CRUSH IN THE SLUSH: PT boys open strong, then falter

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Although Dec. 29 marked the first night of the annual Crush in the Slush tournament for the Port Townsend High School boys’ basketball team, coach Tom Webster deemed it “another Friday night at Bruce Blevins [gym]” for the Redhawks, who typically do well going into the weekends.

The Port Townsend players, with their 1A status, beat the 2A Blaine Borderites by 65-45.

“The Borderites boasted a lineup loaded with some tall trees, standing as high as 6 foot 7 inches, 6 foot 5 inches and 6 foot 4 inches, but the Redhawks brought their axes,” Webster said.

PT led 15-14 in the first quarter, thanks to Kaiden Parcher’s buzzer-beater three-ball from downtown.

“Jacob Boucher hit a trey, and Payton Lake nailed another off Robert Hammett’s hustling offensive rebound, to make the score 25-18 in favor of the Redhawks,” Webster said.

Boucher’s long-distance shot made it 29-21, with three minutes left until the break, while Parcher’s dime to a “slashing” sophomore Noa Montoya helped PT to 35-26 advantage, after two quarters. “Noa’s back-to-back jacks, from beyond the arc, gave Port Townsend a 41-30 lead,” Webster said. “Blaine climbed back into the game, and was down only 41-35 with a little left in the third stanza.” Parcher’s steal and score, followed by another trey from Montoya, put PT up by 10, 48-38, while Boucher’s distance shot made it 51-38 in PT’s favor by the close of the third quarter.

The Redhawks expanded that lead to 55-40 with four and change to go in the fourth quarter.

Webster credited Parcher’s theft and help to Boucher with nudging that up to 57-40, and noted that Kavi Baabahar added “a nice pass” to Jackson Foster for 2 points, and hit a pair from the charity stripe to finish the job, 65-45.

“We had three players in double figures, played good defense, and won the rebound and turnover battle,” Webster said. “We made nine 3-pointers, and our bench was productive.”

Webster called Hammett “a game changer with his rebounding and defense,” and praised both Lake and Seth Spencer for playing well.

“Noa and Jacob both hit some key 3-pointers, and Kaiden continues to lead our team with a complete game,” Webster said. “Bigger isn’t always better. Better is better.”

In the end, Montoya made 20 points and four 3-pointers, and Boucher made 17 points and three 3-pointers, while Parcher made 13 points, 7 rips, 8 assists, 4 steals. Foster made 8 points and 8 rebounds, and Hammett made 8 boards and 2 blocks. PT’s fortunes failed to fare as well the following night, as Dec. 30 saw the Redhawks lose to fellow 1A team Overlake by 40-55.

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