SPORTS: Forks loss clarifies path to possible district play

FORKS — The Forks boys basketball team’s playoff picture cleared up after a 69-67 overtime loss to the Rochester Warriors on Thursday night.

With the loss, Forks (6-8 in league, 9-11 overall) will play at the fourth-place team from the Southwest Washington League’s Trico Division (either Kalama or Ilwaco) on Monday in a loser-out contest for a No. 4 seed in the Class 1A Southwest Washington District Tournament.

Down 31-29 at halftime, Forks went cold from the field in the third quarter, shooting just 2-for-11 from the field and 1-of-5 from the free throw line before battling back to tie the score with a furious fourth-quarter rally.

“We went ice-cold in the third and Rochester was 8-for-12,” Forks coach Jeff Nelson said.

Using a full-court press, the Spartans harassed the Warriors into multiple turnovers during a 25-14 fourth quarter run.

Forks was able to tie the game and send it overtime but took a shot too early on its final possession in the extra frame and Rochester’s Jarin Ruiz took it down court for the game-winning layup.

Bruno Castro and Sean Weekes led Forks with 21 points apiece. Jared Burkhardt had 25 points and Ruiz added 22 for Rochester.

The winner of Monday’s loser-out contest between Forks and Kalama/Ilwaco will face Evergreen Division Champion Winlock in the double elimination district playoffs in Chehalis on Wednesday.

Rochester 69, Forks 67 OT

Rochester 12 19 16 14 8– 69

Forks 14 15 7 25 6– 67

Individual Scoring

Rochester (69)

Burkhardt 25, Ruiz 22, Holmon 12, Monette 6, Schultz 4.

Forks (67)

Castro 21, Weekes 21, Lindbergh 10, Taylor 7, McGinley 5, Gaydeski 3.

—-

Port Townsend 51, Bremerton 48

BREMERTON — No. 4 Port Townsend clinched a sub-district winner-to-state game with 1A’s top-ranked Vashon Island Pirates after a come-from-behind victory in Bremerton on Thursday.

Down five with 2:52 to play in the fourth quarter, Port Townsend (14-2, 18-2) rallied on the strength of clutch jump shooting by senior Joe Aase and Parker McClelland and a cool hand at the free throw line by fellow senior Dakotah Pine.

McClelland gave Port Townsend the lead at 49-48 with just over a minute to play on a 3-pointer and Pine knocked down a pair of free throws to put the Redskins up 51-48.

Bremerton’s last second 3-point attempt nearly forced overtime, rolling halfway down and back out to end the game.

McClelland and Walker Wilson had 13 points apiece for Port Townsend to lead all scorers. Wilson added eight rebounds, four of them on the offensive end, in the victory.

Aase finished with 11 points for Port Townsend.

Josh Koets led the Knights with 11.

A second-consecutive Olympic League championship is still possible for Port Townsend with a loss by North Kitsap in one of their final two contests.

In the meantime, Port Townsend has a long wait before its next game. The Redskins will play Vashon at Orting High School at 7 p.m. on Feb. 21 for a spot in the 1A state tournament and the top seed to the tri-district tournament for the West Central District.

No. 4 Port Townsend 51, Bremerton 48

Port Townsend 10 18 10 12 — 51

Bremerton 12 9 18 9 — 48

Individual Scoring

Port Townsend (51)

Pine 5, Solvik 9, McClelland 13, Aase 11, Wilson 13.

Bremerton (48)

Koets 11, Flora 4, Terrick McGhee 2, Terrance McGhee 8, Driscoll 2, Dale 9, Holman 10, Bennett 2.

Girls Basketball

Forks 46, Rochester 43 (OT)

ROCHESTER — The Spartans ended a four-game slide with a dramatic overtime victory over the Warriors to close out the Southwest Washington League schedule on Thursday.

Mariah Dillard drained a pair of free three throws with 1.7 seconds left in regulation to tie the score, and Alexa Justus scored five of her team-high 13 points in the extra frame as the Spartans avoided backing in to the postseason with a loss.

“We’re just happy we have a chance to play right now,” Forks coach Scott Justus said. “It’s always nice to win on the road. I told the girls, that’s something to build off of.”

The Spartans (8-6, 12-8), who were atop the standings midway through the season, finished fifth in the Evergreen Division of the Southwest Washington League.

That means they must take on Trico No. 4 White Salmon on Monday at Castle Rock in a loser-out pigtail sub-district playoff game.

Alexa Justus dished out seven assists and snared five steals for the Forks on Thursday, while Dillard finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and seven steals.

“This might have been [Dillard’s] best game of the year, especially defensively,” Scott Justus said. “She did really well fronting the other team’s posts, especially in the first half.

Forks 46, Rochester 43 (OT)

Forks 10 8 14 5 9 — 46

Rochester 9 9 11 8 6 — 43

Individual Scoring

Forks (46)

Gillett 8, Pullen 2, Justus 13, Kennedy 8, Fonzi 5, Dillard 10.

Rochester (43)

Knowles 14, Reynoldson 10, Bricker 6, McCann 13.

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