WESTPORT — Ethan Lindstrom had a career-high 32 points and Chase Haataia grabbed 14 rebounds, boosting Naselle to a 61-46 victory over Ocosta Monday, Jan. 27.

Ocosta led 9-2 in the early minutes, but Lindstrom’s shooting kept Naselle in it. He hit a fade-away and a pair of threes, the last of which cut it to 14-13, and Naselle led 17-16 after a quarter.

Ocosta’s Cole Hatton had nine straight second quarter points on two three-pointers and a three-point play, putting the ‘Cats ahead 25-24.

Haataia tapped in a shot over his head to regain the lead for the Comets with 1:44 in the quarter. On the next possession he had three offensive rebounds of Comet jumpers before sinking a baseline jumper of his own on a pass from Lindstrom. Lindstrom slashed into the lane to draw a foul with 11.3 seconds in the half, hitting both free throws to once again give Naselle the lead at 28-27 at the half.

The Wildcats took their last lead at 35-33 late in the third on Colby Scheuber’s put-back. Naselle went on a 13-0 run over 2:30 at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarters. Lindstrom nailed a three-pointer behind a screen with 1:30 in the quarter for the lead, then knocked down another three following a Haataia offensive rebound and a drive-and-kick by Kolby Glenn. Near quarter’s end, Ocosta’s Cesar Martinez missed a fast-break layup; at the other end, Glenn gathered the outlet pass, drove from the corner and drew a foul and hit two free throws with 1.6 seconds left, boosting the lead to 41-35 heading into the fourth.

Corey Gregory started the fourth quarter with a steal and score. Haataia blocked an Evan Waara shot in the low post to keep the momentum going Naselle’s way. A Comet press-break out of a timeout set up Lindstrom cutting down the lane for a basket and a 46-35 lead with 7:00 remaining.

“I think our defense started rotating faster,” Lindstrom said. “We eventually had a feel for how they play offense.”

With the Comet lead down to six, Lindstrom drove and fed Jack Ruch under the basket for two easy points. After the Wildcats missed a three at the other end, Lindstrom put the game away with a step-back three-pointer, making it 51-40 with 5:19 left.

“I never usually do that [step-back shot],” Lindstrom said. “I guess I was just feeling it, since I was having such a good shooting game. I only shoot if I can shoot with confidence.”

Ocosta, 8-8 in the 2B Pacific League, fell to 8-10 overall.

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

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