Grizzlies pull away from Wolfpack in 2nd half | Boys basketball
Last updated 2/2/2018 at Noon
Glacier Peak turned up the defensive pressure on Jackson in the second half.
The Grizzlies outscored the Timberwolves 17-8 in the third quarter to pull away from the Timberwolves and secure a 55-47 victory in a Wesco 4A boys basketball game Tuesday Jan. 23, at Glacier Peak High School.
Glacier Peak and Jackson battled to a 12-12 tie after the first quarter and the two teams headed into halftime deadlocked at 25.
“We just came out slow and had to pick things up because Jackson was riled up,” Glacier Peak junior Fletcher Douglas said.
The Grizzlies came out firing after halftime scoring the first 8 points of the period. The Wolfpack later cut Glacier Peak’s lead to 35-32 on a 3-pointer by Christian Liddell, but the Grizzlies closed out the quarter on a 7-1 run to take a 42-33 lead into the fourth quarter.
“I think we actually played pretty good defense,” Glacier Peak coach Brian Hunter said. “We kind of forced them into some difficult shots, difficult passes. Some of the looks that they were getting in the first half weren’t quite as open in the second half for them.”
Glacier Peak later was able to extend its 9-point lead to 14 midway through the fourth quarter before Jackson staged a late rally.
The Grizzlies battled through a difficult first half from the field by relying on their defense.
“We can always bring our defense,” Douglas said. “Our offense comes eventually.”
The shots started falling in the third quarter
“We just converted. We made a few shots,” Hunter said. “We just shot the ball really poorly in the first half and give Jackson credit, they played really hard. They played a really great first half. They hit great shots and we, just for whatever reason, we weren’t hitting shots in the first half.”
The Grizzlies also had problems with their free throws, making only two of seven in the first half.
Jackson coach Steve Johnson said Glacier Peak senior Bobby Martin provided an offensive spark for his team in the third quarter with an early basket and some key passes. Martin scored nine of his 11 points in the second half.
“Martin was a big difference,” Johnson said. “They got the ball to him and he can do some damage. They got the ball to him at the high post and he made some tough shots. I thought he made a few plays to kind of stretch it to six to eight points. We struggled offensively. We had some really poor offensive possessions. We turned the ball over twice and took some quick shots. If they go in, they’re great. But they’re not so great if the other team is scoring and you shoot quickly and give them the ball right back.”
Martin missed some shots in the first half that he normally makes, Hunter said. The Glacier Peak senior standout was more aggressive to the hoop in the second half.
“I think he just realized that he needed to get to the basket,” Hunter said. “Instead of just maybe settling for outside shots, he went to the basket. I think the rest of the guys fed off of that a little bit.”
Martin also was able to take advantage of his height.
“He definitely made a concerted effort to penetrate and he shot up and over our smaller defenders,” Johnson said. “Some of those shots were pretty tough. Some, I thought he was allowed to get the ball in a little bit too comfortable a spot.”
Glacier Peak junior Fletcher Douglas scored nine of his team-high 17 points in the first half. Seniors Trey Lawrence finished with 10 points and Noah Forman had 9 points.
“They’re all solid. That’s one of their strengths,” Johnson said of the balance Grizzly lineup. “They don’t have weaknesses. They’ve got some other guys who can play. It’s not a one man show for sure.”
Hunter agrees that Martin’s teammates are more than capable of scoring.
“So even if Bobby is not having one of his typical nights, other guys can pick it up,” he said. “I think that’s really been important for us in our success.”
Liddell led Jackson with 19 points and Kyle Bigovich added 6 points. Junior Ben Olesen, who scored 13 points in the first meeting with Glacier Peak, was limited to 6 points.
The Grizzlies played man-to-man defense for most of the night with Douglas guarding Liddell and Brayden Corwin focusing on Olesen. Both Douglas and Corwin made their counterparts work hard for their points, Hunter said.
“I expected this to be a really tough game,” the Glacier Peak coach said. “I knew Jackson would be extremely focused.”
The Grizzlies (11-1 in the league, 16-2 overall) were atop of the league standings, pending a showdown with Monroe (10-2, 15-3) on Thursday, Feb. 2, after the Beacon’s deadline. Glacier Peak, which suffered its first league loss to Kamiak 66-62 on Tuesday, Jan. 30, will end up either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed.
“We need to get better every night to get ourselves prepared for the really cool stuff, which is districts and playoffs,” Hunter said.
Jackson (8-4, 12-6) is the No. 4 seed. Johnson echoes his counterpart’s sentiments.
“We need to keep better. We need to keep working at it,” he said.