SPORTS: Port Townsend starts slow, then wins first state tournament game

YAKIMA — Hard to believe, but the Port Townsend boys basketball team showed up late to the late game.

The wait was well worth it.

The Redskins rebounded from a 10-2 first quarter deficit to begin the 9 p.m. nightcap, the last of eight games in the first round of the Class 1A state tournament in the Yakima Valley SunDome, for a 41-27 victory over District 5 champion Granger (17-7 overall) on Wednesday night.

“I don’t know if it was jitters or what . . . they were walking all over us [in the first quarter],” Port Townsend head coach John Stroeder said.

“We didn’t play our game, but the kids hung in there and beat them up in the second half.”

Port Townsend’s “Super 8” seniors improved to 3-2 in state tournament play with the victory, having gone 2-2 on their way to a sixth-place finish at last year’s 2A tournament.

The Redskins will take on Seattle Academy of the Emerald City League, which beat Castle Rock 56-50 in overtime, tonight at 9 p.m.

“We’re going to watch film on them tomorrow,” Stroeder said. “[Seattle Academy] showed a lot to come back from 10 down. They play a lot like us.”

Senior forward Joe Aase had 14 points and six rebounds, including two 3-pointers, and senior Walker Wilson added 11 points and nine rebounds as the Redskins overcame an off-shooting night from the normally reliable Parker McClelland (4-of-12 for eight points) for the win.

Dakotah Pine added six points, coming on back-to-back 3-pointers to open the second quarter, while Elan Solvik had two points and four assists.

“Everybody can step up, and we had a lot of guys do that tonight,” Wilson said.

The Redskins began the game with five turnovers in its first seven possessions as Granger raced out to a 10-2 lead after eight minutes.

Yet Port Townsend responded with three straight 3-pointers, two from Pine and one from Aase, followed by a Parker McClelland six-foot fadeaway for a 13-10 lead.

The lead changed hands two more times during the quarter before Aase hit a 16-foot jump shot to put Port Townsend ahead 19-17 at the break.

The Redskins wouldn’t trail the rest of the game, outscoring the Spartans 22-8 in the final two quarters with a superb defensive effort.

Port Townsend 41, Granger 27

Port Townsend 2 17 6 16 — 41

Granger 10 7 5 5 — 27

Individual Scoring

Port Townsend (41)

Aase 14, Wilson 11, McClelland 8, Pine 6, Solvik 2.

Granger (27)

Villa 4, Oswalt 2, Lopez 7, Zapien 7, Carpenter 2, Paul 5.

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