ILWACO - The Lady Fishermen out-scored visiting Cascade Christian 20-3 during a 10-minute stretch of the second half to pull out a 48-37 non-league basketball win in Wednesday's season-opener.
Ilwaco shot a miserable 5-34 in the first half (15 percent) and trailed the Cougars 22-16 at intermission. The Lady Fishermen came out in a zone in the second half and allowed the Puyallup school girls to fire from long range. After building a 29-20 lead two minutes into the third quarter the Cougars then missed their next 24 shots, most from beyond the arc, and with most falling into the arms of Ilwaco rebounders.
The dry spell allowed the Lady Fishermen to take the lead 32-31 with 1:07 remaining in the third period on an Anna Kitzman "three" and they never looked back. To begin the final eight minutes, Kitzman fed Lanie Kary a perfect pass for an assist and Kary's layup was amazingly the only field goal for Ilwaco the rest of the contest.
The Cougars were whistled for 30 fouls to 16 for Ilwaco and the Lady Fishermen enjoyed 43 trips to the charity stripe to 14 for the visitors. The huge edge in foul shots, especially in the final frame, aided and abetted Ilwaco's pull away. Kitzman sank six straight in the late going and the team was a combined 12-18 in the final period as three of the Cascade Christians exited the game with five fouls.
Allison Brooks and Kary topped the team in rebounds as the Lady Fishermen grabbed 52 boards to 44 for the Cougs. There were plenty of rebounds to get, as Cascade Christian shot 16-66 for the game (a miserly 24 percent) and Ilwaco canned 13-50 for 26 percent accuracy from the field. Ilwaco was 20-43 from the line (47 percent) while the Christians were 4-14 for a meager 29 percent.
Kitzman led in scoring with 22 points and Kary added 13. Bonnie Perez chipped in four points and Brooks and Melany Bliss each scored three points during their maiden voyages as starters for the Lady Fishermen. Freshman Desmin Wirkkala also scored three points and handled the basketball impeccably against the Cougar press.
Rob Snow's JV team dropped a 55-38 decision to Cascade Christian despite a 12-point effort from Charlotte Johnson.
Ilwaco - Kitzman 22, Kary 13, Perez 4, Brooks 3, Bliss 3, Wirkkala 3, Tara Hankins, Carolyne Herrejon
Cascade Christian - Sutherland 17, Coltom 4, Haddox 7, Parker 3, Berry 2, Keil 2, McDonnell 2
Toledo tops Lady Fishermen in league opener 47-36
ILWACO - Toledo toppled the Lady Fishermen 47-36 as both teams opened their Southwest Washington 1A League season Thursday. After two Lanie Kary field goals in the paint had given Ilwaco a 29-26 lead in the third quarter, Toledo went on a 20-6 tear to put the game on ice for the visitors.
Toledo scored the first eight points of the game as Alicia Growden scored six of her game-high 14 tallies right off the bat. Ilwaco shot a meager 1-16 from the field for the quarter for a miserly 7 percent and trailed 12-5 after one period. They heated up the second stanza as Anna Kitzman dished out three assists to Kary twice and Melany Bliss. Once Bonnie Perez's jumper drew Ilwaco to within a 21-19 count in favor of Toledo at halftime.
Kitzman's "three" 36 seconds into the third period earned Ilwaco their first lead at 22-21 and after two Kary turnaround jumpers the Lady Fishermen were up 26-23. Ilwaco, employing a 1-3-1 zone defense, slowed Toledo in the early going of the second half, but Katie Boone's three 3-pointers and a bomb from beyond the arc by freshman Kelsey Stone helped Toledo to a 20-6 run during the next eight minutes of play as they built an insurmountable 43-32 edge.
Kitzman's two driving layups and Perez's jumper were Ilwaco's only answer the final five minutes as Toledo prevailed by 11 points 47-36.
During the highly competitive and sometimes physical contest the officials didn't called a foul the first 10 minutes of the second half and Toledo wasn't assessed an infraction until 1:31 remained in the fray.
The battle of the boards was even at 36 rebounds for each team and the foul situation was also knotted at 12-12 as officials obviously took the "let 'em play" attitude. Neither team was particularly accurate from the field as Ilwaco was 15-65 (23 percent) and Toledo was 18-55 (33 percent). The Lady Fishermen converted 5-9 from the charity stripe and Toledo was 5-8.
Coach Ned Bittner said, "They hit some key three pointers and our inexperience showed tonight. We didn't defend their best shooters, didn't pressure on defense when we were down, and we need to take better shots." He added, "If Toledo is supposed to be the third-best team in the league then we played them pretty well."
Ilwaco turned the basketball over 24 times and Toledo miscued on 19 occasions. Ilwaco is now 1-1 and 0-1 in league play while Toledo is 1-0 in the SWW and 2-0 overall. The Lady Fishermen JV's dropped a 43-17 decision to go 0-2 on the season.
Ilwaco - Kitzman 12, Kary 14, Perez 8, Brooks, Bliss 2, Wirkkala, Tara Hankins, Erin McDonnell
Toledo - Growden 14, Boone 12, Hopf 5, Catlin 6, Johnson 4, Stone 3, Zion 3