ILWACO — The Lady Fishermen answered an early 11-5 South Bend lead with a 21-0 run, on their way to a 63-42 win Friday, Jan. 5. Eliza Bannister led Ilwaco with 22 points, and Makenzie Kaech gave out 13 assists. Ilwaco improved to 9-0 in league play, while South Bend fell to 5-4. This was Ilwaco’s closest league game of the year.
South Bend got on the board first, with Karlie Reidinger’s three-pointer behind a screen. The Indians got their hands in passing lanes and forced turnovers early, disrupting Ilwaco’s offense and creating a helter-skelter start. Kaech had a pass broken up and stolen, then ran and stole the ball back, only to have Reidinger poke it away again and feed Hannah Byington for a 9-4 lead.
“Every team is going to give us their best shot,” coach Ned Bittner said. “South Bend is an improving team.”
Bannister knocked down a three-pointer from the corner to cut the lead to 11-8, sparking Ilwaco’s 21-0 run. Kaech pushed for fast-breaks off missed shots on turnovers, feeding Bannister on such plays for ten points during the run. Bannister had 15 points and an assist to Kaech during the spurt.
Jessica Sanchez responded with back-to-back three-pointers, cutting the Ilwaco lead to 26-17. The Fishermen led 33-19 at halftime, with Bannister’s 18 points leading the way.
Despite picking up her third foul late in the first half, Bannister kept going to start the second, with a zippy assist through the defense to Madeline Jacobson and a flashy hesitation dribble around a defender for a 41-19 lead.
Kaech had a huge game defensively with eight steals and three blocks. At times, South Bend executed effectively against Ilwaco’s 1-3-1 defense, only to have Kaech ruin the play. Kaech anticipated a pass under the basket, broke on the ball, intercepted it and took it the other way for a layup and a 45-25 lead, then blocked a shot from behind right under the basket a couple of plays later.
Sanchez hit back-to-back three-pointers for the second time of the game for South Bend in the fourth quarter, but Ilwaco remained ahead 55-35 with 4:20 remaining and closed out the 21-point win.
Jacobson had five steals, four blocks and 16 points on eight of 11 shooting. Bannister had five assists with her 22 points. Kaech scored 13 points along with 13 assists. South Bend forced Ilwaco into 20 turnovers.
IHS demolishes NWC
Makenzie Kaech had 34 points and a staggering 16 steals, leading Ilwaco’s 89-11 demolition of Northwest Christian Wednesday, Jan. 3. Eliza Bannister added another eight steals and 21 points, even though she, Kaech and the rest of the Fishermen starters sat out the fourth quarter.
“We were just finding opportunities,” Makenzie Kaech said. “We were stealing it everywhere, from the top of the 2-3 (zone) to inbound passes.”
Ten players scored for Ilwaco. Ariana Bell had three points and two steals in some of her first varsity playing time. Faith Simonson went three-for-three off the bench. Sunny Kemmer blocked three shots and scored four points.