PORT ANGELES — Stop the ball, stop the opposition’s progress. Neah Bay pulled the first part of the equation off flawlessly to open up Tuesday’s Class 1B Tri-District Girls Basketball Tournament game with the Tulalip Heritage Hawks.
The Red Devils forced Tulalip into 15 first-quarter turnovers, opened up a 17-0 lead and cruised from there for a 60-30 victory at Port Angeles High School on Tuesday.
No. 6 Neah Bay (15-5) will face No. 8 Muckleshoot (19-5) at Evergreen Lutheran High School at 3:30 p.m. today in the Tri-District semifinals.
The Red Devils sealed a state regional berth with the win, and with a top eight RPI ranking all but assured at the end of Tri-District play, Neah Bay has likely earned a Class 1B State Tournament appearance the program’s fourth straight state tournament trip.
The Hawks did have one ace up their sleeves in Tuesday’s contest — 6-foot-1 sophomore post Jacynta Gilford-Miles.
They just couldn’t get her the basketball to open the game, not under the Red Devils’ constant backcourt pressure.
Neah Bay turned turnovers into transition buckets opening up that insurmountable early lead and a 25-8 advantage after one quarter with some balanced scoring.
Laila Greene knocked down two early 3-point baskets to score eight of her team-high 15 in the early going.
“Laila had a good shooting night,” Neah Bay head coach Tina Grimes-Brown said.
Moss makes it all work
Ruth Moss scored six of her 11 points in the first — all six coming on steals and drives to the basket.
“Ruth is the one who makes it all go,” Grimes-Brown said.
“She can make the passes we need, she plays defense with so much effort and she can shoot it. She’s our floor general.”
Freshman Allie Greene cashed in from outside early on her way to eight points.
Gilford-Myles was eventually able to get going, scoring a game-high 17 points, but her impact was minimized by a good rebounding night by the shorter Red Devils.
“We did pretty well against her, but now we know what we need to work on against a bigger opponent,” Grimes-Brown said. “We have to defend the entry pass better and our posts can’t be scared to work inside against taller girls on offense.”
The Red Devils played the whole bench, an important item to check off the to-do-list when able during the postseason.
“Everybody got to play which is important and the girls all played up to their capabilities when they were in the game,” Grimes-Brown said.
Neah Bay 60, Tulalip Heritage 30
Tulalip Heritage 8 8 4 10— 30
Neah Bay 25 11 13 11— 60
Tulalip Heritage (30) — Myles-Gifford 17, Parks 5, Parker 5, McLean 2.
Neah Bay (60) — L. Greene 15, Ru. Moss 11, A. Greene 8, Gagnon 8, Aguirre 6, Ray 5, Ry. Moss 4, Horesji 2, Yallup, Woodruff, Lovik.
Sequim 58, Kingston 34
UNIVERSITY PLACE — The Wolves stayed alive in the Class 2A West Central District Tournament with their third win over the Buccaneers this season.
“We limited our turnovers and focused on making smart passes,” Sequim coach Linsay Rapelje said. “Hope Glasser added 15 rebounds and three assists to her 9 points. Jayla Julmist had a double-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds, four steals, three blocks and three assists.
“Our bench got a lot of minutes and kept the momentum up,” Rapelje said.
The No. 13 Wolves (17-6) face South Puget Sound League champ No. 4 White River (21-3) in a loser-out, winner-to-state regionals contest at Wilson High School in Tacoma at 6 p.m. tonight.
“Looking forward to a battle,” Rapelje said.
Sequim 58, Kingston 34
Kingston 10 2 8 14— 34
Sequim 17 19 10 12— 58
Kingston (34) — Deam 13, Brockman 12, Skinner 3, Walker 2, Epperson 2, Denning 2.
Sequim (58) — Ja. Julmist 12, Glasser 9, Wagner 8, Je. Julmist 6, Raney 6, Bates 5, Dietzman 5, Wiker 3, Porter 2, Pyeatt, Weller.
Clallam Bay 60, Tacoma Baptist 46
TACOMA — Amber Swan scored 22 points and Cedar Johnson added 18, including four 3-pointers, as the Bruins earned a state regional round berth with a road win over the Crusaders.
No. 12 Clallam Bay (16-5) advances to a Class 1B Tri-District Tournament Semifinal matchup at No. 5 Mount Vernon Christian on Thursday.
Clallam Bay 60, Tacoma Baptist 46
Clallam Bay 16 14 19 11— 60
Tacoma Baptist 7 9 16 14— 46
Clallam Bay (60) — A. Swan 22, Johnson 18, P. Swan 11, Clemmons 5, Signor 4, Tyree.
Tacoma Baptist (46) — Vyseehe 19, Tongsager 12, McDaniel 9, Jones 3, Settle 2.
Boys Basketball Forks 58, Hoquiam 49
MONTESANO — The Spartans stayed alive in the Class 1A Southwest District Tournament by knocking out their Evergreen League foe on Tuesday night at Montesano High School.
Forks (14-8) will face Stevenson (12-10) in a loser-out consolation semifinal Thursday at 6 p.m. at Castle Rock High School.
It was a team effort against the Grizzles on Tuesday with four Spartans in double figures in scoring.
Trey Baysinger led the squad with 16 points while Logan Olson added 14 and Tony Flores and Raymond Davis each hit for 11.
“It was kind of by committee,” Forks coach Rick Gooding said.
“Third quarter is where they got to us at their place and we had trouble in that quarter again but we finished it out well, so good to see a little bit of growth. We didn’t play our best game but in district basketball against a league opponent a win is all that matters.”
With Forks trailing, Gooding sent Baysinger back into the game with four fouls with five minutes left — a now or never decision in a loser-out contest.
“I think Ray [Davis] made a hustle play, Trey got into the game and we went on a run from there,” Gooding said.
Gooding said Olson hit two huge 3-point baskets and knocked down important free throws late.
“He sparked us in the first and fourth,” Gooding said of the sophomore.
“Raymond Davis did a pretty good job all night in our press. Oscar Gonzalez had all five of his points in the second (when Forks outscored Hoquiam 21-8.).
Now the Spartans face a Bulldogs squad that likes to push the tempo.
“It will be a fast game,” Gooding said. “They like to play at a fast pace.”
Forks 58, Hoquiam 49
Forks 10 21 5 22— 58
Hoquiam 17 8 12 12— 49
Forks (58) — R. Davis 11, Gonzalez 5, Baysinger 16, Flores 11, Olson 15, Steffan, Windle.
Hoquiam (49) — Dick 11, Estes 6, Bumstead 18, Elsos 10, Brydon 2, Foster 2, McNeill.
Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or at [email protected].