Comets boys win important game against Wishkah, 64-52

Aoy Marion tries to drive past a Wishkah defender during the Comets win last week in Naselle. AUDREY WIRKKKALLA photo

NASELLE - This one was important in the NHS boys basketball team's hopes for a postseason tournament spot. Coming into the game with the Wishkah Valley Loggers, the Comets were perched in fifth place in the Pacific League standings.

After Naselle's 64-52 win over the Loggers, they are still in fifth place, but with a little more breathing room than they had before the game, with Lake Quinault their closest pursuer. The Comets have a 5-7 league record, 5-11 overall, while LQ is 3-7 in league.

The Comets have four remaining league games. If past performances against those four teams are an indication, the Comets are in for some tough tests as they have lost in their first games to three of the four teams.

But first things first.

The Comets led all the way in their game with Wishkah. With Evan Hendrickson having the hot hand with 3 three-point shots in the first quarter, NHS jumped out a 11-6 first quarter lead. The two teams defenses made this game look like it was going to be a three-point turkey shoot - and it was, for three quarters of the game. The Comets missed their first three treys and then Hendrickson canned three in-a-row.

The Comets continued their three-point barrage into the second period as Eli Williams, Ricky Johnson, and Tony Mendoza each popped treys. The Loggers countered with 2 three-balls, but the Comets' balanced scoring, split among six players, gave NHS an 18-15 second quarter advantage and a 29-21 half-time lead. Johnson was also well on his way to corralling a game-high 11 rebounds and 15 points for a game double-double.

Even though NHS had the lead, coach Ryan Bjornsgard wasn't particularly pleased with their first half effort.

"We came out with a lot more energy and effort in the third quarter," he said. "We were kind of flat in the first half."

Aoy Marion, on his way to 11 points and 5 assists, dropped in the first 5 Naselle points with one of his shots a trey. Hendrickson, who was to lead all scorers with 19 points, canned his fourth and fifth three-balls of the game.

For about a minute near the end of the quarter, every trip down the floor resulted in a three-point goal for one team or the other. Wishkah's John Clevenger, who led the Loggers with 16 points, was to score 2 treys in the period. For the quarter, Naselle had 5 threes and Wishkah 2. The Comets were to finish the game with 11 threes, but none in the fourth quarter - the Loggers finished with 6 treys, including 2 in the fourth. The Comets actually shot better from three-point range than they did from two-point territory, 38 percent to 41 percent.

With NHS enjoying a 17 point lead to open the fourth, Wishkah came out of their tight 1-2-2 zone into a man-to-man. It didn't do them much good as NHS now found the middle open for drives which led to layins. Johnson, with 5 fourth quarter points, Marion with 4 and Hendrickson with 2 points, rounded out the Comets' scoring. The Loggers, with Carlisle scoring 5 points including a game-ending trey, outscored NHS 16-11 in the quarter. However, the Comets easily had their 64-52 win in preparation for their last two home games.

The Comets were to have played Mary M. Knight on Saturday, but that game was postponed until possibly Feb. 9, and entertained Willapa Valley in what was to be their last home game of the year on Monday, Feb. 2.

Wishkah 6 15 15 16 - 52

Naselle 11 18 24 11 - 64

Wishkah (52) - John Clevenger 16, Carlisle 10, Heyting 8, Tokarczyk 8, Mayr 7, Ayers 3, Thompson; Shooting: FG- 20 of 66 for 33 percent, 3's- 6 of 23 for 26 percent, FT- 6 of 15 for 40 percent

Naselle (64) - Evan Hendrickson 19, Johnson 15, Marion 11, Mendoza 6, Williams 5, Queener 3, P. Perez 3, White 2, Smith, Wise; Shooting: FG- 22 of 54 for 41 percent, 3's- 11 of 23 for 48 percent, FT- 9 of 16 for 56 percent; Rebounds: Johnson 11, Queener 6, Hendrickson 5, Marion 5, Williams 5; Assists: Marion 5, Hendrickson 4

Comets boys game with MMK postponed because of snow in Matlock

NASELLE - The Naselle Comets boys basketball game scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 31, with Mary M. Knight at Naselle was postponed because of snow. How is that possible, you ask? Well, it began snowing Friday in the hills around Matlock when the Naselle girls traveled to the town in the foothills of the Olympics. By the time that the Owls boys were scheduled to travel to Naselle on Saturday, the snow had made travel too hazardous and the game was postponed.

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