Merry Christmas for the Comets

<p>Nick Strange led the Comets on points in both wins of the holiday tournament, scoring a total of 39 in the games.</p>

ILWACO — Nick Strange scored eight of his game-high 22 points and Rob Baker scored seven of his 18 points in the fourth period, as Naselle held off Central League contender Morton-White Pass, 64-56 in the Ilwaco Holiday Basketball Tournament, Dec. 28.

“We just beat a very good basketball team, but that is what happens when you rebound and make your free throws,” coach Brian Macy told his team following the upset victory.

The Comets out-rebounded the Timberwolves by a whopping 49-34 margin, and both teams turned the ball over 14 times. The game was tied eight times and the lead changed hands eight times, as well. Strange’s two free throws to start the second half gave Naselle a 31-30 lead and Baker’s steal and coast-to-coast layup put the Comets up three and the Timberwolves would get no closer. 

Trevin Leeland’s third three-point basket of the game to end the third period gave Naselle a 45-39 advantage. Chandler Chapman’s driving layup with 1:16 left in the contest gave the Comets a commanding 60-54 edge.

Naselle was 23-48 from the field for a season-high 48 percent and they sank 15-24 foul shots for 63 percent, while the Timberwolves were 21-50, including four treys, for 42 percent shooting and made 10 of 19 foul shots for 53 percent. Naselle was called for 15 fouls to 20 for the Timberwolves.

The Comets are now 4-6 on the year, while Morton-White Pass slides to 5-2 on the season.


M-WP 16   16     9   15 — 56

Naselle     14   15   16   19 — 64


MORTON-WHITE PASS — Coy Hanger 2, Kyle Kelley 12, Kylon Gillispie 3, Rylon Kolb 12, Kalen Dunlap 19, Zach Counts 2, Evan Martin 6, Austin Coleman, Daniel Bates

NASELLE — Rob Baker 18, Sam Scrabeck 2, Chandler Chapman 8, Dustin Eaton 1, Cramer Smith, Nick Strange 22, Trevin Leeland 9, Jesse Lopez 4, Robert Eaton


Comets cash in on clutch foul shots, clip Cards 52-47

ILWACO — Nick Strange made four free throws and Chandler Chapman made one in the final 31 seconds of the game to help Naselle hold off Winlock 52-47 in the Ilwaco Holiday Basketball Tournament Dec. 27.

“I just kept saying, ‘This one’s in rhythm, this one’s in rhythm’ as I bounced the basketball to get ready to shoot the foul shots,” Strange explained. “I just wish we hadn’t made it so close at the end, but this is a good win for us.”

The Comets took a comfortable 38-30 lead a minute into the final period before nearly letting it slip away in the final 2:51 of play. 

Naselle was ahead 46-39 when they whiffed on a pair of foul shots inside three minutes to play. Then, after a failed breakaway layup attempt, the Comets fired up three shots from within two feet — all of which clanked off the rim. Two more missed free tosses and another blown wide-open layup followed and suddenly Winlock was within two points with 41 seconds to go.

The Comets owned the boards 47-27 against the Cardinals. The first half saw five lead changes and three ties as first Winlock bolted ahead 14-8 with an 11-2 run and then Naselle went on a 14-5 binge to take a tenuous 22-19 edge at halftime.

To kick off the third period, Baker scored twice in the paint and Chapman and Jesse Lopez knocked down short jumpers to put Naselle ahead 30-22. 

“We worked hard to hold Winlock down on defense. It was nice to get some stops and not allow them any offensive rebounds in the last couple of minutes,” Scrabeck said. 

“This was the first win I can remember at this Christmas tournament while being on the team,” said Baker. “It is nice to beat Winlock and get revenge from last year’s loss.”

Chapman’s defense on Cardinal all-star guard Enrique Hernandez was critical in the contest. 

“I just tried to keep him in front of me and make him go left,” Chapman said. “If he did get by me, my teammates were there to help.”

Strange led all scorers with 17 points and the sophomore guard nabbed nine rebounds, while Chapman added a dozen points. Baker scored nine points, garnered nine boards, blocked three shots and he and Strange each dished out three assists. Lopez added eight points and snared six rebounds.

Naselle was 19-50 from the field for 38 percent, but their struggles at the line continue as they only cashed in on 14-25 from the line for 56 percent.  

Despite out-boarding Winlock 47-27, Naselle had 23 turnovers to but 14 for the Cardinals, who were called for 22 fouls to a dozen for the Comets. 


Naselle     8  15  13  16 — 52

Winlock  14    5  11  17 — 47

NASELLE — Rob Baker 9, Sam Scrabeck 4, Chandler Chapman 12, Nick Strange 17, Trevin Leeland 2, Jesse Lopez 8, Dustin Eaton

WINLOCK — Johnny Durkin 7, Kyle Pohll 11, Phil Smerek 8, Hernandez 10, Blazzen White 10, Colton Woods 1, Caleb Rose

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