SPORTS: Port Angeles runs away from youthful Port Townsend in boys basketball

PORT TOWNSEND — For one quarter, the Port Angeles boys basketball team was near flawless Monday night.

That turned out to be more than enough for the Roughriders, who won their third game in a row after topping Port Townsend 60-39 inside cozy Bruce Blevins Gymnasium.

Reggie Burke came off the bench to score 16 points and dish out four assists.

Easton Napiontek continued his assault on Olympic League front lines with a 16-point, eight-rebound performance.

And the Riders (3-1 in league, 4-1 overall) exploded for a 23-2 third quarter to keep the young, inexperienced Redskins (0-4 in league) winless.

“Once we got a couple of stops defensively, we got a good rhythm offensively,” Port Angeles coach Wes Armstrong said.

“We have set plays for each player on our team. . . it just kind of depends, and our guys did a good job of reading and reacting to whatever Port Townsend had in the third quarter.

“Some of the best offense we’ve had all year was in the third quarter.”

Indeed, during the first six minutes of that frame, the Riders scored at will.

Scoring inside

Napiontek started it off with a six-foot fade in the paint, and Hayden McCartney scored a 3-point play in transition 30 seconds later.

Soon enough, the Riders were off to the races.

Port Angeles hit 9 of 14 field-goal attempts during the third quarter, with Burke and Cole Uvila each draining open 3-pointers on quick-hitting plays.

Uvila had a smooth coast-to-coast finger roll lay-in through traffic, and McCartney capped things off with a perfectly executed pick-and-roll feed to backup post Marshall Elliott right before the buzzer.

“The third quarter was great,” Napiontek said.

“We got in the locker room and we talked about everything that was going wrong and what we needed to change. It was good.

“It was just a group discussion that changed it and motivated everybody.”

Port Townsend hit just 1 of 9 field goal attempts during the game-turning run.

The Redskins also turned the ball over five times — they finished with 18 on the game — as the Riders ramped up the defensive pressure.

What had been a manageable eight-point halftime deficit became a 51-22 Port Angeles lead.

That allowed Armstrong to give his starters extra rest during a three-game week that includes tonight’s home game against Bremerton and Friday’s game at Klahowya.

“I knew coming right out of the gate they would attack us hard in the third quarter,” Port Townsend coach Tom Webster said.

“They are good defensively, too. They didn’t make it easy on us. They came out with some intensity, and I don’t believe we came out flat or anything like that.

“They just executed better in that third quarter and then the game obviously got away from us.”

Port Angeles finished the game with 16 assists to just nine turnovers.

Burke, McCartney and Keenen Walker all had four assists apiece.

There may have been even more assists for Burke had he been allowed to start like he customarily does.

Instead, he had to come off the bench in the second quarter after he missed practice Saturday, per team rules.

He wasted little time making an impact, sparking a 9-2 Rider run with back-to-back 3-pointers that helped put the Riders ahead 28-20 going into the halftime break.

“The last two games in a row Reggie has played phenomenal for us,” Armstrong said. “He’s such an asset on the offensive end and he’s so unselfish.

“He’s really starting to play well, starting to get that confidence and he’s becoming a great senior leader as well.”

Napiontek did much of his damage in the first half, carrying a sluggish Rider team with eight points on 4-of-4 shooting during a first quarter that ended in a 13-13 tie.

He did miss one free throw during that time. But the 6-foot-8 senior quickly pounced on the rebound over two Redskins and put it back in the basket.

It was exactly the sort of display of raw physical dominance that has the Rider coaching staff excited about what’s to come from a player who spent the past three years on the sidelines.

“We have pretty high standards of him, but he’s still getting better,” Armstrong said. “He’s a raw talent, obviously.

“He has a lot of growth still to grow, and learn how to seal and just be a more complete post player, and he will do that. He’s a very coachable kid and he’s just been a pleasure.

“He stepped right in like he didn’t miss a beat, and he’s been playing real well.”

Webster could only take solace in the fact that his team went toe-to-toe with the senior-laden Riders for a half.

Kyle Kelly scored all seven of his points in the first half, with five of those coming in the first quarter.

Will O’Brien gave the Redskins their only lead of the game, 17-15, after hitting a pair of free throws with 3:55 to go in the second quarter.

Port Townsend, however, would score just five more points during the next 12 minutes.

Paul Spaltenstein added seven points for the Redskins, and senior post Chad Smith had six points, including an athletic tip dunk off a missed layup in the fourth quarter.

The Redskins finished 15 of 39 from the field, with seven of those baskets coming after the game was well out of reach in the fourth.

They head to Kingston tonight for another league game.

“In the first half we hung right in there with one of the better teams in the Olympic League, but doing it for 32 minutes is a little bit harder to do,” Webster said.

“I was happy with a lot of the things we did. We just didn’t sustain it.”

Port Angeles 60,

Port Townsend 39

Port Angeles 13 15 23 9— 60

Port Townsend 13 7 2 17— 39

Individual scoring

Port Angeles (60)

Walker 2, Burke 16, McCartney 10, Uvila 7, Elliott 5, Nordberg 2, Napiontek 16, Schumacher 2.

Port Townsend (39)

O’Brien 5, Kelly 7, S. Coppenrath 5, L. Coppenrath 4, Charlton 5, Spaltenstein 7, Smith 6.

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