CASTLE ROCK – “We gave up too many simple baskets and their three very athletic girls were tough to stop on offense and they also played us well defensively,” Coach Ned Bittner said after Castle Rock defeated the Lady Fishermen 51-44 there Friday, Jan. 14 in a Trico League girls’ basketball game.

The loss was the first in league play for Ilwaco and Bittner lamented, “We gave them too many easy baskets at key times and didn’t shoot well ourselves.” The Lady Fishermen made only eight field goals inside the three-point arc and connected on six from beyond. “Tierney Uhlenkott played well inside on defense and Maddi Seidl got too many rebounds (15) for them.”

Alexa Wirkkala connected on five three-point shots, one of which brought Ilwaco to within four points in the third period. A subsequent steal would have cut the Lady Rocket lead to two points, but the layup came up short and the Lady Fishermen would get no closer in the contest.

“We just never erased the eight-point lead they got in the first period,” Bittner said. “Their coach (Don Misner) said that was the best game they played all year. I’m confident we will play them better when they come to Ilwaco. It took us too long to adjust to them defensively.”

Elleigh Kaino added nine points and Kady Kirby contributed seven before fouling out. Kenzi Wirkkala was held to a season-low five points by the Lady Rockets inside presence on defense and Cindy Pacheco and Sydney Ward each scored a basket for Ilwaco.

  The loss dropped Ilwaco to 10-3 for the year and 6-1 in league play, while Castle Rock improved to an identical 10-3 overall and 6-1 in the Trico. The two teams share the top rung in the league ladder. The Lady Fishermen junior varsity won convincingly 49-20.

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