CENTRALIA and TUMWATER - Friday with 1:35 remaining in the third period of Naselle's District IV game against Wahkiakum, Austin Burkhalter tried to keep a rebound alive by tipping it away from a pair of Mules. The ball went in the basket and that hoop sparked a Comets comeback and also settled a friendly family competition.
Austin's bucket gave him 1,219 career points and put him ahead of his brother Kyle's 1,218 established in 2008. Kyle is ahead of his dad Gary's 800 or so points and mom Susan's (Swanson) approximately 600 points, all scored for Naselle. In typical fashion Austin Burkhalter, who was named Pacific 2B League MVP, said, "I'd trade every one of those points for a trip to state."
Austin Burkhalter moves into fourth place all-time for Naselle behind Dale Wiitala's 1,969, Ryan Bjornsgard's 1,892, and Steve Mattson's 1,423, while Kyle slides into fifth place all-time.
Thursday Ilwaco's Karl Oman poured in 43 points in a duel with Rochester's Jared Burkhardt, who tallied 36. Both are left-handed sharpshooters and both swished seven three-pointers in the contest won by Ilwaco 87-79. There are no Southwest Washington 1A tournament records available for three-point shots made, but it is believed the pair of lefties may have set or at least tied the standard. Toutle Lake's Casey Frandsen may have also nailed seven treys in a game.
The cumulative score of 166 points is near the record set when Kalama ran past Montesano 92-87 in 1978. Neither Ilwaco nor Rochester scored for the first four minutes of the third period as both coaches had made defensive adjustments at halftime.
Oman now has 1,077 and is in eighth place all-time for the Fishermen. The junior was recently tabbed Trico League MVP. After his near-record scoring outburst Oman said, "I'm just really excited that we are moving on in the tournament." Ilwaco's single-season scoring record is 49 points set in 1967 by Phil Oman, Karl's dad.
Obviously apples don't fall far from the tree, especially when it comes to racking up points in local high school basketball games.