MONTESANO — The second game of the scheduled doubleheader with the visiting Tenino Beavers, the Lady Bulldogs had initial trouble but turned things around to take the 1A Evergreen League match, 53-22.
A virtual dead heat was the result of the first quarter of play, with the Bulldogs owning a slim one-point lead. Switching up from their man-to-man defense to a zone attack, the Bulldogs were able to eliminate the threat of Tenino’s towering Taylor Tibbetts. Tibbetts, one of only three Beavers to find the net, was the games leading scorer at 18, but the Tenino team was nullified in the second period.
The task initially handed to Montesano post Andrea Ostwald became a shared proposition with the zone defense.
“We told to whomever was playing the post position that they would have help on the backside,” said Julie Graves, Montesano Head Coach. “(Tibbitts) cannot shoot if she does not have the ball.”
The strategy worked and the Bulldogs not only temporarily eliminated the threat of the six-foot-one sophomore, but kept the entire Tenino team scoreless in the second period. Montesano quickly racked up an additional 19-point buffer in the same time, seeing everyone on the floor score. The only shooter in double digits for Montesano was Megan Choate with 11.
Ostwald lead the rebound charge with eight for the Bulldogs and six points; Choate had seven rebounds. Justine Nuckols dropped in eight points and was 100 percent from the line.
The third period was tight for both teams, but did see Tibbetts find the basket again for the Beavers. With a healthy lead going into the final period of play, coach Graves took the opportunity to cycle players off her bench for valuable game time and to see a new mix of players.
Two Bulldog freshman players, Kasie Kloempken and Tianna Schuur, made a direct impact and were able to generate 11 points between them in the second half. Post Courtney Miller also got some time in the game and dropped in a basket of her own.
The Bulldogs now prepare to travel to Raymond with the boys for the two-day tournament Dec. 28-29.