MONTESANO — With a suffocating defensive performance against Castle Rock, the Forks High School boys basketball team has put itself one game away from its third straight Class 2A state tournament appearance.
Led by unsung hero David Hurn’s six steals and 15 points, the Spartans outlasted Castle Rock in the final quarter to win their first round Southwest Washington District playoff game 63-50, while Forks head coach Scott Justus laid in a Forks hospital due to a blood infection.
“We know what he would expect us to do, and it was just a matter of me calling the plays instead of him,” assistant coach Bob Enos said.
Forks entered the fourth quarter with a slim 41-39 lead when the Jordan Justus and the Forks defense caught fire.
Led by Hurn and D.J. Huggins defensive effort at the front of the press, the Spartans made their run and moved within two games of their first District championship since 1993.
“[Hurn] was just a wizard getting into the passing lanes,” Enos said.
In the final frame, the Spartans outscored Castle Rock 22-11 with Justus scoring 11 of his 15 points in the period.
During the final three minutes and 47 seconds the Forks defense didn’t allow a single Castle Rock field goal.
In the end, Enos said, the Rocket offense withered under the Spartan full-court press.
“We knew looking at their stats that their seven guys didn’t play as much as our seven guys,” Enos said.
“We tried to take advantage of that and it worked out pretty well
After Justus hit a 3-pointer that put the Spartans ahead 54-50 the Forks defense manned up and the Rockets were history.
Huggins earned a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds on the night.
The Spartans confused the Rockets with three separate full-court presses over the course of the game, leading to 22 Castle Rock turnovers.
Enos said coach Justus is already reviewing tape of Tuesday’s opponent Ridgefield. He said that he expects coach Justus to be back for Tuesday night’s 7:30 p.m. tip-off at Montesano.“We’re going to compare notes tomorrow,” Enos said.