Thursday’s 2B Boys Basketball: Haight Locks Down Hatton as Loggers Drop Ocosta
By Jordan Nailon
ROCHESTER — Onalaska had their hands full from the outset here on Thursday as Ocosta’s Cole Hatton scored 13 first-half points in seemingly every way possible.
He dropped in 3s like raindrops from the coast. He slashed through the heart of the defense like some horror flick nightmare. He pulled in rebounds like a scrap yard magnet and cashed the putbacks like so many crushed aluminum cans.
But a recommitment to their core defensive principles allowed the Loggers to hold Hatton to just five points in the second half as they pulled away for a 54-44 win in the District IV 2B boys basketball tournament.
Asked if his team did anything in particular to turn a 28-28 tie at the half into a 10-point win Onalaska coach Wayne Nelson was quick with a reply.
“Nope. We do the same thing all the time. We play man-to-man. We did put a different guy on No. 11 (Hatton). Ashton Haight did a great job on him defensively. He’s a good ballplayer,” Nelson said. “We didn’t really change anything. I thought our intensity was better.”
Haight finished the game with 11 points to compliment his defensive work.
“He’s had a great second half of the year shooting the ball and I thought he rebounded well,” Nelson said of his senior strong forward.
The Loggers fell behind early in the first quarter as Hatton fired away and a case of butterfingers and some playoff butterflies seemed to get the best of them. As the game wore on though Onalaska used their size and experience on the playoff stage in other sports to find their bearings.
“The first quarter was sloppy and you expect that when it’s district time. But the only thing that matters at districts is that you win, so we did and we’re pretty happy about that,” Nelson noted.
Carter Whitehead played an inspired game at the point for Onalaska and scored a team-high 17 points while also leading the Loggers with seven rebounds. Kayden Allison added 14 points in the win.
The win for the Loggers sets them up to play Life Christian Academy in the next round.
Using one word to describe Life Christian, Nelson opted for “athletic.” He also insisted that the Eagles particular skill set will not dictate the way the Loggers approach the game.
“We’ve got some things to improve on and we need to improve by Saturday,” Nelson said. “We’re going to play man-to-man. We don’t care. We’re going to have to figure it out.”
Onalaska will take on Life Christian Academy on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Montesano.
Pirates Cool Off in Second Half of Loss to Ilwaco
By Aaron VanTuyl
For The Chronicle
As Adna coach Luke Salme pointed out afterward, his team has fallen in love with the 3-point shot of late.
Put in those terms, the second half of the Pirates’ 55-48 loss to Ilwaco on Thursday night was something like a pre-Valentine’s Day spat — or at least an acknowledgement that the shooting, in and of itself, won’t win every game.
The Pirates went cold from outside and lost a step defensively in the third quarter, which provided just the opportunity the favored Fishermen needed to get back in the game.
“We struggled to ever get any confidence there, and kind of settled for a lot of perimeter shots,” Salme said. “It’s hard to get to the rim when 6-8 (center Joel Nisbett)’s in there, but I’m most bummed with our defensive effort in the second half.”
Ilwaco, trailing by 10 with six minutes left in the third quarter, threw together a 12-0 run to take the lead and kept the pressure on late to win.
The Fishermen also switched up their defense after the Pirates’ 7-of-20 shooting performance in the first half, moving to an extended matchup zone.
“The way they matched up and extended their zone bothered us,” Salme said. “We didn’t get lots of movement in it, and the length still hurts … It was hard for us to even move the ball, really.”
The Fishermen also managed what no other team has done since December in holding Pirate forward Braden Thomas under 20 points. Thomas, limited by foul trouble in the first half, scored five.
Without Thomas drawing double-teams inside, the shooters had only limited opportunities outside.
“It got us a little passive and uncomfortable,” Salme said, “and they did a good job executing on the other end against our zone and our man.”
The Pirates did get 14 points out of Zander Blankenship-Todd and 13 from guard Cole Fay, who added 10 rebounds. Adna shot 29 percent (16 of 56) from the field, and was outrebounded 34-29.
