Boys prep basketball: Montesano wins Bulldogs battle, defeats Stevenson in first-round district game

The 1A District 4 Boys Basketball Tournament began Wednesday with Montesano and Elma picking up first-round wins.

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Montesano 75, Stevenson 58

Montesano picked a good time to have the highest scoring game of the season.

The Bulldogs scored more than 70 points for the first time in the 2023-2024 season to defeat their mascot counterparts, the Stevenson Bulldogs, 75-58 in the first round of the 1A District 4 Tournament on Wednesday in Montesano.

“I saw it in their eyes. They were hungry,” Monte head coach Leonard Barnes said of how his players entered the game. “They wanted to win and show how hard they worked this year to get the W and be one step closer.

Monte (17-5 overall) got off to a quick start, opening a 17-7 lead midway through the first quarter and leading 20-13 with eight minutes to play thanks to six points apiece from senior forward Tyce Peterson and junior guard Delon Chan.

Montesano doubled its lead by halftime by shooting 8-for-16 (50%) as a team in the second quarter to take a comfortable 39-25 halftime advantage.

Monte went up by more than 20 late in the third quarter when Peterson hit a baseline jumper with less than two minutes left for a 52-31 lead.

Stevenson had no answers for Peterson as the Monte senior captain hit a 3-pointer that beat the buzzer that brought the crowd to its feet and closed out the third, putting Monte up 59-37.

Peterson wasn’t done as he stunned the Monte faithful, pulling off another roar with a dazzling one-touch, no-look pass to leading post Cam Taylor, who easily got under him for a 61-42 lead with a minute left in the fourth quarter.

“The atmosphere of high school basketball in this gym is really special to me,” Peterson said. “With the student section and playing with my best friends that I love, it’s special for me to be able to come and do that.”

PHOTO BY FOREST WORGUM Montesano senior Tyce Peterson drains a 3-pointer during the Bulldogs' 75-58 victory over Stevenson in the 1A District 4 Tournament game Wednesday in Montesano.

PHOTO BY FOREST WORGUM Montesano senior Tyce Peterson drains a 3-pointer during the Bulldogs’ 75-58 victory over Stevenson in the 1A District 4 Tournament game Wednesday in Montesano.

Peterson then hit an offensive jump shot and — after Monte senior guard Jaxson Wilson pulled off a steal and score — Peterson followed with a left-handed layup to put Monte up 67-46 with 5:31 left to play.

Monte topped 70 points when a Chan drive and layup put the Bulldogs up 71-46 at 4:45 of the fourth quarter.

Montesano capped its scoring on a Peyton Damasiewicz layup in the paint off a Chano rebound for a 75-56 lead with 2:37 left in the fourth.

Monte hit 31-of-58 shots in the game (53%), with most of that damage coming on the interior as the Bulldogs shot 60% from the 3-point line (27-45).

“We just came out and were really solid inside,” Barnes said. “We had super balanced scoring, our defense had five blocked shots tonight, great passing. I’m really proud of them. It was a great team win, but the key to it was our defense and rebounding.”

Monte had three players score in double figures and six players with at least seven points in a game.

Chan led all scorers with 20 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists.

PHOTO BY FOREST WORGUM Montesano guard Peyton Damasiewicz scores on a layup in a 75-58 victory over Stevenson in the 1A District 4 Tournament game Wednesday in Montesano.

PHOTO BY FOREST WORGUM Montesano guard Peyton Damasiewicz scores on a layup in a 75-58 victory over Stevenson in the 1A District 4 Tournament game Wednesday in Montesano.

Peterson had 19 points, four rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals, while senior forward Gabe Bodwell had eight points and led Monte with 10 rebounds.

Monte had a team-high 37 rebounds and 11 assists on 16 turnovers.

With the win, Montesano won its first-round district game for the first time since the 2018-19 season and just its third district win since 2019-20.

“Being captain the last two years, we’ve been through a lot of adversity and struggles,” Peterson said. “Now I think we’re starting to pick up what we needed to pick up and finally show Monte some good boys in basketball after he’s struggled the last couple of years.”

Third-seeded Monte advances to district seeding against No. 2 Seton Catholic on Friday at 6 p.m. at Seton Catholic High School, with a state tournament berth and a spot in the district championship game at stake.

“Just take it one step at a time,” Peterson said. “It will be a tough match. … We have to take our time, play our brand of basketball and not let others take advantage of us.”

Stevenson 13 12 12 21 – 58

Montesano 20 19 20 16 – 75

Scoring: Stevenson – Waymire 15, Bach 15, Blackledge 14, Funk 6, Wyninger 4, Green 2, Anderson 2. Montesano – Chan 20, Peterson 19, Damasiewicz 10, Bodwell 8, Wilson 7, Taylor 7, Cobb 4.

