ILWACO — When everything goes just right on the opening tip for the Lady Fishermen, Madeline Jacobson swats the ball right to Eliza Bannister as Makenzie Kaech takes off toward the basket. Bannister hits Kaech for a layup, giving fans an immediate indication of the way the game is going to go. In Friday’s 69-28 win over Willapa Valley, the Fishermen executed that opening tip play perfectly, led 10-0 after 1:46 and 23-0 near the end of the first quarter.
Ilwaco repeatedly pounded the ball inside against the much shorter Vikings. Jacobson put a move on in the post against Britney Patrick, turned her shoulder and banked in a shot, giving her eight of Ilwaco’s first 14 points.
Bannister got off to a strong start attacking the basket. She drove, forced the defense to collapse on her and found Erika Glenn open from 10 feet for a 16-0 lead, knifed through the defense for a layup to make it 18-0, and converted a three-point play for a 21-0 lead with 1:41 remaining in the opening quarter. Kaech scored on a pretty bounce pass feed from Ebby McMullen to cap the 23-0 opening run.
After an offensive lull in the second quarter, Ilwaco pulled away some more late in the third, running a dazzling fast-break. Makenzie Kaech hit two threes and scored 12 in the quarter. Glenn scored 11 of Ilwaco’s 15 fourth-quarter points.
Kaech finished with 20 points, six assists and five steals. Glenn had 15 points, four assists and six steals. Bannister had 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Jacobson had 14 points and four blocked shots.
Erika Glenn dominated with 16 points, twelve rebounds, six assists and nine steals as Ilwaco crushed Chief Leschi 59-10 on Dec. 5, shutting out the Warriors in the first half. Eliza Bannister added 16 points and nine steals.
The absence of injured starters Makenzie Kaech and Chandelle Thomas didn’t phase the Fishermen, who replaced them with Glenn and Taylor Sheldon. Kaech returned later in the week against Willapa Valley, while Thomas will be out another two weeks with a shoulder injury.
Early on, Bannister was one of the few Fishermen consistently finding the net. Bannister scored eight first-quarter points. Ebby McMullen hit two of her first three shots to score four more in the quarter. The Fishermen led 18-0 after a quarter and 30-0 at halftime. Bannister knocked down eight of her first twelve shots.
The rest of the team shot only 33 percent, but it didn’t really matter, because the Fishermen gave themselves endless chances. Madeline Jacobson grabbed a staggering 14 offensive rebounds, Glenn added another eight, and the Fishermen came up with 30 steals. McMullen and Sunny Kemmer had four swipes each.
Glenn missed six of her first seven shots but hit four straight during a stretch in the second and third quarters while putting together another sensational all-around performance. By the end of three quarters, Ilwaco led 51-3.