IHS girls come together for win No. 1

Ashley Kitzman, with 17 points, helped lead the Ilwaco Lady Fishermen to a 65-48 win over Montesano last week in non-league basketball action. DAMIAN MULINIX photo

ILWACO - Ilwaco doubled Montesano's score during a 20-minute period in their non-league girls basketball game at home Tuesday, winning 65-48 in the initial contest for both teams. After trailing 14-13 at the end of one quarter, the Lady Fishermen outscored the Lady Bulldogs 52-26 in one stretch to ice their first victory of the season.

"At half time we stressed turning up the team defensive pressure. We had given them too many easy baskets and they hit nine of 14 free throws to keep Montesano in the game," coach Joe Williams commented.

The Lady Bulldogs managed only one field goal in the third quarter and did not score their second basket from the field until six minutes remained in the contest. Ilwaco looked like the game would be a cakewalk early, as Ashley Kitzman scored three buckets from the inside, each following a Heather Hocking assist.

Kitzman nabbed two steals from the Lady Fishermen's 1-2-2 half court trapping defense, and Hocking ripped the net with a three-point try to give the home ladies a 9-3 lead. Montesano began to solve Ilwaco's press and hit five easy shots, then Morgan Olsen scored an old-fashioned three-point play as time expired in the first quarter to give the visitors a 14-13 lead.

Hocking and Kitzman went to work inside and from the foul line Ashley Fauver hit on an outside shot to put the Lady Fishermen up 19-17 in the second period. Williams then switched to a man-to-man defense and Ilwaco built the lead to 34-27 by intermission on the scoring plays of two Hocking driving layups, Kitzman's three put-back baskets, and Amanda Faggard's jumper.

The third quarter saw more man defense from the Lady Fishermen as they pulled steadily away. Michelle Wroble and Fauver scored from the outside and Hocking hit a spinning lay-in to up the lead to 40-29. Nicole Adams scored from inside, as did Kitzman, and Hocking buried two long three-pointers to nail down a 52-32 third quarter lead.

The final period Fauver took over the scoring load with a cherry pick layin, a three pointer, a field goal from the wing, and a driving layup. Hocking's final 'three' of the game put Ilwaco up 65-40 with 2:23 ticks of the clock remaining. Montesano took advantage of liberal substituting and ran off the final eight tallies of the contest.

Kitzman led the Lady Fishermen with 16 rebounds, Hocking handed out 10 assists and Fauver five, as the trio combined for 56 of Ilwaco's 65 points. The Fishermen held a 41-34 edge on the boards, but only hit four of 12 foul shots (33 percent), while Montesano was 14 of 27 from the charity stripe. Olson and Meg Ryan (not the actress) led the Lady Bulldogs in scoring with 13 points each.

"We appeared to have butterflies early and were out of rhythm offensively," Williams surmised. "By turning up the defensive pressure we were able to play more at our tempo the second half."

Faggard played well off the bench, Brittney Fox and Adams improved inside, and Fauver loosened up and shot very well the second half, according to Williams. He had special praise for Wroble who is playing point guard for the first time.

There was no junior varsity game, as Ilwaco did not have enough eligible players.

Montesano 14 13 5 16 -48

Ilwaco 13 21 18 13 -65

Scoring - Hocking 25, Kitzman 17, Fauver 14, Wroble 4, Adams 3, Faggard 2, Fox, Mendez, Smith, Padilla, Herbold.

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