Comets boys can't pick AcornsNASELLE - The double-double by Evan Hendrickson and the double digit scoring of Aoy Marion were not enough for the Naselle Comets boys basketball team in a game played with the Oakville Acorns. The Comets had a tough time controlling the scoring of one player in particular, and that player led the Acorns to a 58-55 win over the Comets in a Pacific League game played in Naselle's Lyle Patterson Gym Friday, Jan. 29.

That Acorn, who wasn't even listed on the varsity game program, or on the foul scoreboard in the gym, was stocky twelfth grader Sonny Youckton. Youckton scored 24 points against a porous Comets defense in less than three quarters of the game in leading the Acorns to the win.

The loss was an especially crucial one for the Comets, as it dropped their league record to 3-5 with three more league games to play this season. The Comets overall record dropped to 4-13.

The teams started the game as though it would be a tight one all the way, with the Comets trailing by three points at mid quarter. Naselle then went on a 14-0 spurt in the last three minutes of the period to lead 18-7 after one stanza.

The Comets had achieved that lead through balanced scoring with six players putting points on the board, led by Hendrickson's five (18 points and 11 rebounds in the game) and Aoy Marion's four (11 game points) and the ball-hawking and rebounding of Kyle Burkhalter and Ricky Johnson (seven rebounds in the game).

The Comets maintained most of that lead when Hendrickson popped in his second trey (four "threes" in the game) two minutes into the second period. At that point, Youckton entered the game and immediately made his presence felt. He dropped in a three-ball on his first shot and proceeded to score all but two of the Acorns next 14 points. His final hoop of the half tied the game at 25 after Oakville had tuned the first quarter score around with an

18-7 second period for a tie at 25 at the intermission.

In addition to his points, Youckton contributed to Marion's accumulation of three personal fouls in the first half. Naselle Coach Brian Macy said,"We had it going our way early, but Aoy got into foul trouble and we kind of went stagnant."

The Comets opened the second half with Marion, Hendrickson, and Johnson all scoring - Johnson on an old fashioned three-point play - and the Comets led by five points with two minutes played.

Reenter Youckton at mid-quarter Sonny quickly responded with another trey to tie the game at 32, and he then picked up four more points in the period. His efforts, plus the four points by Zack Severs (10 game points), more than matched the four points by Burkhalter. Oakville's 17-11 quarter gave them a six point lead by the end of the period.

Youckton continued scoring in the fourth period, with many of his points coming from drives through the Naselle defense. His scoring was aided by points from Charlie Severs (10 game points), another of Oakville's three fine young post players. Charlie also played the whole second half checking Hendrickson jersey to jersey as the Acorns went to a box and one to make Hendrickson work for his points.

The tactics worked as Naselle trailed by nine points, even though points from Eli Williams, Jason Gradt, Marion, and Hendrickson were added to Naselle's scoring. The Comets trailed by nine points with a little over two minutes left after Beau Shelton scored again for Oakville, with the Acorns three big players playing the triangle offense very well.

"We had several opportunities in the second half, but it seemed like after we would force a turnover, we'd either turn it over ourselves or miss a layin," explained Macy.

That was exactly what happened inside the last two minutes as Hendrickson canned a trey to cut the difference to six points with 1:51 to play. However, three errors stopped Naselle's next three tries and Oakville added a free throw to its total.

Hendrickson then banked in a three to cut the lead to four points. Naselle stole the ball but couldn't convert on either free throws or shots as they misfired on five tries on two trips down the floor. The Acorns added two more free throws on two separate one-and-ones to up their lead to six points with six seconds left.

A missed Naselle free throw, for one of the few free throw attempts which the Comets tried, resulted in the ball going out of bounds to NHS with two ticks left on the clock. A Hendrickson in bound pass resulted in a three-point hoop by Marion for the final points in Oakville's 58-55 win.

The Naselle JVs easily won their game over the young Acorns, 50-39, behind the 15 points of Casey Heagy.

The Comets play away games at two of the stronger Pacific League teams this week. They played at third place Raymond Monday night and they are at Taholah tonight, Feb. 2. They close their regular season with North River this Saturday, Feb. 5, in a boys and girls double header.

NASELLE - Evan Hendrickson 18, Aoy Marion 11, Gradt 7, Burkhalter 6, Williams 6, Johnson 5, Queener 2, Torppa, Mendoza;

Comets boys lose to South BendSOUTH BEND - Falling far behind in the first quarter proved to be fatal to the Naselle Comets boys basketball team in their Pacific League game played at South Bend Tuesday, Jan. 25. The Comets trailed 17-4 and that 13 point deficit was exactly the difference in the game's final score, with the Indians winning 50-37. The loss dropped Naselle's record to 3-4 in league, 4-12 overall.

The first time that these two teams met five weeks ago, Ricky Johnson's last second basket had given the Comets a one-point victory. Naselle coach Brian Macy had commented at the time, "It's too bad this wasn't the league game."

After trailing by 13 points in the middle of the first quarter, NHS rallied to only trail by seven points after one period of play. However, the Comets 12 points for the quarter were the only period in which they scored in double figures, as shooting woes continued to plague them.

Kyle Burkhalter was the only Comet to reach double figures, with 11 points. The Indians had two players, Jon Allison with 16 points and Kyle Rogers with 12, in double figures in the relatively low scoring game.

NASELLE - Kyle Burkhalter 11, Gradt 8, Marion 8, Johnson 7, Hendrickson 3

Hendrickson 10, Burkhalter 8;

Shooting: Field goals - 15 of 52 for 28.8 percent

South Bend (50) - Jon Allison 16, Kyle Rogers 12, Crawford 9, Martinson

5, Eang 4, Pine 4, Garcia

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