TOLEDO — Playing their first non-league game of the season, the Fishermen beat Toledo 52-38 Saturday, Dec. 28. Last season, Ilwaco lost in overtime against a Toledo team that would win the Central League and take fourth at State. The Indians, who lost almost all their contributors from that team, dropped to 2-6 with the loss, while Ilwaco improved to 6-1.
Ilwaco stifled the Indians early, taking a big lead by the late second quarter. Daniel Whiting blocked an early three-pointer, and Jayden Turner drew a first-quarter charge from Duke Schaplow. Bubba Douglas blocked a Jake Cornyer layup, took an outlet pass from Calvin Baze, got fouled, hit the first free throw and grabbed his own offensive rebound on the second, eventually hitting a jumper on the possession for a 14-6 lead. Joe Nisbett’s putback made it 20-7.
Schaplow, the only major returning contributor from last year’s Toledo team and now their star player, started pushing the pace and got the Toledo offense going, and the home team cut it to 25-18 midway through the third.
Baze answered with a steal and three assists over the next couple of minutes, including a pair of backdoor lobs, pushing the lead back to 31-20.
But after that, Ilwaco went into a long offensive slump. Parker Kaech fouled out on a technical, and Schaplow buried both free throws, then drained an elbow jumper to cut the lead to 31-27.
As Ilwaco searched for answers and the shot clock wound down on another possession, freshman Alex West nailed a three-pointer to end the scoring drought and make it 34-27 late in the third.
In the fourth Ilwaco gave Toledo trouble with half-court traps, forcing a string of turnovers. A pair of Jayden Turner threes stretched the Fishermen’s lead to 44-31.
Schaplow went on a late scoring spurt with seven points to cut it to 45-38, giving him 22 points on the night. But good free throw shooting helped Ilwaco push the final margin to double digits.
Whiting led a balanced Ilwaco scoring attack with 11 points.
Ilwaco will host Raymond Thursday, Jan. 2 at 7 p.m., visit Willapa Valley Saturday at 7 p.m., and host Ocosta at 7 p.m. Jan. 7.