryn Micheau tied for the the team high series score with identical rounds of 374, one pin behind Shelton’s Kaycee Bingham for the top series of the day.
Results (Game 1-3, Series)
Aberdeen (1,393) — Cameryn Micheau (107, 131, 136, 374); Jennifer Guzman-Ramirez (83, 120, 128, 331); Bailee Taylor (111, 142, 121, 374); Joele Hyde (109, 103, 102, 314)Shelton (1,305) — Marissa Betts (95, 102, 109, 306); Audrey Knauf (138, 103, 80, 321); Alexis Barringer (91, 113, 99, 303); Kaycee Bingham (133, 120, 122, 375)