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Monte girls clinch league title

Brendan Carl | The Vidette Montesano junior Megan Choate tries to drive by a Hoquiam defender on Monday. Choate scored 15 points in the 60-32 victory.Buy Photo
Brendan Carl | The Vidette Montesano junior Megan Choate tries to drive by a Hoquiam defender on Monday. Choate scored 15 points in the 60-32 victory.

Only one team has come within five points of beating the No. 9 ranked Montesano High School girls basketball team this season. On Monday, the Lady Bulldogs looked to prove their first game against Hoquiam was a fluke and clinch the outright Evergreen 1A League title as well.

The Grizzlies barely stayed within 30 points of undefeated Montesano as the Bulldogs pulled away to a 60-32 win.

“I thought they came out and played hard,” coach Julie Graves said. “Hoquiam, the first time, was probably one of our worst halves of basketball, the second half of that game. I think the kids wanted to make sure we came out and played a complete game and I thought they did that tonight. We knew what we needed to do. We came out and stayed focused for the full 32 minutes tonight.”

Montesano (19-0, 11-0) scored the first 11 points of the game and held the Grizzlies scoreless until there were just two seconds left on the clock in the first quarter. The Bulldogs took at 20-point lead into halftime and while in the first meeting between the two teams this season, on Jan. 9, Hoquiam was able to hold Montesano to 12 points in the second half, the Bulldogs scored 12 points in the third quarter. In the second half Montesano scored only one point less than Hoquiam did all game.

Montesano had a balanced scoring effort with three players in double figures led by Freshman Jordan Spradlin with 19 points. Junior guard Megan Choate scored 15 points and freshman Shayla Floch added 14.

“Shayla Floch gave us some great energy coming off the bench. She hit a couple baskets right off the bat when she got in there and I think everybody else got into a rhythm around her. It just seemed like our offense started to flow a little bit better.”

With a 47-37 win over Elma on Jan. 28, the Lady Bulldogs put themselves squarely in the driver’s seat in the Evergreen 1A League and with wins over Forks 59-30 on Jan. 31 and over Hoquiam, Montesano has secured the No. 1 seed at the district tournament. Graves said it is “a big deal,” for Montesano to clinch the top seed, but she said the team won’t be making changes in their routine because of the it as they face Rochester in their final regular season game on Thursday. A win against Rochester would mean an undefeated record for Montesano going into postseason play.

“It is one game and that has been our philosophy all year is one game at a time,” Graves said. “We don’t want to let up on that final game. We’ve made huge strides since the beginning of the season. There are little things that we still need to work on, but I feel like they are starting to get comfortable starting to play together.”