Height makes a difference as Ilwaco falls to Pullman

Ryan Cadwell, Rocky Mirelez and Andy Hudkins mount a defense against a tall Pullman player. Despite their best efforts, the Fishermen lost by 30. KEVIN/DEBBIE HEIMBIGNER photo

YAKIMA - Memphis, Tenn., also known as the Pullman Greyhounds, crushed Ilwaco 67-37 in a 2A quarter-final contest in Yakima Thursday.

Two transfers from Tennessee, 6-foot 4-inch Fred Peete (pictured above) and 6-foot 8-inch Tavarius Payne, combined for 33 points, 12 steals, five assists, and 18 rebounds as Pullman went on a 12-0 run in the second period and out-scored the frustrated Fishermen 50-15 during one 18 minute stretch.

After investigating the situation for more two hours, WIAA executive director Mike Colbrese said of the two Pullman transfers that they were "definitely legal."

Ilwaco led the highly-touted Greyhounds 11-10 with 33 seconds to go in the first period. Andy Hudkins netted buckets twice over Payne and sank a foul shot, Kyle Kaino hit a "three" and two free throws, and Ryan Cadwell added another to give the Fishermen the lead.

Then the Greyhounds went on their rampage, sparked initially by Ben Haynes' three three-point shots, which opened up Ilwaco's zone defense for the Tennessee connection. Peete, who averaged 26 points and nearly 10 rebounds for the campaign, went over, around, and through the Fishermen for 15 points in the second period and added 11 more in the third, single-handedly outscoring Ilwaco during that time.

Peete also kicked in eight steals, five assists, and eight rebounds during those two quarters. Payne, one of the best-looking 15-year- olds in the state - any state for that matter - slammed a two-handed dunk in the final period to make the score 64-32 with five minutes remaining. Pullman's coaching staff had them in a full-court press at the time.

Eventually the Greyhounds called off the dogs and the Fishermen outscored them 5-3 the final three minutes of the debacle. Ryan Gray sank a text-book "three" off an Adam Ellsworth assist. Randy Wiegardt blocked a shot, Tommy Inserra grabbed a rebound and Ellsworth swished two free throws to end the scoring. Minus Peete and Payne, Ilwaco outscored the other Pullman players 37-34.

Hudkins led the Fishermen with 17 points and Kaino added 12. Hudkins had 10 boards for his second consecutive "double-double" of the tournament. Dustin Starr grabbed five rebounds to go with his three assists and David Thorne and Kaino also handed out three assists. Rocky Mirelez, Jordan Williams, and Tony Crete saw action on the court in the Sun Dome that had been transplanted from the Kingdome, where it had been the home for the Seattle Sonics for many years.

Ilwaco shot a mere 33 percent (12-36) but hit 10-13 free throws for 77 percent. The poor shooting from the floor and the 25 turnovers to six by the Greyhounds was due in no small measure to the presence of Peete and Payne, both excellent defensive players. Pullman committed 16 fouls to 13 for the Fishermen.

The Greyhounds were 26-62 from the field (42 percent) and made 8-13 foul shots (62 percent). Peete and Payne, who displayed excellent sportsmanship throughout, combined to shoot 13-26 (50 percent) and 7-9 from the stripe (78 percent). The loss dropped Ilwaco's record to 16-9 and doused any hope of a Fishermen championship.

The 12 local players showed obvious disappointment after the one-sided exhibition, seeing their dream of a "Hoosier's-like" run at the state title dashed by two transfers. Meanwhile, Peete, in a radio interview said, "I wanted to stay sharp tonight so I will be ready for the semi's and finals." Kaino was awarded the sportsmanship medal for the game.

About the only question left after the contest was which Pullman team was better, the one at the high school or the one at the college.

Pullman 13 23 22 9 -67

Ilwaco 11 7 8 11 -37

Ilwaco - Hudkins 17, Kaino 12, Gray 3, Cadwell 3, Ellsworth 2, Williams, Mirelez, Starr, Inserra, Thorne, Crete, Wiegardt.

Pullman - Peete 26, Haynes 12, Payne 7, Simpson 6, Sanders 6, Walker 5, Wickard 2, Wood 2, Brossman 1

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