ILWACO — In the final furious minutes, the Fishermen had the Chinooks reeling.
The Ilwaco (9-4) comeback, however — after trailing by up to 15 points — fell short in a 56-45 season-ending district quarterfinal loss to Kalama (9-2) on June 8 in Ilwaco.
Ilwaco was held to a season-low 46 points against a balanced and disciplined Kalama squad.
The Chinooks scored the opening basket and maintained their lead to take a 16-12 lead after the first quarter.
The Fishermen found their rhythm in the second period, taking their first lead (24-23) midway through the quarter after back-to-back three-pointers by sophomore guard Alex West and junior guard Jaden Turner, forcing a Kalama timeout.
The Chinooks regrouped and closed the quarter on a 6-1 run to take a 30-25 lead into the half.
Kalama opened the second half as they ended the first — on a 7-0 run — causing an Ilwaco timeout with the Fishermen trailing 37-25. The Kalama lead swelled to 15 (44-29), the largest of the game, before back-to-back three-point plays by Jaden and Beckett Turner cut the lead to 12 heading into the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, a Beckett Turner fade-away, Miguel Hernandez-Ortega bank shot, Jaden Turner layup and Kyle Morris jumper cut the Kalama lead to five (45-50) with 1:50 to play.
The Chinooks were able to convert their foul shots to evade a Fishermen comeback and advance with a 56-45 win.
Ilwaco starters Alex West, Jaden Turner, Kyle Morris, Beckett Turner and Sam Glenn are all set to return next season.
Ilwaco will lose three seniors to graduation, including #3 guard Miguel Hernandez-Ortega, #22 center Jacob Nelson, #23 Forward Nathaniel Scarborough.