ILWACO - The Fishermen basketball team ended their summer season with four losses at the Battle at the Beach Tournament they hosted July 7 and 8. Hoquiam defeated Ilwaco 69-45, Winlock won 37-32, Toutle Lake downed the Fishermen 74-27, and Warrenton edged the hosts 38-34.
Toutle Lake defeated Tenino 41-32 for the championship for their second title in a row. Paul Jarrett said of his team's showing, "I saw some great things during the tourney from our kids and some things we need to work on. We played hard and under control some of the time and played soft and out of control at others." He concluded by saying, "I was pleased with our overall effort. I can't wait until November."
The new coach also expressed his thanks for referees, concession people, scorekeepers and those who helped at the door during the tournament that is now in its 10th year and is a major source of funding for the boys basketball program.
New assistant Kip Meinhardt, who coached the Fishermen much of the summer, said the team was winless in about a dozen games in the Lower Columbia College Summer League and in two other tournaments. "I saw a lot of positive things. We played good defense and didn't give up even when out-matched," Meinhardt said. "If I were to describe this team in one word it would be potential."
He said Anthony Wirkkala played very well inside and Matt Kaino showed some quality low-post moves. Meinhardt said Paul Blaylock improved in his passing decisions at the point-guard position, Colten Chalker improved his confidence as a scorer, and Cody Chalker played at 100 percent all of the time and led the team in steals.
Meinhardt said Jordan DeSimone was steady and Kolby Kirby gained confidence in his outside shot and ball-handling skills. One situation that hurt Ilwaco's performance was the lack of consistency in attendance at the games. "Some games this summer we had five or six guys and some we had as many as nine," Meinhardt said.
Jarrett reminds the public that there will be open gym Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m. beginning Aug. 7 after Aase Gym's floor is refinished.