BAINBRIDGE — Port Angeles made up an eight-point deficit entering the fourth quarter with a lockdown defensive job in the final frame to come away with a 44-37 win over Class 3A Bainbridge in the Roughriders’ season opener.
Trailing 35-27, Port Angeles’ Devin Edwards and Lauren Lunt each knocked down 3-pointers to pull within two.
Lunt followed with assists on scores by Nizhoni Wheeler and Natalie Steinman to put the Riders in the lead, but the Spartans answered with a quick layin — Bainbridge’s lone bucket of the fourth quarter.
“Cheyenne Wheeler gave us the lead for good with a free-throw to make it 38-37. A Kyrsten McGuffey runner in the lane and four more free throws (three by Cheyenne and one by Nizhoni) sealed the win,” Port Angeles coach Michael Poindexter said.
“The guard trio of Natalie Steinman, Gracie Long, and Kyrsten McGuffey did a superb job on their three best guard scorers (Taylor Tye, Kendal Havill, and Olivia Wikstrom).”
The Riders withstood committing eight turnovers during their fourth-quarter comeback.
“Weaknesses that we have to fix include lots of turnovers against their half-court pressure and allowing too much dribble penetration from their guards,” Poindexter said.
“Ultimately, though, our toughness on the defensive end and our aggressive job on the offensive boards in the fourth quarter were the deciding elements in the game.”
Steinman and Cheyenne Wheeler combined for eight rebounds and three steals in the fourth quarter.
Port Angeles (1-0) hosts North Mason (0-1) in its home and Olympic League 2A Division opener this Wednesday.
Port Angeles 44, Bainbridge 37
Port Angeles 4 13 10 17— 44
Bainbridge 13 11 11 2— 37
Port Angeles (66) — McGuffey 10, N.Wheeler 6, C. Wheeler 6, Lunt 6, Steinman 5, Brady 3, Long 3, Edwards 3, Robideau 2, Gray, Politika, M. Wenzl
Bainbridge (37) — Ke. Havill 10, Tye 6, Carson 6, Wikstrom 6, Peato 4, Dean 3, Ki. Havill 2.
Aberdeen 39, Forks 36
FORKS — The Spartans came up just short in close loss to the Bobcats and now have lost their first two games by just five total points.
“We are getting there, we just have had some lapses at times, but we have done really well in the fourth quarter so far,” Forks coach John DeMatties said.
A scoreless second quarter tripped up the Spartans in Wednesday’s game.
“That hurt us,” DeMatties said.
“We are struggling with our outisde shooting and they played a 2-3 zone on us ,so they were sagging on us down low. Rian Peters scored eight points in the third to keep us in there and then we outscored them in the fourth.”
Forks had a shot at tying the game with 1.7 seconds left.
“We went to the free throw line and hit the first and had to try and miss the second to get a shot off and that didn’t turn out,” DeMatties said.
“I can’t fault the effort.”
Forks (0-2) visits Chimacum (0-1) tonight.
Aberdeen 39, Forks 36
Aberdeen 9 7 13 10— 39
Forks 8 0 13 15— 36
Forks (36) — Peters 18, DeMatties 8, Olson 4, Hoagland 4, Kratzer 2.
Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or at [email protected]