ILWACO/NASELLE - It happens every time. You mention someone doing something special and then someone else lets you know that you didn't mention that they did something pretty news worthy, too.
In a recent story boys basketball players who topped the 1,000-point plateau for their careers from Ilwaco and Naselle high schools were mentioned as Austin Burkhalter joined the exceptional group of athletes. Tanner Ketel was inadvertently left off the list of IHS scorers as he amassed 1,510 points.
The girls from the two schools were left out for one very important reason - complete statistical info on the subject, especially at Naselle, is sorely lacking. When Anna Kitzman and Lanie Kary eclipsed the 1,000 total for their careers in 2007 and 2008 there were similar stories in the Chinook Observer chronicling recent girls' scoring leaders.
Mal Van Meer from Astoria did much of the legwork by combing information from as far back as the 1950s in discovering the "old guys" who topped the millennium mark in scoring. He did not research the girls as they didn't begin playing in relatively organized games and leagues until the early 1970s, thanks to Title IX.
The first girls' state tournament in Washington was 1976. Naselle girls lost to Ritzville in the championship game in 1979 and the Lady Fishermen finished third in 1995, their loftiest place at state to date. In the book "The Magical State Championship Season, Ilwaco Fishermen 1958-59 Basketball" there is a chapter dedicated exclusively to statistics, including Lady Fishermen basketball numbers. (To order the book call 665-5605.)
For those who missed the earlier Observer stories on 1,000-point girl scorers or haven't read the book Lori Newell is the Ilwaco career leader with 1,881 points followed by Ashley Kitzman with 1,729. Heather Hocking has 1,541 points, Marie Wroble has 1,225, Lindsay Ramsey about 1,120, Anna Kitzman has 1,069 and Lanie Kary scored 1,028 during her career. Ramsey has the IHS single-game record of 43 points, followed by Ashley Kitzman with 41.
Naselle's leader may be Lisa Nelson with 1,518 points, Michelle Wiitala rolled in 1,414, and Nora Darcher tallied 1,350 points, statistics just gleaned from the archives. There may be several other Comets girls and Lady Fishermen who should also be included in the club.
It should be noted that Van Meer spent several years looking over statistics from several area newspapers and yearbooks to get his information about boys' basketball at six local schools in Washington and Oregon.
There are currently three high school students doing research on football statistics and the 1983-84 Naselle boys' basketball season. A search of girls' basketball scoring leaders at Ilwaco and Naselle could also be a fascinating project, but one that would require going over every week's newspapers from December through March for 30-plus years.
Of course, there are coaches and fans out there that are going bonkers over both of these 1,000-point stories, because as they well know, "Defense wins championships." In the meantime the NBA just eclipsed the 10-million point mark.