The Port Townsend High School boys basketball team had three scorers in double digits Jan. 15, but Klahowya held off a late push to beat the Redhawks 50-45 and clinch the Class 1A Olympic League championship at Bruce Blevins gymnasium.
Junior wing Noa Montoya buried a 3-pointer on an assist from senior guard Jaden Watkins to pull Port Townsend (7-6, 2-2 league) as close as 43-39 in the fourth, although the Redhawks went just 5-for-23 from beyond the arc, coach Tom Webster said.
“We did not shoot well,” Webster said. “We couldn’t hit water if we fell out of a boat.”
Klahowya (10-5, 4-0) snapped Port Townsend’s string of back-to-back league championships.
“They have smart players,” Redhawks senior center Nico Winegar said. “They slowed the game down really well, and we played too fast.”
The Eagles led 27-24 at halftime and built a nine-point advantage going into the final eight minutes.
Port Townsend senior forward Cole Crawford scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and Watkins contributed 13 points, five rebounds and three steals. Montoya finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and four steals, and Winegar cleaned up defensively with 10 rebounds and three steals.
Webster called Winegar one of the Redhawks’ most valuable players.
“He rebounds and defends, and he’s fundamentally sound,” Webster said.
Winegar admitted his 6-foot-1 frame isn’t tall for a center.
“It all comes down to effort,” he said.
Meanwhile, Port Townsend guards Kavi Baabahar and Kuba Krol held Klahowya’s John Hartford to nine points.
In games that come down to the final minutes, Winegar said the team is looking for leadership.
“When we’re in close situations, we need to slow down and not rush,” he said.
Klahowya beat Port Townsend 55-49 on Dec. 11. A third matchup between the teams is scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 31 in Silverdale.
Bear Creek 61,
Port Townsend 47
Bear Creek junior Jace Blankenbeckler drilled nine 3-pointers and finished with 33 points to take down the Redhawks in a nonleague game in Redmond Jan. 18.
“We tried to run him off the 3 line,” Webster said. “If Kavi Baabahar can’t guard him, then no one can.”
Port Townsend suited up only seven players, including Devin Harris, a 6-foot-3 sophomore who got his first varsity start. Webster said Harris rebounded well and converted both of his free throws.
Montoya scored 16 points and tallied four rebounds to lead Port Townsend, and Watkins added 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Crawford contributed 10 points and eight rebounds, and Winegar amassed 16 rebounds.
The Redhawks will host Chimacum in their final regular-season home game at 7 p.m. Jan. 25.
Port Townsend will finish its regular season on the road the following week with games at North Mason on Jan. 29 and at Klahowya on Jan. 31.