Ilwaco, though, hit at a 44 percent clip (21 of 48) and had three players in double figures led by Nisbett’s 16 points and 10 rebounds. Kaech finished with 14 and Bubba Douglas added 11.
“We didn’t make things difficult enough for them,” Salme said. “They could score and sprint back and get in that matchup, and they’re dictating everything at that point.”
The Fishermen (15-6) move on to face Toutle Lake in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
Adna (12-10) plays on Monday against the loser of Saturday’s Northwest Christian vs. Winlock quarterfinal.
“I have no doubts that we’re able to bounce back,” Salme said. “Now, it’s one game a time, and I know it’s a long row to hoe.”
Timberwolves Survive District Opener Against Rainier
By Aaron VanTuyl
For The Chronicle
Neither team had much luck finding an offensive rhythm on Thursday night.
In a low-scoring contest, though, a young Morton-White Pass squad was able to string together a late run to outlast a younger Rainier and escape the first round of the District 4 2B Boys Basketball Tournament.
Morton-White Pass’ 45-36 win means the Timberwolves (12-9) will face Willapa Valley on Saturday in the tournament quarterfinals.
MWP’s pivotal run started about a minute into the fourth quarter, after Rainier sophomore Ian Sprouffske hit a 3-pointer to trim the Mountaineers’ deficit to 32-28.
The Timberwolves didn’t give up another point for five minutes, using an 8-0 run to push their lead to 40-28 with three minutes to go.
“We just kept attacking,” MWP coach Chad Cramer said. “We had to keep driving it in, and sometimes it’s not going to go our way, but we did put a little foul pressure on them and got to the free throw line, and got some easy looks and some paint touches in there.”
Freshman Jake Jeske scored five quick points for Rainier, converting a drive to the hoop and a 3-pointer to cut it to 40-33 with two minutes left, and trimmed to lead to 42-36 a minute later with a 3-point play. That, though, was as close as the Mountaineers would come.
“They got some breaks that we didn’t get,” Rainier coach Jeremy Landram said. “It’s unfortunate in a game like that, that those breaks take over a game, but there was a stretch there that there was no rhythm to what we can do, and that hurt us.”
Freshman Josh Salguero, who suffered sprained an ankle in practice the night before, led MWP with 18 points and five rebounds. The Timberwolves shot 14 of 46 (35%) from the field and went 1 of 9 from long range.
“Defensively we did a good job, but offensively we struggled to score,” Cramer said. “We just couldn’t get into a rhythm at all offensively.
“And give them credit,” he added. “They did a good job of defending us, and we did a poor job of getting into our stuff. I think we kind of set the game back a little bit, offensively.”
With three sophomores, a freshman, and one senior (Hayden Young) in the starting lineup, Cramer noted that inexperience could have played a role in what was a rough shooting night in his team’s playoff opener.
“We got a little excited,” he said. “Getting that under our belts is going to be good going forwards.”
Rainier, he added, is a solid squad.
“They’re a good young team,” he said. “The Sprouffske kid can play, the Jeske kid can play, and their big (Logan Bowers) does a great job of finding an opening, catching and going. They do a good job.”
Jeske finished with 23 points to lead Rainier, with Curtis Keller adding six and Logan Bowers scoring four with seven rebounds.
“He did alright. He’s a freshman, so he was like a roller coaster,” Landram said. “He had good spurt, and then ups and downs.”
Jeske also took a shot to the nose in the fourth quarter and was briefly sidelined.
“He’s a competitor, and he competed,” Landram said. “We just needed an all-around, instead of one guy carrying us. We needed more contributors to be a well-balanced team.”
The Mountaineers started a lineup of a freshman, three sophomores and a junior, and were getting their first taste of playoff basketball.
“They played hard. It’s a learning experience,” Landram said. “It’s probably been a few years since these kids have even seen that, let alone played in that environment.”
Rainier (11-11) beat Chief Leschi, 54-41, in the play-in round on Tuesday and will play Monday against the loser of Saturday’s Northwest Christian vs. Winlock quarterfinal game.
