NEAH BAY — Neah Bay broke open a close contest in the opening minutes of the third quarter, extending a five-point halftime advantage to double digits, and going on to win a nonleague girls basketball contest 53-39 over Forks.
“We came out after halftime and played pretty well,” Red Devils coach Tony McCaulley said. “We got some stops, we didn’t turn the ball over. Forks is a lot better than they’ve been, so I feel pretty good about this one.”
Forks coach David Hurn said third quarter struggles have hurt his team in games against Aberdeen and Klahowya. The Spartans were able to overcome missteps in those contests, but couldn’t get past Neah Bay.
“We made a few turnovers and they were able to get some layins and grow their lead to double digits,” Hurn said.
Three Red Devils freshmen started Wednesday’s contest, the team’s season opener — Courtney Swan, Ruth Moss and Laila Greene — and a fourth, Patience Swan, came off the bench as Neah Bay’s youth got the better of the Spartans’ own young roster.
Courtney Swan connected on four 3-point baskets and led all scorers with 18 points, and the guard also led her squad in rebounding with nine.
“She boxes out really well,” McCaulley said. “And she can shoot from outside.”
Ruth Moss scored eight points, grabbed eight rebounds and also had two assists and two steals.
“Ruth played well inside,” McCaulley said. “She and Laila were a little bit tight, but they played good defense and rebounded well.”
Patience Swan added 10 points, three rebounds and three assists.
Senior point guard Gina McCaulley scored 11 points with two assists and a steal.
“It was a real team effort,” McCaulley said. “I’m pretty happy so far with where we are at.”
Sophomore Jayden Olson hit four 3s to lead the Spartans with 12 points.
“Every time the ball came off her hand it looked like it was going to go in,” Hurn said.
Freshman Iesha Johnson notched nine points.
“Iesha played well,” Hurn said. “She’s from Neah Bay, so it was a little emotional for her playing with friends and people she grew up with.”
Freshman Chloe Leverington added eight points and sophomore Rian Peters had seven for Forks (3-1).
“I felt like it was a pretty evenly matched game,” Hurn said.
The two squads will face each other again on Wednesday, Dec. 20 in Forks.
Forks hosts Clallam Bay tonight. Neah Bay (1-0) visits Mount Vernon Christian on Saturday.
Neah Bay 53, Forks 39
Forks 8 8 13 10— 39
Neah Bay 6 15 16 16— 53
Forks (39) — Olson 12, Johnson 9, Leverington 8, Peters 7, Rowley 2, Baar 1, Garcia-Vasquez, Kratzer, Hoagland, Rondeau,
Neah Bay (53) — C. Swan 18, McCaulley 11, P. Swan 10, Moss 8, Svec 3, Greene 2, Winck, Yallup, Lovik, Woodruff.
Sequim 57, North Mason 36
SEQUIM — The Wolves opened their season with a controlled performance in an Olympic League 2A win over the Bulldogs.
Sequim led 25-21 at halftime and broke open the game by holding North Mason to just 15 second-half points.
“We pride ourselves on our defense and the girls take a lot of pride in holding other teams to low point totals,” Wolves coach Larry Brown said. “In the second half our strong defense turned into offense for us. We forced turnovers and got some easy baskets.”
Sophomores Jessica Dietzman and Hope Glasser led Sequim in scoring with 16 and 14 points, respectively.
The Wolves also received some solid production from their strong freshman class.
“We have three seniors that are hurt or ineligible,” Brown said.
“So four freshman got time in every quarter and we got something like 20 or 21 points out of them. Really good production.”
Abigail Schroeder, Jayla Julmist and Melissa Porter each scored six and fellow freshman Kalli Wiker added three.
“We play with a lot of speed and sometimes that can go against you, but we maintained the right amount of speed and composure throughout the game,” Brown said. “We are young, but we play as a very cohesive unit. We can play to our strengths and help cover our weaknesses. “
The Wolves visit Coupeville today.
Boys Basketball Forks 66, Neah Bay 44
NEAH BAY — A balanced Spartans’ scoring attack lifted Forks to a win over the Red Devils in Neah Bay’s season opener.
“They played better than expected for their first game,” Spartans coach Rick Gooding said. “They made us play their style and did a good job of speeding the game up. That suited them more than us.
“But everybody kind of came in and contributed for us. Cort had 16 points to lead us, but we had a guy with nine [Jake Jacoby], a guy with eight [Seth Johnson], and two guys with seven [Austin Flores and Scotty Archibald].
“We spread it out a little bit, some guys got some run outs, some guys got some duck-ins.
We moved the ball fairly well when we didn’t turn it over. All our guys kind of hung in and stuck together. It wasn’t our best shooting night or rebounding night but we played in a real tough environment and won by 22. “Hopefully it meant a lot to them. If you can go to Neah Bay and come out with a win that’s big. It’s a fun place to play, they root for their kids so hard and they were excited for the first game.”
Forks (4-1) plays Blaine at Port Angeles tonight and hosts Stevenson on Saturday.
“These will be two of our toughest games,” Gooding said. “Anytime you get the chance to play a Whatcom County team you take it, and Stevenson has been putting up some points.”
Forks 66, Neah Bay 44
Forks 13 11 18 24— 66
Neah Bay 8 7 15 14— 44
Forks (66) — Prose 16, Jacoby 9, Johnson 8, A. Flores 7, Archibald 7, T. Flores 4, Baar 3, C. Baysinger 2, Morton 2, Reaume 1, T. Baysinger.
Neah Bay (44) — Johnson 13, Bitegeko 12, Brunk 7, Claplanhoo 5, Moore 3, Martinez 2, Kallappa 2, Halttunen, Engram, Shaw, Lovik.
Sequim 47, North Mason 44, OT
BELFAIR — The Wolves opened Olympic League 2A Division play with an overtime win over the Bulldogs.
It was a tight game throughout with North Mason up 16-12 at halftime and Sequim taking a 24-23 into the fourth quarter.
Sequim’s Payton Glasser led the way with 22 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks.
Nate Despain added nine points, six rebounds, four steals and two assists for the Wolves.
Cole Williams helped out with nine rebounds, five offensive, to go along with two steals, two points and an assist.
The Wolves outrebounded the Bulldogs 41-30 in the game.
Sequim (1-0, 2-0) visits Coupeville today.
Sequim 47, North Mason 44, OT
Away 7 9 7 17 4— 44
Sequim7 5 12 16 7— 47
North Mason (44) — Fisher 18, Campbell 10, J. Pearson 6, Coldiron 4, R. Pearson 2, McCormick 2.
Sequim (47) — Glasser 22, Despain 9, Rollness 8, Whitney 4, Williams 2, Christiansen 2, Langston, Bell.
Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.