Noa Montoya admitted he’d been in a rough patch. The Port Townsend junior guard was limited to four points early in the week in a blowout loss to Sequim, and his first few shots against Chimacum on Jan. 25 didn’t find the net.
That changed in the third quarter, when Montoya sank two 3-pointers and scored 10 of his 20 points to lead the Redhawks in a 57-36 win against the Cowboys. Port Townsend (8-7, 3-2 1A Olympic League) swept the three-game season series with Chimacum (2-12, 0-5).
“My teammates kept telling me to shoot it,” Montoya said. “I just needed it to drop for me.”
It was senior night for the Redhawks and eight players were honored prior to the game, including Cole Crawford, who scored 15 of his 16 points in the first half and grabbed six rebounds. Senior center Nico Winegar tallied five points to go with his 18 rebounds.
Chimacum senior guard Issac Purser scored 10 points and junior guard Henry Brebberman added eight as the Cowboys played with Port Townsend all the way to halftime, when the Redhawks held a 27-26 advantage.
“The boys played really well,” Chimacum coach Mark Bennett said. “They got back on defense and rebounded. They did everything a coach could ask them to do.”
The Redhawks came out in a different look to start the third with a 1-3-1 zone defense, and Bennett said Chimacum players didn’t attack it like they should have.
Montoya got his first 3-pointer to roll in just a minute into the quarter, and senior Kavi Baabahar followed his own miss with a putback. Montoya splashed in another 3 from the right wing to cap an 8-0 run that gave Port Townsend a commanding 35-26 lead.
“It’s always a war with Chimacum because it’s a big rivalry,” Port Townsend coach Tom Webster said. “On our senior night, we were trying not to let that happen.”
Webster said it was important to set the tone after halftime, and the Redhawks needed a breather from running a full-court press for much of the first two quarters.
“I really believe you can win the game or lose the game in the third quarter,” he said.
Senior Kuba Krol played an integral role, jumping in front of two passes and taking them the distance for easy layups during the quarter. Krol finished with seven points, four assists, seven steals and two blocks.
Montoya added a jumper from the left side with 55 seconds left in the third to stake Port Townsend to a 43-30 lead.
“Montoya hit his 3s, but he did it with guys in his face,” Bennett said. “My guys played good defense. He just shot the ball well. Credit to him.”
Webster also praised Chimacum’s progress throughout the season.
“They’re much-improved,” he said. “They’re playing well.”
Jaden Watkins, Port Townsend’s senior co-captain, finished with four points, six rebounds and four assists.
“We knew this was our last game ever on this court, and we didn’t want to lose to a rival,” he said.
Tao Johnston, another Port Townsend senior, came off the bench late and electrified the crowd with a 3-pointer from the right wing with just 11 seconds left to add the exclamation point.
The Redhawks outscored Chimacum 30-10 in the second half.