NASELLE – The Comets put the “O” for offense on Ocosta in Naselle Saturday, Jan. 22 as they ran away with a 78-46 Pacific 2B League contest over the Wildcats. Leo Mendoza led all scorers with with 26 points in but three periods of play.

The Wildcats built an 8-7 lead midway through the first period, but then Naselle went on a 16-0 explosion to close out the frame with a “game-over” 23-8 advantage. Ocosta’s Chris Qualey, giving his best NBA Dirk Nowitzki imitation, kept his team in the game as they drew to within 31-22 before the Comets again soared to a 43-26 lead at intermission. Qualey finished with 24 points for the visitors and Cory Ramburg added a dozen.

Comets Ollie Baker tallied 14 points and dished out seven assists and Rob Baker scored 11 and grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double and also passed for four nifty second-half assists. Nick Strange scored six points and battled the big boys for seven boards and Mendoza and both Baker brothers each snared four steals apiece.

The Comets got solid bench performances as Nick Zimmerman scored five and Chase Chapman, Trevin Leeland, and Jesse Lopez all scored four in reserve roles. Andy Gonzales and Ryley Queener each dropped in a field goal and Gonzales contributed four boards and Queener three for the winners.

“We came out with a great effort and executed our offense well for almost the entire game,” a pleased Coach Brian Macy praised. “Our defense, especially in the third period was excellent. This was a good win to get us ready for three tough league opponents next week—Raymond, South Bend, and Valley. Those games could make or break our season.”

Naselle was 30-67 from the floor for 45 percent, including six three-pointers, but made only 12-23 from the line for 52 percent, while Ocosta was 20-52 for 38 percent and their outside-oriented offense yielded only five trips to the charity stripe and they knocked down four.

The Comets held a huge 49-26 rebounding advantage and forced 19 turnovers to only 11 of their own. The Wildcats committed 18 fouls to 14 infractions for Naselle. The Comets junior varsity won a lop-sided contest that was sped up by the use of the 40-point running clock rule.

Naselle is now 5-3 in the Pacific and 7-9 for the year, while Ocosta is winless in nine league tries. The Comets move into a third-place tie with Valley and trail 5-2 South Bend and first place Northwest Christian who is 8-1.


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