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Grose hits 2,000 as Tigers trounce Pirates

Jan. 30—Box Score

At Napavine

TIGERS 79, PIRATES 45

Adna13 10 11 11 — 45

Napavine27 16 18 18 — 79

Adna (45) — B. Salme 14, Muller 10, Johnson 8, Neilson 5, T. Salme 3, Miller 2, Hoinowski 2, South 1

Napavine (79) — Grose 31, Prather 20, Denault 8, Bullock 6, Chambers 3, Stanley 3, Kelly 2, Nelson 2, Be. Landram 2, Br. Landram 2

NAPAVINE — James Grose made history in front of a packed gymnasium on Tuesday night, as the senior became the first area athlete in 19 years to score 2,000 career points during Napavine's 79-45 win over Adna.

Grose reached the milestone with just under 90 seconds left in the first quarter, scooping in a layup with his left hand to ignite a home crowd that was waiting to erupt.

"I can't even explain it in words really," Grose said with a smile. "It was just an amazing feeling to have all the support from Napavine and everybody else that came out. It was a really great feeling."

Fans packed into the Napavine gym early, filling up the stands in the early stages of the JV game that took place prior to the varsity game. As more fans piled in, they filled in the corners of the gym and even flooded up to the weight room to look over the edge at the court.

When Grose hit the bucket, every student in the student section held up a sign that simply read "2000."

"I really wanted to hit it here," Grose said. "I'm very thankful I got to do it here in a place that I love."

The moment was just as special for Napavine coach Rex Stanley, who has coached Grose the last four seasons.

"It's just one of those milestones that everybody has a part of," Stanley said. "From the guys he practices every day against on the scout team to the guys he's played with since eighth grade. It's a really cool thing for the program."

What made the milestone even more special was that it came in a blowout win over Adna, one that pushes the Tigers' win streak to 18 games.

Grose wasn't the only Tiger with a hot hand early, as the Tigers (18-0, 12-0 C2BL) shot 56.7 percent from the floor in the first half to open up a 43-23 lead at halftime.

"These guys have been ready to go every game all year" Stanley said.

They were just as efficient in the second half, shooting 52 percent and connecting on five of their eight threes to run away with it.

Grose finished 13 for 24 shooting with 31 points, and Jarin Prather drilled four 3-pointers en route to a 20-point outing. Prather also led the team with eight rebounds, while Grose and Karsen Denault hauled in five each. Cael Stanley led the team with four assists.

On the other end, it was a night to forget for the Pirates (15-6, 9-4 C2BL) who fell behind early and couldn't keep up in their regular season finale.

"You have to make plays against those guys," Adna coach Luke Salme said. "They were just quite a bit better than us tonight in all facets."

Braeden Salme led the way with 14 points, while Gavan Muller just missed out on a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.

The Pirates are currently slated as the No. 4 seed in the upcoming district tournament, and that will likely be where they finish.

As for the unbeaten Tigers, they'll be the top seed as league champions, but Stanley knows this group has their eyes set on bigger goals.

"The second season starts here in a week," Stanley said. "We're just trying to get better every day ... They got a real sense of purpose about what they want to get done this year."

Napavine will wrap up its regular season on Thursday against Morton-White Pass.