By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
BELLEVUE — Glacier Peak boys basketball coach Brian Hunter would prefer to never again see the version of his team he watched in the first half of Friday’s game with Monroe.
He would welcome the one he saw in the second half with open arms.
The Grizzlies outscored the Bearcats 21-5 in the third quarter and rallied from a two-point halftime deficit to win 54-37, advancing to today’s semifinals of the Bellevue College Holiday Tournament. GP plays Woodinville at 3:30 p.m.
“Our effort level wasn’t where it needed to be in the first half,” Hunter said. “Truly for us, and our group this year and pretty much every year we’ve been a program, effort is paramount for us to be successful. It just wasn’t there.”
Monroe scored the game’s first five points and led by as many as six before Glacier Peak’s Trey Chambers scored the final five points of the period, but the Grizzlies still trailed 8-7 after the first quarter.
Glacier Peak’s Bobby Brooks opened the scoring in the second quarter with a breakaway layup to give the Grizzlies their first lead of the game. Monroe regained the lead on its next possession and used a 6-0 run to extend its advantage to 14-9. The second quarter followed the same pattern as the first, Monroe built a six-point lead before the Grizzlies closed the gap. The Bearcats settled for a 20-18 lead at halftime.
In the locker room, Hunter said he challenged his team to increase its intensity.
“We just said, ‘What kind of a basketball team do we want to be and what are we basing our program on?’” Hunter said. “We just had to decide if we wanted to put our level of effort in. The wins and losses and all that stuff, that’s going to happen, but we wanted to be consistent with our effort level.”
Hunter’s message must have resonated with his players. The Grizzlies opened the second half with a 17-0 run. By the time the quarter was over, Glacier Peak had turned a two-point halftime deficit into a comfortable 14-point lead.
“I don’t want to take anything away from them,” Monroe head coach Tyson Horner said. “They were fantastic. I think they got a lot of 50-50 balls, they got a lot of put-backs and they started making threes. We were completely out of it on offense and we couldn’t execute.”
Leading the Grizzlies’ third-quarter charge was senior point guard Luke Neill. Neill scored eight points in the period, including two 3-pointers.
“Luke is coming along,” Hunter said. “We are trying to get him more involved on the offensive end. He can shoot a little bit, but he’s been doing a good job of running the team and getting shots for us.
“His contribution in the second half was key to us getting momentum.”
Neill finished with 10 points, all after halftime.
Chambers led all scorers with 20 points, many of which came off turnovers created by the GP defense.
“Trey first and foremost is a competitor,” Hunter said. “He gets a lot of his stuff off of effort. He doesn’t quit on plays. He’s an athlete. For us truly, even though he scores for us, he’s the guy who leads us in a competitive nature and a lot of the kids feed off that.”
Stagnant in the third quarter, Monroe’s offense came to life in the fourth, but the Grizzlies had built too big of a lead in the third quarter for the Bearcats to overcome.
Riley Schelfhout scored 16 points to lead Monroe.
“He picked up some key buckets,” Horner said. “In a loss it’s hard to look at that and see a huge bright spot, but he played really hard. You wish he could have had a game like that in a win.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Bellevue College
Monroe – 8 12 5 12 – 37
Glacier Peak – 7 11 21 15 – 54
Monroe—Alex Johnson 0, Hunger Bingham 0, Tyler Sharp 6, Andrew Chartrand 7, Tristan Witham 0, Alexander Spahman 5, Devin Sepich 1, Riley Schelfhout 16, Brandon Gunderson 2. Glacier Peak—Ty Deckwa 3, Bobby Brooks 4, Ty Kjellesvik 6, Chris Watkins 0, Brady Southard 0, Nick Allan 5, Grant Peltier 0, Luke Neill 10, Justin Guffey 6, Jake Argue 0, Trey Chambers 20. 3-point goals—Chartrand 1,Deckwa 1, Neill 2, Chambers 1. Records—Monroe 1-5, Glacier Peak 7-1.
At Bellevue College
Monroe 0 0 0 0 — 0
Glacier Peak 0 0 0 0 — 0
Monroe—Alex Johnson, Hunter Bingham, Tyler Sharp, Shanden Mixayphone, Samuel LaPine, Andrew Chartrand, Kurtis Lockie, Rhen Shore, Tristan Witham, Alexander Spahman, Devin Sepich, Riley Schelfhout, Brandon Gundersen. Glacier Peak—Ty Deckwa, Bobby Brooks, Ty Kjellesvik, Chris Watkins, Brady Southard, Nick Allan, Grant Peltier, Luke Neill, Trey Chambers. 3-point goals—xxx. Records—Monroe x-x overall. Glacier Peak x-x.