“Beautiful basketball,” could be heard throughout Bo Griffith Memorial gymnasium on Monday. Montesano boys basketball coach Doug Galloway could hardly contain his enthusiasm as the Bulldogs passed the ball to find an open layup on their way to a 53-21 win over Raymond.
Montesano(3-2, 1-0) opened the week of competition with a 48-35 win over Nasselle on Dec. 11, but dropped their first Evergreen 1A League contest to Rainier 48-37. After the loss to the Mountaineers, the Bulldogs rebounded against the Seagulls to play their best game yet, Galloway said.
“It felt good,” Galloway said. “We had our heads up and we were looking to take what the defense was offering us. A couple times we just drove and drew some defenders and kicked to the open person and it just felt good. It is just fundamental basketball that we hadn’t been getting that much of the first couple weeks.”
Montesano used a full-court press to stifle Raymond from the opening tip and jump out to a 16-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. The up-tempo defense and good ball movement helped the Bulldogs put together a complete game. For senior Kody Usher the game showed what the group envisioned the season to look like all year.
“It is how we pictured it,” Usher said.
The Bulldogs were led by 14 points from senior Kenny Roy and 10 from Usher. Sophomores Logan Truax and Alex Hopsecger added seven points each and senior Evan Bialkowsky and sophomore Kaleb Chastain each scored six points.
Galloway said the effort on Monday showed the Bulldogs are becoming more comfortable with the system the coach has installed in his first year at Montesano.
“We are starting to get a little bit more comfortable,” Galloway said. “They are starting to get used to what we are trying to do. I’m proud of them. It is not only looking right, it is feeling right. There is a feel to the game of basketball and that felt right. That is your goal and tough job as a coach is to try to get kids to see what you see and to know what you know and then be on the same page as you. I’m really excited about our potential.”
As good as the Bulldogs looked on Monday, Galloway said there is still plenty of room for improvement. Montesano will study film this week before they head to Tenino Friday for their second league contest.
“We are going to show them a little film from the last few games and they are going to see some things that we need to work on and where we did good things,” Galloway said. “The kids know we have some things to work on, but we did a good job. That was our best game tonight.”