ILWACO - It wasn't pretty, but Ilwaco hung on to eke out their first Trico League victory of the season over LaCenter 48-43 at home Thursday. The Fishermen trailed after one period 10-8, but then exploded for 17 straight points to lead 25-10 at the 2:45 mark of the second period as they looked for all the world like they would win by a blowout.
From that point on, however the Wildcats scratched back until they trailed 42-40 with 2:01 remaining in the final period. Over the last two minutes of the fray Ilwaco made good on six of nine foul shots to hold off LaCenter. The Fishermen whiffed on all 10 of their field goal tries during the fourth period, but fortunately for them the Wildcats weren't much better as they converted on only 3-16 from the floor in the last eight minutes of play.
"I tried every offensive set in the book tonight and nothing seemed to work," a frustrated Coach Kip Meinhardt stated. "We didn't seem to have any energy on the offensive end, didn't play with much emotion. We did do OK defensively against a LaCenter team that is undermanned right now. A win is a win, that's about all I can say."
Ilwaco shot 34 percent from the field (17-50) and 59 percent from the foul line (13-22), while the Wildcats were 16-48 from the floor (33 percent) and were perfect from the charity stripe, making nine of nine tries. The Fishermen had a decisive 40-28 edge on the glass and both teams turned the basketball over 16 times. Ilwaco had a season's low-water mark of eight assists for the game. LaCenter was whistled for 17 fouls to a season-low dozen for the Fishermen.
Justin Short continued his hot hand in the scoring department by leading both teams with 17 points and he also brought down eight rebounds. Jack Whealdon scored 10 points for the Fishermen, Karl Oman added nine, Cody Bliss six, Ross Kary three, Chris Schommer two and Kolby Kirby one point and a team-high three assists. Kary and Bliss each corralled nine rebounds. Tanner Roggenkamp tossed in 16 points for LaCenter.
The Fishermen improve to 1-3 in the Trico and are now 7-5 overall while LaCenter is 0-4 in league play and 1-10 for the season. In other league action Castle Rock beat Kalama 61-40 and Stevenson pummeled White Salmon 93-66 to be 4-0. Both Castle Rock and Kalama are 3-1 and White Salmon is now tied with Ilwaco at 1-3 in the Trico.
The Ilwaco junior varsity won 55-37 behind the 18 points from Ryan Tapio, including four consecutive three's and Kyle Breckenridge's 13 points.
LaCenter 10 4 17 12 --43Ilwaco 8 19 13 8 --48
LaCenter---Kyle Kosak 8, Tanner Roggenback 16, Zach Hollingshead 4, Garrett Davis 6, Curtis Biersceid 9, Trever Baker
Ilwaco-Justin Short 17, Jack Whealdon 10, Kolby Kirby 1, Ross Kary 3, Karl Oman 9, Chris Schommer 2, Cody Bliss 6