BOYS BASKETBALL: Port Townsend beats La Conner at Crush in the Slush 48-39
Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News
Port Townsend’s Sean Dwyer (11) reverses direction around La Conner’s Matt Finley during the small-school consolation game of the Crush in the Slush tournament at Port Townsend High School.
By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
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Port Townsend found buckets on the inside in the opening moments of the game, including four quick points from Jacob King, a football standout who has been plagued with early foul trouble in many games this season.
The Redskins also displayed more want-to on both the offensive and defensive glass and made more hustle plays after being outworked by Chimacum on Friday.
“I told the team the effort was much better on the boards. We needed that second or third effort on rebounds and loose balls in this game and we got it,” Port Townsend coach Tom Webster said after Saturday's win.
A night after scoring 25 against Chimacum, Port Townsend's Paul Spaltenstein again led all scorers with 20 points.
The senior hit a 3-pointer to give the Redskins a 9-8 lead with 1:45 to play in the first quarter, and Cody Russell added a sweet right-to-left reverse layup to give Port Townsend an 11-8 lead after one.
Russell finished with 14 points for Port Townsend.
The Redskins pushed the lead to 28-21 at halftime, limiting La Conner's best player Hudson Zavala to just four points at the break.
Spaltenstein had six points and Sean Dwyer notched six of his eight points in the second quarter for Port Townsend. Russell had five in the quarter, including an NBA-range 3-pointer.
Turnovers held Port Townsend to just four third-quarter points, as the Redskins' point guards had trouble adapting to a man press La Conner employed after halftime.
Menawhile, Port Townsend's 2-3 zone defense stayed strong, but Zavala was able to penetrate the middle of the zone for four points and some assists down low, and the Braves evened the game at 32-32 going into the fourth quarter.
Port Townsend rallied, opening the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run on the strength of a 3-pointer and a two-point bucket from Russell and a turnaround jumper from the free-throw line by Spaltenstein.
That basket gave Port Townsend a 39-32 lead with 4:45 to play.
Two Zavala baskets trimmed the lead to 39-36 with 3 minutes left before King answered right back with a layup for Port Townsend on an assist from Russell for a 41-36 lead with 2:49 remaining.
A 3-pointer from Braves freshman Scott Lindeman cut the score to 43-39 with a minute to go, but Port Townsend put the clamps down on defense to close it out.
Spaltenstein iced the contest by hitting 5 of 6 free throws in the final 25 seconds.
Port Townsend 48, La Conner 39
La Conner 8 13 1 7— 39
Port Townsend 11 17 4 16— 48
La Conner (3-2)
Hulbert 13, Zavala 12, Lindeman 6, Eversole 3, Swanson 3, Sherman 2.
Port Townsend (3-5)
Spaltenstein 20, Russell 14, Dwyer 8, King 6.
Last modified: December 29. 2013 6:34PM