Elma 65, La Center 59

Elma rolled to a 65-59 win over La Center in the first round of the 1A District 4 tournament at La Center High School on Wednesday.

The Eagles (14-7) took a 48-38 lead in the third quarter on Cason Seaberg’s fast layup with 3:40 left in the third quarter, their largest lead of the second half.

But La Center (10-13) began to pull away and eventually tied the game at 52 — all on a 3-pointer by junior guard Jayce Grotte with 5:25 to play in the fourth quarter.

Elma trailed by five at 57-52 after junior guard Traden Carter scored and was fouled with 2:56 left.

The Wildcats rallied again to tie the game at 59-59 on a 3-pointer by senior guard Anthony Larkin with 48.9 seconds on the clock.

After receiving possession from senior post Carter Studer, Elma head coach Matt Ferrier called a timeout with 21.2 seconds remaining.

On the ensuing possession, Elma senior guard Grant Vessey drove the baseline, but his layup attempt went off the rim. Elma sophomore forward Isaac McGaffey had an offensive rebound and rebound to give Elma a 61-59 lead with 6.2 left to play.

Grotte dribbled down the sideline while being closely guarded by Carter and turned the ball out of bounds with 2.1 seconds on the clock.

On the ensuing possession, La Center’s Parker McKinney was called for an intentional foul on Carter, who was knocked to the floor, giving Elma a pair of free throws and the ball.

Seaberg buried both free throws and put an exclamation point on the victory with an emphatic one-handed dunk on the final play to seal Elma’s 65-59 win.

“So incredibly proud of them. We went on the road to win against a damn good basketball team. Their record doesn’t reflect how long and athletic they are,” Ferrier said. “We are very lucky to have come away with the victory. A big testament to our level of focus in the fourth quarter.”

Seaberg led all scorers with 33 points on 14-of-25 shooting (56%).

Vessey had 10 points, while McGaffey led Elma with 10 rebounds.

The Eagles went 28-of-61 from the field (46%) and had 31 rebounds and 15 assists in the game.

“We came up with a game plan and executed it as we went along,” Ferrier said. “The keys on the board controlled the print, check. Bounce the basketball, check. Jam the key to make it difficult for their big guys, check. Let it be fun, a very big check.’

Fifth-seeded Elma advances to the district semifinals for the second straight season and will face No. 1 Tenino — a team that has lost twice in league play — on Friday at 7 p.m. in Tenino.

Elma 19 14 19 13 – 65

Center 22 12 13 12 – 59

Scoring: Seaberg 33, Vessey 10, McGaffey 7, Holmes 6, Flores 4, Carter 3, Studer 2.

Seton Catholic 71, Hoquiam 56

For whatever reason, Hoquiam couldn’t recover from poor first-half shooting en route to a 71-56 loss to Seton Catholic in a first-round 1A District 4 Tournament game Wednesday in Vancouver.

The seventh-seeded Grizzlies (10-11) struggled from the field in the first half, scoring 12 points and trailing by 20 at halftime against the No. 2 Cougars (15-5).

Hoquiam rallied in the second half to cut the deficit to 10 points with approximately three minutes remaining in the game.

But the Cougars were able to make a play late in the fourth quarter, forcing the Grizzlies to foul when Hoquiam’s valiant comeback attempt fell short.

“Take care of the ball a little bit better and it’s an interesting game,” said Hoquiam head coach Jeff Niemi, whose team committed 21 turnovers to just six for Seton Catholic.

Niemi added that poor interior shooting also contributed to the loss.

“We have to find a way to finish better inside,” he said.

Hoquiam went 22-of-59 from the field (37%), including 15-of-35 from 3-point range (43%).

The Grizzlies were led by senior forward Zander Jump, who had a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, and sophomore guard Joey Bozich had 11 points.

The Cougars were 29-of-69 from the floor (42%) and shot 60% from inside the arc (21-35).

Hoquiam won the battle on the boards, outrebounding the Cougars 48-32, led by senior post Chris Bryson with 14.

The loss sends the Grizzlies into the elimination round to face No. 6 Stevenson on Friday at 6 p.m. at Stevenson High School.

Niemi said there are plenty of positives his team can take into Friday’s do-or-die game.

“I told them we won the second half against a really good team which is positive and we can build on that,” he said. “We were in the game until the end and after scoring 12 goals in the first half and conceding 20, it’s a great job. … We’re going a long way to Stevenson, but we’re playing a game that we believe we can win if we execute.”

Hoquiam 8 4 19 25 – 56

Seton Catholic 17 15 20 19 – 71

Scoring: Hoquiam – Rebound 17, Bozich 11, Bryson 9, Butcher 7, Niemi 5, Byron 3, LaBounty 3, Dayton 2, Tobar 2. SC – Angelo 24, George 12, Wilson 12, Lee 11, Glassmire 6, Tran 6 .

Other games

No. 1 Tenino 48, No. 8 King’s Way Christian 43

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