WINLOCK - The Lady Fishermen remained undefeated for the year with a scintillating 73-71 win at Winlock, Monday Dec. 22.
Ashley Fauver drilled a three-point shot with 1:33 to give Ilwaco the lead 70-69. An Ashley Kitzman put back and Fauver free throw enabled the Lady Fishermen to stay ahead of the Cardinals down the stretch.
Winlock had taken the lead 67-66 when Ilwaco was called for their second technical foul of the game, this one on the bench for "unsportsman-like conduct" with 2:34 remaining.
Winlock's Summer Sykes, who scored 37 points on the night, hit a field goal in the paint to give Winlock a 69-67 edge just before Fauver's key basket.
The hectic final minute of play saw the Lady Fishermen force two Winlock turnovers, but missed two free throws to allow the home team one final try with seven seconds to play. Instead of going inside to Sykes for the tie, they elected to shoot beyond the arc and the ball bounded off the rim and into Kitzman's hands as the buzzer sounded.
In the first period, the Cardinals flew to a 9-3 lead. Michelle Wroble had the hot hand early for the Lady Fishermen, scoring 6 points and dishing out an assist, but Winlock held a 20-16 lead. With 2:10 left in the first quarter, IHS coach Glenn Padgett was whistled for a technical foul, and the Cardinals ended up with a 24-16 lead by quarter's end.
Ashley Kitzman knocked down 12 of her 30 points in the second quarter to spark an IHS charge. Katie Holmes fed Kitzman twice with assists, the second one leading to a 38-38 tie. However, the Cardinals scored with three seconds left to take a 40-38 lead at intermission.
Two minutes into the second half, Wroble found Ariel Barker under the basket with an assist to give Ilwaco its first advantage, at 42-40. After the lead exchanged hands five times, increased full-court defensive pressure helped the Lady Fishermen go on a 14-5 run, which lead to a 60-50 lead at the beginning of the final period.
Wroble scored 7 points, Holmes passed to Kitzman for two layups, and Robyn Unruh scooped an underhand shot that went in and completed the three-point play when she was fouled to fuel the Ilwaco surge.
Sykes came alive in the final quarter, scoring 14 points and helping Winlock to counter with a 17-6 scoring spree of their own to take the 67-66 lead and set up Fauver's late-game heroics.
Ilwaco was 30 of 68 from the field (44 percent) and 10 of 15 from the line (67 percent) while committing 18 fouls. Winlock made 26 of 57 field goal attempts (46 percent) and 19 of 29 from the charity stripe (66 percent) and was called for 12 personal fouls.
The Cards gave up 18 turnovers and forced Ilwaco into 14, while the Lady Fishermen held a 30-28 rebounding edge. The contest was highlighted by excellent passing on both sides and by exceptional post play from Kitzman and Sykes, as they combined for 67 points, 5 assists, and an uncharted number of rebounds.
The Lady Fishermen are now 5-0 on the season heading into the Holiday Classic held at IHS on Monday and Tuesday [see next week's Observer for game details].
Four of Ilwaco's victories have come by three points or less. They are scheduled to visit Morton Saturday before beginning Trico-League play at home against LaCenter, Jan. 6.
The junior varsity remained winless, dropping a 41-27 decision to the fledgling Cardinals.
Ilwaco 16 22 20 15 - 73
Winlock 24 16 10 21 - 71
Ilwaco-Ashley Kitzman 30, Wroble 13, Fauver 11, Unruh 9, Holmes 6, Barker 4, Hocking, Anna Kitzman.
Winlock-Sykes 37, Autumn Spencer 10, W. Bryant 8, T. Bryant 5, Crawford 5, Gieseke 4, Alex Spencer 2.