CASTLE ROCK - The Naselle Comets girls could not slow down the play of one White Pass Panther, 6-foot-1 post player Breanna Moody, and the lead Panther destroyed the Comets with 34 points as White Pass went on to win 64-40 in a Southwest Washington Class 2B District IV Basketball Tournament game played in Castle Rock Friday, Feb. 15.

The loss knocked Naselle into the loser-out bracket where they played Pe Ell on Monday (past deadline, see www.chinookobserver.com for results). A win in that game would put the Comets into another loser-out game against either Northwest Christian or Toutle Lake tonight, Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 8 p.m. in Rochester. Another loss in the tournament would end the Comets season.

In last Friday's game, the Comets were led by Brandi Keightley, who popped in 18 points including two treys, and Sylvia Herrold with 12 points. Ashley Ahlstrom added six points.

But other than the senior trio's points, the basket was an elusive target for the Comets. Naselle only scored four points, all by Herrold, in the first period as the Comets were only 2 for 13 shooting while White Pass was dropping in 16 points on fifty percent shooting. The Panthers kept up the pressure in the second period, outscoring the Comets 17-12 for a 33-16 half-time lead. The Comets had gone on a brief flurry of six straight points in the quarter to get that close.

The Comets play smoothed out in the second half but they couldn't control Moody and the Panthers.

Naselle coach Bob Torppa praised the efforts of the Comets, especially of Keightley and Herrold, by stating, "I was very pleased with the play of Brandi. She's a player who doesn't know the meaning of the word quit. Sylvia has made the difference for us all season. Without her, we wouldn't be where we are. Now we have to pick it up in the consolation round. If we play well, we can get a win against Pe Ell and then take it one game at a time."

It was just such an effort last year which took the underdog Comets all the way to a sixth game in the district tournament before they were finally denied a trip to the state tournament.

WHITE PASS (64) - Breanna Moody 34, Laci Eastman 6, Shalenea Dotson 6, Mikel Elliott 6, McKenzie Redmon 3, Jennifer Mullins 3, Shaleesa Gillispie 3, Samantha Hall 2, Molly Rashoff 1

NASELLE (40) - Brandi Keightley 18, Sylvia Herrold 12, Ashley Ahlstrom 6, Taylor Wasmundt 2, Lindsay O'Kelley 2

Comets girls corral Mules in tourney opener, 65-53NASELLE - After receiving a No. 3 seed following a mini-game playoff with two other Pacific League teams last Monday, the Naselle Comets girls team turned out a decisive win over the Wahkiakum Mules in their opening District IV Tournament game played in Lyle Patterson Gym Wednesday, Feb. 13.

The Comets beat the Central league's sixth place Mules 65-53 to advance to the second round of the tournament. The Comets, behind the leadership of their three seniors, especially Brandi Keightley, used a big first quarter to gain an early lead on the Mules and then added to that lead as the game progressed.

Keightley had a super game, leading the Comets scorers with 29 points as well as six rebounds and three steals. Ashley Ahlstrom added 18 points, seven rebounds, and three steals while Sylvia Herrold had a double-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds and she added three steals.

The Comets, with Keightley bombing in 10 points and Ahlstrom six, rolled out to a 20-12 first quarter. They never looked back although the Mules didn't give in without a battle. Naselle coach Bob Torppa complimented the Mules for their scrappy play, especially for their full court press which gave the Comets some problems. Torppa praised the Comets for the manner in which they handled that pressure.

The Comets outscored the Mules 16-14 in the second quarter to go in at the half leading by 10. The Mules cut that lead down slightly in the third with a 14-11 quarter, but the Comets expanded their seven point lead with an 18-13 fourth period for their 12-point win. Keightley's eight points in the fourth period played a big part in the Comets rolling on to their win.

Wahkiakum (53) - Halie Boyce 13, Jordyn Wirkkala 10, Whitley Wirkkala 8, Shelby Deaton 6, Courtney Helms 5, Ashley Moore 5, Evelyn Clark 4, Ashley Helms 2.

NASELLE (65) - Brandi Keightley 29, Ashley Ahlstrom 18, Sylvia Herrold 13, Taylor Wasmundt 3, Shelby Leeland 2

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