ROCHESTER - When a talented senior goes up against a very good freshman, the senior usually comes out on top and that's exactly what happened Saturday in Rochester when Ashley Kitzman's 23-point effort topped Onalaska's Sarah Petrino's 22-point scoring outburst.
More importantly Ilwaco hung on to defeat the young and feisty Lady Loggers 45-40 to stay alive in the District IV tournament and earn the right to play Winlock next Thursday at 6 p.m. in Rochester.
To be precise, the Lady Fishermen had four seniors who started and Ony had four freshmen, a sophomore, and a junior in their seven-player rotation. It was Kitzman's eight points in the final period and two free throws each from seniors Robyn Unruh and Holly Hocking that were enough to hold off the upstart Loggers.
Ony took an 11-5 lead early as Petrino and junior Anna Hall controlled the first six minutes of the loser-out contest. Ilwaco compounded their problems by missing the first nine shots they took in the second quarter, Kitzman's eight points and senior Ariel Barker's four were enough to give the Lady Fishermen a 17-16 lead at intermission. The Loggers did not score the first 7:25 of the second quarter, missing eight shots and turning the ball over six times during that run.
The third period Petrino's "three" reclaimed the lead for Ony, but Ilwaco's 11-1 edge on the glass during that frame helped put the Lady Fishermen up 29-26 going into the final stanza. Poor shooting by Ilwaco, they were 5-15 in the quarter, allowed the Loggers to stay within striking distance.
Kitzman's back-to-back field goals helped build Ilwaco's lead to 37-26, but the feisty youngsters from Ony weren't through. They ran off 11 points to freshman Lanie Kary's two for the Lady Fishermen, closing to within 39-37 with 2:17 to play.
A key call of the game then occurred when Logger fans and coaches felt their shooter was fouled going for a sure layin. After the no-call Ilwaco had a 3-on-0 fast break that Kitzman scored on after rebounding a miss to put Ilwaco up to stay 41-37.
Onalaska was bombed by the Lady Fishermen 65-34 Jan. 24, but had upset them earlier when Ashley Kitzman was injured for one of only three wins for the Loggers on the season. Ironically Anna Kitzman did not play in the District game due to an illness, but hopeful she will be ready for the Winlock fray Thursday.
Ilwaco reached double-figures in wins, improving to 10-12 and Ony finishes with a 3-19 record and lots of promise for next season as they return all of their players save Erica Abrahamson.
A key statistic was the Lady Fishermen's 20-4 dominance in rebounding in the second half and 35-18 superiority on the boards for the game. Ilwaco turned the ball over 22 times, including eight during the final moments of the contest. Neither team shot particularly well, with the Fish sinking 16-52 from the field (31 percent) and going 12-23 from the charity stripe (52 percent). Ony was 13-43 for a paltry 30 percent from the field and 13-17 from the line for a very good 76 percent.
Ilwaco was ahead in both games with Winlock, but eventually lost to the Cardinals twice during the league season. A rubber-match win on Thursday and the Lady Fishermen will face either Toledo or Rainier, both teams they have beaten this year. That contest is set for Saturday at 6 p.m. in Kelso, with a trip to state up for grabs for the winner.
Ilwaco - Ashley Kitzman 23, Ariel Barker 4, Robyn Unruh 4, Allison Brooks 2, Lanie Kary 5, Bonnie Perez, Holly Hocking 7
Onalaska - Petrino 22, Abrahamson 7, Hall 6, Reynoldson 3, Stanley 2
Toledo sails past Lady Fishermen 70-58 in district openerCENTRALIA - Toledo flew by Ilwaco with a monster fourth period to win their opening round District IV matchup against the Lady Fishermen 70-58 in Centralia Thursday.
Ilwaco had played arguably their best team basketball of the season to fashion a 46-41 lead with less than three minutes remaining in the third period. Ashley Kitzman picked up her third foul with 2:54 to go in the quarter and while she was on the bench Toledo began to attack the middle of the Lady Fishermen zone vacated by the 6-foot senior.
Rachel Wallace, the Indians super sophomore, hit a "three" and then stole the basketball and went coast-to-coast for a layup to tie the game. She was fouled on the play and her subsequent free toss was good which put the Indians on top 47-46 to end the third stanza.
Making free throws was Toledo's strong point as they knocked down 18 of their final 21 attempts, including going 15-18 in the pivotal final period. Wallace scored seven more points and Robyn Unruh's jumper was the only offense Ilwaco could muster as the Indians upped the lead to 56-48.
"They took the ball to the basket in the second half and often the only way we could stop them was to foul," Assistant Elmo Wise explained. Over the final 5:21 Toledo was successful on 11 consecutive freebies and Wallace's "three" at the buzzer made the final score 70-58.
The Lady Fishermen answered with eight points from Kitzman and two free throws from Unruh, but that was not enough to catch the on-fire Indians in the waning minutes. "We were not able to get any second shots and they did a great job defensing Ashley," Wise explained.
Indians Kelley Knowles and Megan Abplanalp smothered Kitzman on defense, holding her to only eight field goal tries and 13 points and Wallace popped in a game-high 22 points to lead Toledo to the District semi-finals.
Toledo had come out on fire, taking a 5-0 lead to begin the contest, but Anna Kitzman's 12 points, Unruh's eight, Holly Hocking's pair of "three's" and Ariel Barker's four points all in the initial half, sparked Ilwaco to a 33-30 advantage going into the locker room. Ashley Kitzman was limited to three points and only three shots in the first half, but Ilwaco had fashioned their biggest lead of 27-20 with 4:55 remaining before popcorn time.
"I thought we adjusted real well to Toledo's box-and-one defense," Coach Ned Bittner explained. "They hit some big shots (in the second half) and it really hurt us when they shot 15-18 from the foul line in the last period and we did not match them."
Following the contest Anna Kitzman, who led the Lady Fishermen with 18 points, was admitted to the emergency room with a kidney infection. Ilwaco dropped to 9-12 and Toledo improves to 11-10 on the season.
Toledo, who lost a 51-38 decision to the Lady Fishermen January 13, made 18 of 23 free tosses for 78 percent and was 22-47 from the field for a hot 47 percent. Ilwaco was 15-21 from the line (71 percent), but only 19-49 from the field for 39 percent. The Indians won the war of the boards 30-25 and turnovers were even at 11 apiece in the well-played contest.
"I told the girls after the game that we will just have to come through the back door. It doesn't matter when we beat Winlock, Toledo, or Rainier. We just had to win out now," Bittner concluded. It will take three consecutive District triumphs to qualify for a trip to state.
Ilwaco - Anna Kitzman 18, Ashley Kitzman 13, Ariel Barker 7, Robyn Unruh 13, Allison Brooks, Lanie Kary, Heather Bartlett, Holly Hocking 7
Toledo - Reynolds 7, Boone 10, Abplanalp 10, Growden 10, Knowles 5, Wallace 22, Johnson 3, Hopf 3