MENLO — Chad Flemetis forced overtime with a three-pointer with 5.2 seconds remaining, and Willapa Valley went on to beat Ilwaco 70-64. Flemetis also had three-pointers with 1:11 and 2:50 to go in regulation, part of his 13-point fourth quarter that brought Valley (6-4 overall, 6-2 in league play) back from an eight-point deficit.
Parker Kaech scored 22 points, all of them in the first three quarters as he carried Ilwaco (7-2, 6-2) to a 42-37 lead through three. He did this while chasing star Logan Walker around the perimeter. Walker scored eight first-quarter points but Kaech held him to two each in the second and third quarters. All night, Kaech recovered to cut Walker off whenever he appeared to have a half-step on Kaech. At the end of the half, he stayed with Walker through some James Harden-style dance moves, getting him to miss his step-back three, and buried a three of his own at the buzzer for 28-24 lead.
In the third quarter, Kaech had his fade-away jumper working and got on a roll getting defenders in the air to draw fouls. He scored 10 points in the period.
“Both teams were tired. We gave each other all a great battle,” Kaech said. “By the end of the game, I was definitely running on empty. I just had to keep going, for my teammates, knowing they would do the same for me.”
Ilwaco’s largest lead was eight on a Bubba Douglas three to open the fourth quarter. Flemetis’s three with 1:11 remaining cut the Ilwaco lead to 58-55, setting up a frenetic final stretch. Valley’s Logan Walker intercepted an entry pass to Joe Nisbett, but Nisbett stole it right back from behind. Calvin Baze then lost it back to Valley on a drive to the basket, but Joseph Pulsifer missed a potential tying three the other way.
Valley then intentionally fouled Parker Kaech with 21.3 seconds left. He missed the front end of a one-and-one, but the rebound went right to Baze. Baze was fouled, but he in turn missed his front end.
On the final Valley possession, Walker looked for a shot, but Kaech forced him to give it up. Walker found Flemetis, who nailed the contested three to tie it at 58.
Out of an Ilwaco timeout with 5.2 remaining, Baze went the length of the court but was short with a contested ten-footer at the buzzer.
In overtime, Walker buried a fade-away and Flemetis slashed to the basket for a layup for a four-point Valley lead. Meanwhile, Ilwaco struggled with execution on its first several possessions. Nisbett fouled out on a push-off away from the ball with 2:16 remaining.
Ilwaco stayed in the game with defensive plays. Jaden Turner blocked Carter Pearson’s shot from behind with Valley in a three-on-one break. Baze’s pressure forced an errant pass that was intercepted by Bubba Douglas. Baze was fouled on the ensuing fast break and hit both free throws, cutting it to 62-60 with 1:37 remaining in overtime.
Valley coach Jay Pearson called time-out just as the Vikings were again throwing the ball away against the press. Walker then drew a non-shooting foul as he got through the press, setting up another baseline-out-of-bounds pass. Baze stole the pass, but the ball came loose, a Valley player dove on top of Baze, and the ball ended up being out of bounds off Baze. Baze and Cole Buchanan knocked each other down away from the ball jostling for position on the ensuing in-bound; neither was called for a foul, and the pass went to Walker, who again got fouled by Kaech with 1:21 remaining and hit both free throws for a 64-60 lead.
Baze found a meandering path to the basket to again cut it to two, but then bumped Flemetis while trying to trap him in a full-court press. Baze left the game with his fifth foul, and Flemetis sank both free throws to make it 66-62 with 1:03 left.
Ilwaco had a turnover and missed three on its next two possessions, and Valley extended the lead to six. Daniel Whiting then hit a basket while being fouled, but missed the free throw that would have completed the three-point play with 31.5 left, and the Vikings closed out the win.
Flemetis led Valley with 26 points, and Walker added 21. For Ilwaco, Baze had 14 points and nine rebounds to go with Kaech’s 22 and six.
Ilwaco will visit Chief Leschi Jan. 10 at 7 p.m., and hosts Life Christian Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m.