Comets boys ready to enter new seasonNASELLE - After two weeks of practice, the Naselle Comets boys head basketball coach, Brian Macy, has decided on part of the young and still relatively inexperienced Comets starting lineup.
"I haven't decided all starters as yet. Aoy (Marion), Kyle (Burkhalter) and Evan (Hendrickson) will start, but after that it will be competitive, with several battling it out in filling out the starters and rotation," Macy explained. "Jason Gradt, Ricky Johnson, Greg Queener, Tony Mendoza, Preston Torppa, and Robert Torppa are those (players) fighting for starting positions."
That means that two of the Comets starters, Marion and Hendrickson, will be juniors while Burkhalter is a freshman. Another interesting fact is that Hendrickson and Burkhalter are also first cousins. Of the six other players mentioned by Macy, one player, Gradt, is a freshman. Three players, Johnson and both Torppas, are juniors and also are first cousins. Two players, Queener and Mendoza, are seniors. Three other players, seniors Eli Williams and Paul Perez and sophomore Spencer Griss (Griss will probably play both varsity and JV ball) complete the 11 member varsity. The "vertically challenged" Comets' tallest player will stand about 6 foot 2 inches tall.
"Any success we have will come from our work ethic and ability to defend and rebound. We have reasonably good team speed and will try to capitalize on it by putting pressure on the basketball. We will need to score easy baskets from our defense and break down offenses with patience and execution. We have players who can hit from the outside, which will help offset our lack of size," Macy explained. He also mentioned Hendrickson, Miller, and Perez as being able to connect on the outside shot with regularity.
The Comets varsity will open its season this Friday, Dec, 3, when they entertain a Pacific League foe, the North Beach Hyaks, in a non-league game. Macy said, "Our league has a couple of the state's toughest teams in North Beach and Valley. Those two should be the favorites in the league with my nod going to North Beach. I believe they have the athleticism and basketball knowledge to contend for the state title."
After the North Beach game, the Comets boys then go on the road for two games, at Warrenton on Dec. 7, and their season-opening Pacific League at Lake Quinault on Dec. 9. The Comets, both boys and girls, return home for a non-league double header against the teams from Northwest Christian on Saturday, Dec. 11.
The Comet JVs, under Coach Scott Smith, will open the Naselle basketball season with a game at Cathlamet tonight, Dec. 1. The junior varsity players expected to see action are Colby Engelson, Bobby Footh, Carl Frederickson, Randy Johnson, Josh Martin, Garrick Bennett, Jeremy Ray, Richard Smith, Cory Teubner, and Corey Wood.
Comets girls to open season away from home
NASELLE - The Naselle Comets girls basketball team will open its season away from home with the JVs only, playing at Cathlamet tonight, Dec. 1. That opener will be followed by the varsity and JV girls teams both playing at North Beach this Saturday, Dec. 4. The Comets girls will open their home and Pacific League season Tuesday, Dec. 7, against the Lake Quinault Elk.
The Naselle girls then play at home in their next four games. The Comets girls have now had about two weeks to get ready for the new season under the guidance of head coach Bob Torppa assistant coach Robin Andrea and C squad coach Kim Eaton.
The Comets varsity rotation will likely feature the six returnees from last season, seniors: Annie Herrold, Kelli Revis, Jamie Ahlstrom, and Toni Abbott, junior Brittanie Vaughn, and sophomore Erin Saari as well as possibly two freshmen, Sylvia Herrold and Brandi Keightley.
The Comets JVs will play at Cathlamet tonight, in girls and boys JV games, only. Members of the girls JV and C squad teams are: senior Marina Senft; juniors Crystal Bartolous, Sarah Dotson, Katherine Herrold, and Brittany Pellervo; sophomores Colette Beaulaurier, Julia Christie, Kelsey Fletcher, Jenny Klinger, Caitlin McGuire, Kellyn Pakenen, Sandra Rodriguez,Cheryl Steppe, and Sunny Trent: freshmen Ashley Ahlstrom, Natasha Ford,Mayra Perez, Chanel Ruch, and Stephanie Wise.