ILWACO - The host Fishermen defeated North Beach in pool play and Ilwaco was ahead of both Toledo and Winlock for three quarters of games with those teams before finishing the 11th annual Battle of the Beach basketball tournament with a 1-3 record. "Our competitive nature came out in the tournament as it has all summer," Coach Paul Jarrett praised.
"Matt Kaino and Kolby Kirby have played with a great deal of intensity and they set the tone for us. Ryan Blake has been a constant plus all summer, as well. Those three guys have showed up to play on a consistent basis and it shows in the way they have played," Jarrett said.
Other players who played in all or some of the tournament were Ross Kary, Cody Bliss, Justin Short, Eddie Knick, Hayden Blake, Todd Oakes and Jordan DeSimone. The Fishermen lost to a perennial state-bound Toledo team 64-55 after leading most of the contest. They then dropped a 36-26 decision to Adna before beating North Beach 41-38.
"I nearly lost that game for us," Jarrett admitted. "I called a timeout when we didn't have any left and got a technical foul. Luckily the kids made their foul shots down the stretch to bail me out. I reminded them that we all make mistakes and it was nice that they picked me up."
Sunday Winlock used its height advantage to pull away early in the second half for a 40-36 victory. Naselle, under Coach Brian Macy, split their four games, defeating LaCenter 59-36 and Rainier 51-36 and being over-powered by Hoquiam 80-37 and losing to a solid Castle Rock team 52-47. The Comets were short-handed in the Hoquiam contest as some of the players were literally "making hay while the sun shined."
Toutle Lake defeated Hoquiam in one semi-final game and Washougal used its size advantage to hold off Toledo in the other semi-final. In the championship game Toutle Lake (2B) was ahead of Washougal (2A) at the half, but lost to the bigger school with the larger athletes in the championship tilt.
Each of the 16 teams played at least four games during the three-day tournament that serves as a fundraiser for the Ilwaco boys' basketball team. Jarrett said he will have open gym at Long Beach the rest of the month on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. and Sunday night at 6 p.m.