By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News
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“There's a whole army of them,” Gregory said to his teammates.
Granted, Quilcene's varsity and JV teams were warming up, but the Bruins had only five players.
Four quarters later, the Clallam Bay Five were celebrating a 51-47 nonleague win in their own gym.
“It makes you almost teary-eyed, in a way,” Clallam Bay coach Kelly Gregory said after Friday's win.
“I was impressed. This is the biggest win of the year for these guys.
“I didn't expect them to beat Quil. I know they're missing one of their guys, but still, that's quite a feat for them.”
The younger Gregory was a little more confident than his father before the game.
“There was an army of them, and we just got the Fab 5,” he said.
“I had trust in our guys that we could play with them.
“We started to gel.”
Gregory, Casey Randall, Calvin Ritter, Sam Signor and Brady McKay pulled off the win with deft passing, timely shooting and a solid rebounding effort from all five players.
They also stayed patient, sticking to the plan of slowing the game down.
“I wanted to run 15 to 20 seconds off the clock every time,” the elder Gregory said.
“I wanted to be able to finish the end of the game. We [have] no subs.”
It also probably helped that Quilcene was without its leading scorer, Jacob Pleines, who missed the trip to Clallam Bay due to illness.
After a slow start by both teams, the Rangers established an 11-6 lead with 37 seconds left in the first quarter.
Gregory hit a long jumper before the end of the first, and opened the second quarter with another bucket.
Randall then drained a 3-pointer to cap off a 8-0 run and give the Bruins a 13-11 lead.
Quilcene tied the game at 13-13, but Clallam Bay followed with a 9-0 run for a 22-13 lead.
The Bruins held onto the lead for the remainder of the game, building it to as much as 11 points in the closing minutes of the third quarter.
The Rangers chipped away at the lead in the fourth quarter, but each time they closed in to within a bucket or two Clallam Bay scored to extend its lead.
When it was 41-37, Ritter lobbed a pass to Signor, who caught it in the air and finished.
Ritter, the senior big man, finished with six assists to go along with six points and four rebounds.
Josh King, who played with a hurt shoulder, banked a 3-pointer to bring the Rangers within two points, 47-45, with 57 left in the game.
But Gregory threw a long inbound pass to Signor, who was fouled and made both free throws.
J.J. Smith's steal and layup with 28 seconds left again cut Clallam Bay's lead to two points, but Signor scored off a Randall assist with 12 seconds to play to close out the scoring.
Signor, a freshman, finished with 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Gregory led Clallam Bay with 19 points and grabbed six boards.
Randall, a junior, had 11 points, including three 3-pointers, six assists, four steals and three rebounds.
“The point guard is really starting to come around and run things for us,” the elder Gregory said of Randall.
McKay, a freshman, grabbed six key rebounds.
Clallam Bay hosts top-ranked Neah Bay on Wednesday.
The Bruins' then host a crucial rubber match with Crescent on Friday in Clallam Bay. The winner likely advances to the postseason along with Neah Bay.
The Bruins won the first meeting, but the Loggers won Wednesday in what was the first game Clallam Bay played with only five players.
Triston Williams paced Quilcene with 15 points, while Smith added 14 and King had seven.
The Rangers return to 1B Sea-Tac League play, where they are in the thick of the postseason race. They host Mount Rainier Lutheran on Tuesday.
Quilcene 54, Clallam Bay 27
CLALLAM BAY — The Rangers took control early and held on to win a game that featured no seniors on either team.
Quilcene was led by sophomore guard Megan Weller, who finished with 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals.
“I think our best thing that our team did tonight was we worked our offensive sets really well,” Rangers coach Briana Weller said following Friday's game.
“We had patience, we didn't rush, we kind of overall maintained the tempo of the game on offense. And for us, seeing the floor and using our cutters and execution is huge, and we did a good job of that tonight.”
Quilcene played most of the game without its only junior, Sammy Rae, who banged her head on the floor early in the second quarter and spent the remainder of the game sitting on the bench.
After the game, Briana Weller said Rae possibly suffered a concussion.
Freshmen Kaite Bailey and Jordy Cawyer stepped up in Rae's absence.
Bailey had six points and six rebounds and Cawyer contributed two points and six rebounds.
Also for Quilcene, Bailey Kieffer had 10 points, eight rebounds and five steals; Allison Jones had eight points, three assists and three steals; and starting guard Jerrica Viloria finished with five points, seven steals, four rebounds and three assists.
“I think our team played really well,” Briana Weller said.
“We were able to get a lot of our secondary [players] in, and so all of our young girls got a lot of extra playing time, which for us is important because we're in that building phase, and the more playing time and experience we can get the better it's going to make us.”
After being held to seven first-half points, the Bruins responded with 11 points in the second quarter and nine in the fourth.
“I would say we had a good second half, but a real slow start on the first half,” Clallam Bay coach Kathleen Winter said.
“We missed quite a few inside shots that we would have liked to have seen fall.
“We're not too experienced. At one time we had four freshmen out there.”
Junior Inga Erickson led the Bruins with seven points. Sophomore Zeria Signor and freshmen Mariah LaChester and Molly McCoy each contributed four points apiece.
The Bruins host Neah Bay on Wednesday and Crescent on Friday.
Quilcene returns to its homecourt Tuesday against Mount Rainier Lutheran.