MONTESANO — Ilwaco only had its “A game” in spurts, but that was enough for a 60-44 road win over Montesano Friday, Dec. 22. The Fishermen improved to 8-0, while the Bulldogs, a classification ahead of Ilwaco at 1A, fell to 7-2.

“It was not our best game…. It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take the win,” coach Ned Bettner said.

With the 6’2” Zoe Hutchings anchoring a strong interior defense for Montesano, the Fishermen forced some bad shots and passes in the early going. The game was tied at 11 a couple of minutes into the second quarter.

Eliza Bannister threaded a pass through the defense to Madeline Jacobson for a basket, which started a 10-0 Ilwaco run. Makenzie Kaech knocked down a three-pointer, then pump-faked into a jump shot from the free throw line. Bannister then hit a three-pointer off a Jacobson offensive rebound. Bannister also blocked two Bulldog shots during the three-minute Fishermen surge that put Ilwaco up 21-11.

The Bulldogs ended the quarter on a 6-0 run, making it 23-19 at halftime.

The third quarter belonged to the Fishermen, though, by a 21-10 margin. Kaech started things off with a pretty pass across the key to Jacobson, who scored for a six-point lead. Shortly afterward, Hutchings grabbed a defensive rebound and Jacobson pressured her against the sideline; Kaech pounced on the resulting pass and made another nifty feed to Jacobson for a 27-19 lead. Eliza Bannister hit a tough pull-up shot through contact to get the lead back to 10 early in the third.

Ilwaco continued playing strong defense. When the Bulldogs took off on a fast-break after a turnover, Erika Glenn poked the ball away from behind. Estella Sheldon drew a charge at half-court. Bannister intercepted a pass and took off. She missed the contested layup, but Sheldon was there with the offensive rebound and made a perfect pass, leading Bannister right into a three-point play for a 34-23 lead.

Bannister scored 13 of her 16 points in the second half, including two three-pointers, the second extending Ilwaco’s lead to 49-33 early in the fourth quarter. Montesano went on a 6-0 run to cut it back to 10, but Kaech answered with a catch-and-shoot three-pointer. Following two made free throws by Hutchings, Bannister went on a zig-zaggy, coast-to-coast drive for a layup and a 54-41 lead with 3:20 to go, putting the Fishermen well on their way to victory.

Kaech finished with 20 points, four assists and four steals. Bannister had 16 points, three assists, three steals and two blocks. Jacobson had 14 of her 18 points in the second half and grabbed 14 offensive rebounds. Erika Glenn led the Fishermen with five assists. Zoee Lisherness led the Bulldogs with 12 points.

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