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Peninsula Daily News
JOYCE — The Neah Bay boys and girls basketball teams both defeated their Muckleshoot counterparts in the 1B Tri-District quarterfinals at Crescent High School on Tuesday night.
The Red Devils boys used a trio of first-half offensive outbursts and stout defense to beat the Kings 70-45.
The Red Devils, ranked second in The Associated Press 1B poll, move on to the semifinals today when they will face Evergreen Lutheran at Mount Vernon Christian School.
Neah Bay coach Gerrad Brooks said that the Red Devils can advance far in the playoffs if they continue to play as they did Tuesday night.
“We did a really good job. There’s a few things that we’re working on that we didn’t quite get, but all in all, I give [us] a B-plus,” Brooks said of the win.
“If we can bring this kind of energy and that kind of execution throughout [the postseason], we’ll be really tough to beat.”
Neah Bay went on its first offensive run after Muckleshoot took an 8-5 lead midway through the first quarter.
The Red Devils held the Kings to a free throw over the next few minutes while scoring 14 of their own points.
Ryan Moss gave Neah Bay a lead for good with a 3-pointer at the 3:35 mark.
By the time that surge was over, the Red Devils led 19-9.
Neah Bay then opened the second quarter with a 9-2 spurt, with Muckleshoot’s only basket coming when Red Devils sophomore Abraham Venske deflected a Muckleshoot pass right into the hoop.
Venske also scored four points for Neah Bay during the run, both coming on fastbreak layups, one assisted by Josiah Greene and the other by Zeke Greene.
Trisdin Lozier ended the run with a 3-pointer to make it 34-19, but then the Red Devils went on another scoring streak.
Venske was again heavily involved, scoring on an alley-oop from Leyton Doherty and finishing the 15-3 run with a putback with a second left in the half.
In between, Tyler McCaulley converted a three-point play and plowed into the crowd chasing a loose ball when the Red Devils had a 26-point lead.
Brooks singled out McCaulley’s performance, particularly the energy he played with, as one of the team’s highlights.
McCaulley scored 11 points, including 2 for 4 on 3-pointers and 3 for 5 at the foul line.
Moss led the Red Devils with 13 points. He went 7 for 9 at the free-throw line and 2 for 3 from 3-point range.
Venske and Josiah Greene scored 12 points apiece, and John Reamer scored 10.
Doherty dished out four assists and contributed six points.
Josiah Greene had a team-high 11 rebounds. He and Zeke Greene were credited with leading the Red Devils defense that held Muckleshoot to 14 combined points in the second and third quarters.
“Zeke Greene is always a shutdown defender. I mean, we can put him and Josiah basically on anybody and I guarantee you it’s going to be a long night,” Brooks said.
Zeke Greene had four points, four rebounds and two steals.
Although a 65-28 deficit after three quarters was too much to overcome, the Kings dominated the fourth quarter.
Reamer opened the quarter with a 3-pointer, and Neah Bay didn’t score again until Chris Martinez hooked up with Devin Royster with less than 20 seconds left.
In between, Muckleshoot scored 17 unanswered points, with Josh Cline scoring a bulk of those.
Cline finished with 12 points, and Luis Esparza scored a game-high 17 points.
Lozier contributed nine points on 3 of 5 shooting on 3-pointers.
Brooks said the five-point fourth quarter was no cause for alarm.
“We were working some guys that need to come along,” he said. “It’s important to our program that everybody gets experience.
“So, when we get up on good leads, I like to make sure that we get guys in those situations, those pressure situations, so they get comfortable with it, so our rotation never slows down in critical moments.”
Such experience breeds depth, and depth came in handy Tuesday night and will be crucial to the Red Devils (15-1) throughout the postseason.
“I think we played great today,” McCaulley said.
“I liked the hustle, we pushed the ball really well, and our defense was outstanding.
“We just got to keep playing D, and push the ball, and just wear teams out.”
Evergreen Lutheran (11-9) made it to the semifinals by upsetting Lummi on Tuesday, 40-37.
Neay Bay 70, Muckleshoot 45
Muckleshoot 14 8 6 17— 45
Neah Bay 25 24 16 5— 70
Cline 21, Rodarte 1, Esparza 17, Ortiz 2, Molina 2, Lozier 9, Starr 2.
Neah Bay (70)
Venske 12, J. Greene 12, Z. Greene 4, Doherty 6, Moss 13, McCaulley 11, Reamer 10, Royster 2.
Neah Bay 59,
JOYCE — The Red Devils survived an atypical start Tuesday to advance to the 1B Tri-District semifinals, where they will have a big-time matchup with Tulalip Heritage.
“Coming into this game, we didn’t know anything about Muckleshoot,” Neah Bay coach Nate Tyler said.
“They gave us problems in the first half; we didn’t really make the necessary adjustments to counter the problems.
“But the second half, that was a different story. We made all the proper adjustments on offense and defense.”
The Red Devils’ two post players, Faye Chartraw and Blaire Hill, both put in a solid half each.
Chartraw scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds, four coming off the offensive glass, doing most of her damage in the opening half. She also had four blocks.
Hill came off the bench to score eight points and pull down six boards.
“One of our players that stepped up was Blaire Hill in that second half,” Tyler said.
“[She was] taking care of business down low. I was pretty happy with her play.”
Cierra Moss led Neah Bay with 23 points, and also had 10 rebounds and two steals.
“Cierra, she’s pretty dependable, every single night,” Tyler said.
“She’s our floor general, probably one of the better point guards Neah Bay’s had in quite a few years.”
Kaela Tyler also scored in double figures for the Red Devils with 11 points to go along with four steals.
For Muckleshoot, Olivia Ho led all scorers with 24 points, 10 of which came at the free-throw line. Kacey Heffington added 11 points.
The Red Devils (14-1) won’t be as unfamiliar with their next opponent, Tulalip Heritage (19-2), which they play this afternoon at Mount Vernon Christian School.
They are well aware the Hawks’ star players, Katia Brown and Adiya Jones-Smith. Especially Brown.
Tyler said Brown went to school in Neah Bay before transferring to Tulalip last fall to be closer to her mother, Justina Brown, the Hawks’ head coach.
“Tulalip’s a good team. They know us and we know them. It’s just a matter of who wants it most between the two of us,” Tyler said.
“I think [knowing Tulalip players] helps our girls. It motivates them; our girls want the bragging rights.”
Tyler said Tuesday’s game with Muckleshoot was a good primer on the competition Neah Bay will face this postseason, especially after its recent success.
“We’ve got a target on our backs,” Tyler said.
“We’ve been ranked No. 3 in the state for the last couple weeks. We have everything to lose, and the other teams don’t have anything to lose when they face us.
“So, we’ve definitely got to get used to that. If we’re No. 3, we’ve got to play like No. 3 from here on out.”
Neah Bay 59, Muckleshoot 43
Muckleshoot 11 8 16 8— 43
Neah Bay 15 10 22 12— 59
Givens 3, Heffington 11, Moses 5, Ho 24.
Neah Bay (59)
Holly Greene 3, Tyler 11, Moss 23, Chartraw 14, Hill 8.