Landram said he expects the team to bounce back without issue.
“That’s the best part about having a young team,” Landram said. “This is all cake and ice cream.”
Wolverines Drain Buzzer-Beating Game Winner
By The Chronicle
ROCHESTER — Junior Daniel Dominguez drilled a buzzer-beating game winner and Northwest Christian (Lacey) held on for a 53-51 victory over Wahkiakum in the 2B District 4 playoffs Thursday night.
“I told my guys we’ve got to go for the steal. They’re going to have to shoot it,” Wahkiakum coach Todd Souvenir said. “But we backed up and [Dominguez] made it.”
Dominguez finished with 14 points while Noah Phillips had a team-high 15 as the Warriors (17-4) advance to the quarterfinals for a matchup against Central 2B League’s No. 2 seed Winlock (16-4) and the C2BL MVP Bryce Cline. That game is set for Saturday at a time and location to be determined.
The No. 6 seed Mules (13-9) will face the loser of Ilwaco and Toutle Lake on Monday at a time and location to be determined.
On Thursday, the Mules took an 8-6 lead after one frame, then everything fell apart.
“I thought we had them at the end of the first quarter,” Souvenir said. “Then we got a little selfish and they wont on a run to get that lead going into halftime.”
The Mules trailed 21-13 at the half and 42-27 after three. It looked all but over. But the Mules and their star junior Jake Leitz exploded in the fourth quarter, scoring 24 points as a team while holding the Wolverines to just 11 points, setting up that final last shot by Dominguez.
Leitz exploded for 19 points, 19 rebounds, four blocks and two steals for the Mules. Brody Carlson added 15 points and Logan LaBerge 11.
FISHERMEN 55, PIRATES 48
Adna 14 15 7 12 —48
Ilwaco 14 6 16 19 —55
Adna (48) — Fay 13, Blankenship-Todd 14, Thomas 5, Collins 8, Minkoff 7, Ingle 1
FG: 16 of 56 —.286 FT: 6 of 10 —.600 Reb. 29 (Fay 10)
Ilwaco (55) — Nisbett 16, Whiting 3, Douglas 11, Baze 4, Kaech 14, Turner 7
FG: 21 of 48 —.438 FT: 8 of 15 —.533 Reb. 34 (Nisbett 10)
TIMBERWOLVES 45, MOUNTAINEERS 36
Rainier 6 10 9 11 —36
Morton-WP 9 13 10 13 —45
Rainier (36) — Sprouffske 3, Keller 6, Jeske 23, Bowers 4
FG: 12 of 44 —.273 FT: 8 of 10 —.800 Reb. 32 (Bowers 7)
Morton-White Pass (45) — L. Collette 9, Young 7, K. Collette 2, Dotson 3, Smith 6, Salguero 18
FG: 16 of 46 —.348 FT: 12 of 18 —.667 Reb. 35 (Salguero 5)
WOLVERINES 53, MULES 51
Wahkiakum 8 5 14 24 —51
NWC 6 15 21 11 —53
Wahkiakum (51) — Leitz 19, Carlson 15, LaBerge 11, Avalon 3, Beery 3
FG: N/A FT: N/A Reb. 30 (Leitz 19)
Northwest Christian (53) — Phillips 15, Dominguez 14, Koukal 13, Phillips 4, Yates 5, Mandlin 2
FG: N/A FT: N/A Reb. N/A
LOGGERS 54, WILDCATS 44
Ocosta 13 15 6 10 —44
Onalaska 14 14 12 14 —54
Ocosta (44) — Martinez 3, Lake 3, Wardlow 2, Hatton 18, Rudolph 5, Luque 13
FG: 18 of 43 —.418 FT: 6 of 12 —.500 Reb: 28
Onalaska (54) — Dalsted 5, Whitehead 17, Frazier 1, Haight 11, Lawrence 6, Allison 14
FG: 16 of 51 —.310 FT: 16 of 21 —.761 Reb: 21 (Whitehead 7)