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Basketball sports briefs

Elma girls wrap up second seed in district tournament

They won’t be entering postseason play as league champions this time, but the Elma girls have again earned a coveted district bye.

Taking command with a 21-point second quarter, the Lady Eagles wrapped up the second seed in the Evergreen 1A girls basketball league by beating Rochester, 60-45, on Feb. 4.

Eagle floor leader Brooke Goldsmith was again the dominant performer in the contest. The senior guard led all scorers with 18 points, while also collecting 12 rebounds, four assists and six steals. She even blocked three shots.

Sophomore wing Maddie Thompson, who hit three of her team’s five 3-point baskets, finished with 15 points for the Eagles.

After sealing the No. 2 seed, Elma defeated Hoquiam, 49-32, on Feb. 6.

Elma (14-5, 10-2) held Hoquiam to just seven points in the first half. The Grizzlies turned the ball over 17 times before halftime and made just three of their 20 first-half attempts from the field.

“(In the first half), we were talking,” coach Lisa Johnson said. “We were on our toes. We were communicating well. We let up on that a little bit in the second half. We took a time out and said, ‘We’ve got to communicate and play our defense with some energy.’ Once we did that it was much better.”

Goldsmith scored 18 points to lead Elma and Thompson added 13 points.

Elma will open up district play on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at WF West in Chehalis against either La Center or Forks.

Elma boys split games

Tied at 36 after three quarters, Elma produced its best quarter of the game to hold off host Rochester, 58-51, in an Evergreen 1A matchup on Feb. 5.

Ryan Collin led all scorers with 19 points, Chance Bremer added a double-double — 13 points and 13 rebounds — and Ray Stark knocked home a pivotal 3-pointer with two minutes left in the contest to help the Eagles to victory.

“We didn’t play with a lot of urgency, a bit of a funk, in the first half,” coach Marvin Prince said. “I’m proud of the kids for responding in the second half. We’re not going to be dominating every night, so I’m happy with the way they came out and did what they needed to do to win.”

The Eagles were not able to produce the same results against Hoquiam on Feb. 6.

Fired up by Senior Night festivities, Hoquiam came out smoking on offense and left Elma behind early. Hitting from the perimeter and smothering the boards on both ends of the court, the Grizzlies never allowed the Eagles a chance to threaten their undefeated league record in a 72-53 Evergreen 1A League win at Hoquiam Square Garden.

Devon Gilman led Elma in scoring with 16 points, 13 of them in the second half.

Elma (11-8, 9-3) will join No. 1 seed Hoquiam in the district tournament bracket on Feb. 14 as the league’s No. 2 seed.

“Hats off to Hoquiam; they’re a good team,” Prince said. “It is a whole new season now. We’re 0-0. I’m proud of the kids. We qualified for the district tournament outright and that was one of our goals this season. The kids have a lot to be proud of.”

Monte boys push league champs to overtime but fall

Late-game heroics from Montesano senior Kody Usher couldn’t prevent Hoquiam from clinching the Evergreen 1A League title on Feb. 4.

With 20 seconds left in the game and the Grizzlies clinging to a 55-54 lead, Hoquiam freshman post Jace Varner hit two free throws to put the Grizzlies up, 57-54.

On the ensuing Bulldogs’ possession, Usher found himself stuck in a tough spot beyond the left elbow with time winding down. The senior guard managed to shake his defender and sink a deep, off-balance trey as time expired to tie the game and send it into overtime.

“Coach always says ‘Don’t think, just shoot,” and I knew the moment it left my hand that it was in,” Usher said.

Hoquiam scored the first three points of the extra period and wth 1:40 remaining, Usher struck again, this time tying the game at 60-60 with a 3-pointer from the corner. Usher finished with a game-high 25 points, 19 of which came in the second half and overtime.

The Bulldogs couldn’t hold off the Grizzlies down the stretch and Hoquiam won, 64-61.

After pushing Hoquiam to an extra period, the Bulldogs took down Rochester on Friday.

The Bulldogs led by five entering the fourth quarter, but the Warriors stormed back to take a 44-43 advantage midway through the period. Monte’s Logan Truax answered with a basket, however, and the Bulldogs (11-8, 6-6) maintained a narrow lead the rest of the way.

“It wasn’t our best game of the year,” coach Doug Galloway conceded. “We didn’t seem to come out with much fire. To be able to not play your best and come out with a W is a great thing.”

Senior Kenny Roy led the Bulldogs with 27 points and Usher added 11 points.

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