ILWACO - The Fishermen survived the second-period doldrums, scoring only five points in that time, to outlast Stevenson 51-43 Saturday at Aase Gym. The victory keeps Ilwaco solidly in third place in the Trico-League with a 6-2 record, trailing LaCenter and Ridgefield by one game in the loss column.
The ball-handling (five assists and steady work against the press) and rebounding (nine) of Kyle Kaino and the board work of Andy Hudkins (15 caroms) were the difference in the contest as Ilwaco outscored the Bulldogs 30-20 the second half.
The Fishermen had trailed 21-22 at intermission after leading 16-12 in the first quarter. Three field goals from Hudkins, Kaino's five points, a Rocky Mirelez three-pointer, and two of six shooting from the line had given Ilwaco the early scoring bulge.
The second period the Bulldogs went on an 8-0 run before Kaino hit a "three" following a five-minute scoring draught. Ilwaco was 1-10 from the field and sank 2-4 from the line in the quarter. Fortunately stellar man-to-man defense was being played by the home team to keep the game within one point.
In the third stanza Ryan Cadwell hit for five of his seven points on the night, but was saddled with his fourth foul at the 3:49 mark and Coach Matt Blair was forced to rest him. Cadwell would be disqualified with 4:48 remaining in the contest with a fifth foul of the ticky-tack variety. The Fishermen went on a 1-9 foul-shooting slump in the quarter and at one time were 9-24 in for the game from the charity stripe, to make matters worse.
Trailing 29-32, Kaino scored three field goals, Cadwell one, and Starr poured in five points, part of his season-high 11, as the Fishermen blitzed to a 13-2 run to take the lead 42-34 early in the fourth quarter. For the next four minutes neither team was able to put the basketball through the hoops at either end of the court.
The final three minutes the teams traded baskets and Ilwaco's David Thorne and Kaino found the range on free throws, each converting on three of four attempts to help seal the deal. The Bulldogs aided the Fishermen's cause by casting off several 25-foot jump shots that flew far from their mark in the waning seconds of the increasingly physical contest.
Kaino's 16 and Starr's 11 points topped the Fishermen and Brandon Zerr-Smith led the Bulldogs scorers with 10. Thorne and Kaino each had five assists and Kaino stole the ball five times from Stevenson to lead Ilwaco's efforts.
Each team took care of the ball remarkably well, turning the ball over 10 times apiece. The Fishermen won the battle of the boards 45-38 and were whistled for 18 fouls to 22 for the visitors. Stevenson shot a miserable 30percent from the field (16-53) and was 7-13 from the foul line (54 percent). Ilwaco was 17-48 from the field (35 percent) and 15-33 from the charity stripe (45 percent) as both teams found it difficult to put the ball in the basket on the evening.
The Fishermen, 11-5 overall, will lead off a varsity-only doubleheader at White Salmon Tuesday and entertain Castle Rock on Friday. Both games are Trico-League matchups. There was no junior varsity contest and the JV's won't lace up the sneakers at White Salmon, either, due to travel constraints.
Stevenson 12 11 9 11 -43
Ilwaco 16 5 15 15 -51
Ilwaco - Kaino 16, Starr 11, Hudkins 8, Cadwell 7, Thorne 4, Mirelez 3, Crete 2, Ellsworth, Williams
Stevenson - Zerr-Smith 10, Sands 8, Stump 6, Pruitt 6, Ogle 6, Weber 5, Yeaden 2