ILWACO — Matt Pearson hit six three-pointers in a 26-point outing as Willapa Valley (8-0) gave Ilwaco (8-2) its second loss, winning 68-53 on Wednesday, Dec. 19. Pearson scored 17 points in the fourth quarter as Valley outscored Ilwaco 27-14. Reese Tynkila led Ilwaco with 20 points.

Valley played tight defense, kept Ilwaco out of the fast break and hit some shots in traffic as it took a 30-20 halftime lead.

Reese Tynkila helped Ilwaco chip away in the third quarter, getting into the lane repeatedly to score eight of his 20 points in the period. Valley led 41-35 in the final minute of the quarter after Allen Deniston scored on a slick post move, but Alex Kaino was then fouled in the back-court, hitting both free throws with 34.9 seconds in the quarter to cut the lead to four. With Ilwaco in a hurry at the end of the quarter, Tenyson Ramsey slashed through defenders and passed to an open Joe Nisbett underneath, where he banked it in at the buzzer to cut it to 41-39.

Nisbett opened the fourth quarter with the tying basket, but Ilwaco never took the lead. Pearson got a contested three-pointer to roll in for a 46-41 lead. Nisbett hit another bucket on a high-low play with Tynkila. But Pearson answered with a deep three to make it 49-43 and a step-back 17-footer for a 51-45 lead.

Ilwaco cut it back to two with 3:43 remaining when Tynkila and Kaino forced a Pearson turnover and Kaino turned it into a layup the other way. Pearson drew a foul on a drive and hit both free throws to extend the lead to four, and Ilwaco never got any closer.

Aaron Mead is a sports writer for the Chinook Observer. Contact him at 360-642-8181 or

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