Grose Sets Single Season Scoring Record in Win Over Toledo


NAPAVINE — Entering Tuesday night, both Napavine guard James Grose and Los Angeles Lakers’ forward LeBron James needed exactly 117 points to surpass lofty records. 

While James came up short for the NBA’s all-time scoring mark, and Grose didn’t quite hit 117 against Toledo in a home contest to become the Tigers’ all-time leading scorer, the junior guard did hit a school milestone Tuesday night in the 71-55 win. 

Scoring a game-high 22 points, Grose eclipsed Tyson Sturza’s single-season scoring record set in 2005, sitting at 512 points this season and counting with a game to spare in the regular season. 

“James is putting together a year like I’ve never seen before,” Napavine coach Rex Stanley said. “And I’ve been here forever. From the opening game against Winlock, these guys had five practices after football, and James just came out absolutely on fire and hasn’t let up since. He’s on an absolute tear.”

Grose is averaging just under 27 points per game this season, leading The Chronicle’s coverage area by a healthy margin, and has already claimed the single game scoring record for his own after a 45-point outburst against Willapa Valley earlier this season. 

All that’s left for the junior is eclipsing the all-time scoring mark set by Wyatt Stanley just a few years ago of 1,384 points. Grose is just 95 points away from that mark after 22 points against Toledo Tuesday night. 

Grose was the catalyst early on for Napavine in Tuesday’s game, scoring 12 points in the opening quarter — including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the frame that put the junior over Sturza's mark in 2005 — to help the Tigers build up a 24-13 lead. 

Napavine then opened the second quarter on a 8-0 run to build up its largest lead at 19 points in the first half of the second frame. 

Though the Riverhawks made it a bit interesting down the stretch, narrowing the deficit to single digits with about three minutes to go, the Tigers put a stamp on the game late with a couple of breakaway layups and a game-sealing dunk from Karsen Denault in transition in about a minute to go. 

“We knew it was going to be that type of game going in,” Stanley said. “They play everyone that tough, you get in these league games, and districts are going to be the same way. We know that, we’re excited for it.”

Behind Grose’s 22-point effort, Jarin Prather scored 14 points, Cayle Kelly had 11, and Denault scored 10. 

The Tigers also had a massive advantage on the glass, hauling in 16 offensive rebounds for 10 second-chance points, and scoring 25 points off 25 Toledo turnovers. 

“It’s hard when they pressure you that hard,” Toledo coach Grady Fallon said. “You don’t have time to sit back and ask yourself if you’re in the right spot.”

The Riverhawks were led by Kaven Winters’ 16 points, with Conner Olmstead adding 12 and Rogan Stanley scoring 10. 

The Tigers also celebrated senior night in style, honoring their four seniors before the game and starting the lone senior on the varsity team, Gabe Harris. 

The other seniors that were honored were Dyllan Doxsee, Caleb Pancake, and Austin Gibson.

“Gabe Harris has just been a program guy,” Stanley said. “He’s been here since youth basketball, and whenever he needed to be there he was there. He has a great attitude and shows up to practice every day and works hard. He’s the consummate team player. He’s had stretches this year where he hasn’t played at all, and still comes to practice every day with a great attitude. You can’t have enough of those guys.”