ILWACO — The Ilwaco Lady Fishermen won their Pacific League opener over Raymond 72-62 on Jan. 5. The Fishermen tied their season high in points, getting 18 apiece from Hannah Ellsworth and Madeline Jacobson. They needed most of this scoring, as the Lady Seagulls, led by 26 points from Karlee Freeman, achieved by far the highest point total for any team this season against Ilwaco’s defense.

The Fishermen went on a 30-10 run, including the first 11 points of the second half, to take a 42-24 lead. In the second quarter Ellsworth made a pair of high, arcing outlet passes that found Makenzie Kaech ahead of the defense for fast break baskets, and also had a steal that led to a basket. Her pull-up shot from well behind the three-pointer arc put the Fishermen ahead 29-22. Jacobson opened the second half with a powerful move inside and scored six straight. She capped this stretch by blocking a shot, running the court in transition, and putting back a miss from Kaech.

The Seagulls launched a comeback bid. They got their fast break game going and scored 38 second-half points. Ellsworth hit two three-pointers in the third quarter to help the Fishermen keep pace. However, a three-pointer from Cydney Flemetis cut Ilwaco’s lead to 63-57 with around three minutes to play.

Ilwaco then closed the game out. Eliza Bannister battled for an offensive rebound, leading to a free throw for a seven-point led. Kaech then blocked a shot, and Bannister’s pass found her sprinting the other way in transition for a 66-57 lead.

With a 66-59 lead, Ellsworth kept a play alive with an offensive rebound on the baseline. She immediately faced ferocious pressure from Freeman but stayed inbounds and found an open Jacobson for a 68-59 lead with about a minute to play to seal the game.

Ellsworth needed only 14 shots to score 18 points; she made three three-pointers. Jacobson had 18 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks. Kaech scored 14 with 11 rebounds. Eliza Bannister had six points and seven assists. Reece Pierson, a sophomore playing her first year of high school basketball, had perhaps her best game for Ilwaco, with six points on three of four shooting and three rebounds off the bench. For Raymond Winter Newman scored 10 points and Kinsey Collins had eight to complement Freeman’s 26.

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