Without any seniors on the roster and only two players returning that saw significant playing time last year, this season was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Montesano High School girls basketball team. Instead, only one opponent has come within 10 points of beating the Lady Bulldogs (14-0, 7-0) and the only thing Montesano has built are double digit leads before halftime.
Last week Montesano disposed of three more challengers. The Lady Bulldogs dismantled North Beach 39-21 on Jan. 15, took down Evergreen 1A League opponent Rainier 46-32 on Friday and beat South Bend 57-39 on Saturday.
Montesano held North Beach scoreless through the first quarter and led 30-3 at half. The Lady Bulldogs defense was just as impressive on Friday and Saturday as Montesano held Rainier to five points in the first quarter and jumped out to a 12 point lead on Rainier at the half as well as a 13-point halftime lead over South Bend.
“I felt like we were a little flat in the first half (against South Bend),” Graves said. “We talked about picking it up and finding some energy in the second half and I thought we had a great third quarter.”
The Lady Bulldogs outscored South Bend 20-9 in the third quarter to take a commanding lead.
On offense, Montesano was led by Spradlin who recorded two double-doubles last week. Spradlin scored 24 points and pulled down 22 rebounds against Rainier and followed up the performance with 22 points and 17 rebounds against South Bend. The freshman had 10 points against North Beach.
“She is doing a great job as a freshman coming in and battling kids that are three years older,” Graves said. “She works hard and gets position for rebounds and I think her teammates are finding her when she is open so she is able to convert and put points on the board.”
Junior guard Megan Choate was the leading scorer for Montesano against North Beach with 11 points. Choate added 11 points against Rainier and scored 15 points against the Lady Indians.
Montesano will take on Tenino at home on Friday before traveling to Elma for a rematch of the East County rivalry earlier this season.
While Graves said her team is far from a finished project, she is excited about how the group is playing and their chances in any game.
“We’re finding (freshman) Jordan (Spradlin) in the post when she is open and when she is not open other kids are hitting shots,” Graves said. “We are learning when to pass inside and when to just continue to move the ball and take the outside shot or to drive. We are starting to get a little more flow in the offense. It is just all coming together right now.”