FORKS — With many players absent from Forks’ first week of girls basketball practice last week due to duties as members of the Spartans’ district title-game-bound softball squad, Forks coach David Hurn had some worries ahead of the basketball season opener.
“We had one practice [as a full team], so I was very concerned,” Hurn said.
“I knew the effort level was going to be there. We had one of the best, highest-energy practices we have had since I have been here on Monday. The energy with a full gym was great, but at practice I kept shaking my head and asking myself, ‘How are we getting everything installed?’
“We hadn’t even assigned jersey numbers or ran our inbounds plays.”
The less-is-more approach worked out, with Forks running out to a 39-point first half en route to a 71-35 Pacific League win over North Beach on Tuesday.
“I went in at halftime and told them I guess we are done practicing for the rest of the year,” Hurn joked. “If 39 points wasn’t the highest point total we’ve had in a half since I’ve been here, it was close to it.
“We played some pretty good defense and shot the ball really well. Hopefully, we can keep that pace up. I think we had 10 threes on the game. We are trying to create a lot of space so our guards can attack and have Chloe [Leverington] and Kray [Horton], our posts, feed off the drives and penetration and then have kick-out opportunities.”
Forks freshman Keira Johnson came off the bench to score a game-high 19 points, including three 3-pointers.
“She attacked the hoop well and made some threes for us,” Hurn said.
Leverington added 18 points and controlled the glass.
“We were kidding with her that she was padding her [rebounding] stats because she missed a few easy open ones,” Hurn said.
“We were ready to roll, being in good shape and ready to hit the ground running. I think that showed; we played with high energy.”
Hurn said it was difficult to handicap the Pacific League, but he expects Raymond and Ilwaco to offer some quality competition this season.
“Raymond has a stud player. They had a pretty good year last year,” Hurn said. “Ilwaco is always a great basketball program, and I know they have a few of their best players back, and we play them Saturday. That will be a great barometer of where we are at, and maybe where we need to be.”
Before that matchup, Forks (1-0) travels to face South Bend today.
Forks 71, North Beach 35
F: 15 24 12 20 — 71
NB: 10 7 9 9 — 35
Forks: Johnson 19, Leverington 18, Rowley 11, Casadie Wharton 9, Bouchard 5, Wood 3, Neel 2, Horton 2, Sandoval 2, Janessa Ramos.
North Beach: Eang 13, Butler 7, Hanson 5, Estbillo 4, Langston 3, Eastman 2, Goldman 1.
Bainbridge 51, East Jefferson 21
BAINBRIDGE — The schedule-makers did East Jefferson no favors as the combined team opened on the road against the Class 3A Spartans and will host 3A Central Kitsap tonight.
Peninsula College signee Gina Brown led East Jefferson (0-1) with eight points while Katie Clark added six.
“It is somewhat surreal that East Jefferson’s roster has Port Townsend and Chimacum kids, we are playing in May and we are in a pandemic,” East Jefferson coach Lorraine Rimson said. “You’d never know that when you see how cohesive and focused our team is. Playing together has created a better, stronger, more competitive team. We aren’t there yet, but we are moving in the right direction.
“It is a real privilege that I am coaching all of these girls. I owe a lot to [Chimacum coach] Trevor Huntingford for quickly offering to let me coach this year.”
Bainbridge 51, East Jefferson 21
EJ: 4 3 8 6 — 21
Bain: 15 9 11 16 — 51
East Jefferson: Brown 8, Clark 6, Vandenberg 4, Au. Asbell 3, Harris, Johnston, J. Nordberg.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or [email protected] news.com.