MONTESANO - Naselle battled to be within 27-26 of Montesano at halftime, but the Lady Bulldogs used a 35-point second half to eclipse the Comets 62-39 in a non-league girls' basketball game there Friday. Emily Green led Naselle with 14 points and Shelby Leeland added eight.
Coach Bobby Torppa said, "They are very athletic and their post players are very well coached. That and Montesano's 1-3-1 trapping defense in the second half made the difference in the game. They really pinched the corners the third period on defense. I called three time outs in the quarter, but we weren't able to adapt." The Lady Bulldogs chewed their way to a 15-3 third period advantage and out-scored the Comets 20-10 in the final frame.
Torppa had praise for Kaelee Dearmore, saying, "Kaelee rebounded well and played excellent defense against their posts, especially in the first half." He added, "Emily Green shot well tonight and Shelby Leeland had her best scoring game of the season."
The Comets were only 1-12 from the foul line for an anemic eight percent and "missed maybe ten or twelve easy shots inside" according to Torppa. "Their height and athleticism may have intimidated some of our shots in the paint and their defense in the second half took us completely out of our half-court offense," he stated. Montesano was 14-21 from the charity stripe for 67 percent. The Lady Bulldogs made 24 field goals to 19 for Naselle.
Naselle is now 3-6 on the season, while Montesano improves to 4-1. Aubree Pocklington, possibly the best softball player in the state, had a monster basketball game, scoring 22 points and sweeping the boards for 20 rebounds. Terra Novy added 11 and Sarah Bennett scored 14 for the winners. Nicole Laney tallied five points for the Comets and Dearmore, Nicole Tarabochia and Taylor Wasmundt each scored four for Naselle.
"It was a bittersweet game because we played so well against their man-to-man defense in the first half and didn't adapt in the second. And then the bus ride home was horrible. Because it was snowing the bus went through Ocosta and we didn't get home until almost midnight," Torppa explained.
The Comets JV team played only a half of basketball due to Montesano being short-handed and won 17-9.