ILWACO — A barrage of seven three-point buckets in the first half staked Ilwaco to a 45-22 lead at intermission over Castle Rock and the Fishermen hung on to win a physical 77-57 decision over the Rockets at Carl Aase Gymnasium on Senior Night Thursday, Feb. 3. The win puts Ilwaco in a tie with Ridgefield for second place in the Trico League.

“I could sense our five seniors had a chip on their shoulders after we had lost to Castle Rock there and played our worst game of the season (a 74-58 loss). They came out tonight ready to play and really got after it against a team that has beaten a Trico League leader each of their last three games. I am proud of the way the seniors played tonight and throughout their careers,” coach Kip Meinhardt praised.

Karl Oman scored 27 points and dished out 10 assists for a double-double. Kyle Breckinridge scored six, but pulled down 13 rebounds and Bobby Byrd rolled in a season-high 18 points and garnered seven caroms. Ryan Kukula scored 14 and Patrick Whealdon added one point to the senior contingency, while grabbing seven boards. The senior quintet has started all 20 games this season for the Fishermen.

Ryan Tapio played “solid defensively” according to Meinhardt and nailed a trey and Kasey Plato had a career-high eight points and “is really coming on” according to the coach. “We haven’t lost a lead in the fourth quarter all season and tonight was no different, even when (the Rockets) turned up the heat defensively. Karl is a tough cookie and the rest of our seniors have shown a lot of poise down the stretch.”

The Fishermen had a season low three turnovers, the fewest by any Ilwaco team in at least eight years, while the Rockets had but six miscues as the game was played at playoff pitch. Castle Rock was whistled for 20 fouls, 16 in the second half and Ilwaco had 18 infractions. The Fishermen won the rebounding war 39-30.

Ilwaco was on fire from the field as they made 25-49 for 51 percent and they were 20-31 from the line for 65 percent, while the visitors were 19-50 for 38 percent from the floor and 14-23 from the free throw stripe for 61 percent. 

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