Comets girls will play in revised league

Front L to R: Sandra Rodriguez, Kellyn Pakenen, Caitlin McGuire, Toni Abbott, Kelsey Fletcher, Chanel Ruch, Stephanie Wise. Middle: Jenny Klinger, Brandi Keightley, Brittanie Vaughn, Natasha Ford, Crystal Bartolous, Mayra Perez, Julia Christie, Sunny Trent. Back: Coach Kim Eaton, Katherine Herrold, Jamie Ahlstrom, Cheryl Steppe, Sylvia Herrold, Annie Herrold, Erin Saari, Brittany Pellervo, Ashley Ahlstrom, Coach Bobby Torppa.

NASELLE - Naselle coaches Bob Torppa and assistant Robin Andrea are facing a new league alignment as they get the Naselle Comets girls basketball team ready for the 2004-05 season.

The Comets had been scheduled to start the season with their traditional non-league opener at Cathlamet on Wednesday, Dec. 1. However, on that date, only the Naselle JV girls and boys teams will play the Cathlamet JVs. The varsity games have been changed to Jan. 8, when the Comets girls and boys teams will each play their counterparts from Cathlamet at Naselle. That night, the Naselle gymnasium will be renamed the Lyle Patterson Gymnasium, in honor of the longtime Naselle coach and educator.

The Comets girls will open the season by traveling to Oyehut to play the North Beach Hyaks, just moved down from the 1A league, in a "non-counting" Pacific League game on Saturday, Dec. 4. The Comets next game is a "counting" league game, with Lake Quinault at home on Tuesday, Dec. 7. The Comets play Warrenton in a non-league home game on Thursday, Dec. 9. A "non-counter" home game with Northwest Christian of Lacey will be played on Saturday, Dec. 11. On that date, a JV game will begin at 3 p.m. followed by both the girls and boys varsity games.

This hodgepodge of counting vs non-counting games comes about because of the new alignment of the B leagues in the southwest Washington district.

NHS Athletic Director Jon Tienhaara describes it in this way: "Basically, the Pacific League is split into two divisions. We play the south division teams (South Bend, Raymond, Willapa Valley, North Beach, and Northwest Christian) twice, but only the second game is a league game. We play the north division teams (Lake Quinault, Mary M. Knight, North River, Wishkah Valley, Oakville, and Taholah) once, which are all league games. The district tournament will be a 16-team double elimination tourney, and there will be a league tournament to decide seeds into district."

With the scheduling business taken care of, coaches Torppa and Andrea and the Comets girls have only to worry about getting ready to compete in the 20 game schedule, including 11 Pacific League "counting" games, and a hoped for trip into tournament play.

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