NASELLE – The Comets rallied for 25 fourth-quarter points to down North Beach 53-44 and claim sole possession of first place in the Pacific 2B League Saturday, Jan. 8 in Naselle. The Comets zipped to a 12-6 lead in the first frame behind the four field goals of Taylor Wasmundt and it was Carley Kitzman’s 16 fourth-period points (she would finish with 26 points) that led Naselle to a 25-13 run to hamstring the Lady Hyaks in the late going.

Naselle looked like they would run away with the tussle for first place in the league in the first period, but the previously undefeated Lady Hyaks (now 11-1) went on a second-quarter 14-0 run and didn’t allow the Comets to score a field goal until 1:32 remained before popcorn time.

Trailing 21-15 at intermission, six different Naselle players found the scoring column in the third frame as they whittled the lead to 31-28. Nicole Tarabochia’s “three” as time ran out on the 30-second clock was the key bucket with 22 seconds left in the third period.

The fourth quarter was all Naselle—and all Kitzman—as the junior sank eight free throws, made four baskets, and dished out two assists in the pivotal final eight minutes of play. Trailing by three at the 6:01 mark Kayti Nelson was fouled on a three-point try and made her first two foul shots. Kitzman nabbed the rebound on her miss of the third shot and she connected on a put back basket to put the Comets ahead 34-33.

The lead changed hands four times over the next three minutes until Kitzman sank two free tosses and then on the next play made a steal at mid-court and went coast-to-coast for a layup to hand the Comets a 44-41 advantage they would not relinquish. Wasmundt, Makenzie Matthews, and Haleigh See would make crucial free tosses down the stretch and Kitzman’s pass to Ciara Sandell for a layin also came during the critical final minutes.

“The girls worked hard, but at times lost their composure and focus. Even though we were in plenty of foul trouble we came out in the second half and regained our confidence and executed as a team on offense,” Coach Russ Hickman said. “Carley was abused all game, but kept getting up and Haleigh had her best game running the team at the point guard position. Ciara and Nicole battled hard inside against their bigger girls. I am proud of the way the kids for coming back.”

Naselle was 15-52 from the field for a mere 29 percent and converted 21-34 from the foul line for 62 percent, while the Lady Hyaks were 19-50 for 38 percent from the floor and a meager 5-18 from the charity stripe for 28 percent. North Beach’s athleticism helped them to win the rebounding battle 43-38, but the Lady Hyaks “train wreck” style of offense resulted in 27 turnovers to 20 for Naselle. Fouls were 19 for the home team and 22 for North Beach.

Tarabochia had 12 rebounds and eight steals. Kitzman grabbed eight boards and See and Kitzman each dished out four assists. Wasmundt scored nine points, See five, Sandell four, and Matthews, Nelson, and Tarabochia contributed three points each to the win.

Naselle is now 6-0 and atop the Pacific and 11-2 overall, while North Beach falls to 5-1 and is 11-1 for the year. The Lady Hyaks won a low-scoring junior varsity affair 23-14. Naselle’s Rachel Underwood was cited for her defense and Karianne Condon her rebounding by Assistant Greg Nelson.


Comets defense doesn’t rest against Valley in 41-25 win

NASELLE — The Comets remained undefeated in Pacific 2B League play with a 41-25 victory over the Valley girls in Menlo Thursday, Jan. 6. Again the key to Naselle’s win was defense as they held the Lady Vikings to seven or fewer points in each of the four quarters. In the Comets’ 10 wins this season they have allowed 29.8 points per contest.  

Carley Kitzman recorded a double-double by topping all scorers with 17 points and she brought down 11 rebounds to go with five steals in leading the Comets effort. Nicole Tarabochia played another fine all-around game, scoring five, while getting five rebounds, four steals, and an assist.

Makenzie Matthews and Taylor Wasmundt had five steals each to go with their three and five points respectively. Haleigh See added six points, Ciara Sandell and Vicky Corona two apiece, and Katie Green made a foul shot for the winners.

“We had a chance to put them away early but chose not to. We played well at times on both ends of the court, but we had too many mistakes and unforced errors. A lack of focus led to many missed chances,” Coach Russ Hickman said. “A road win is OK, but we need to come into a game ready both physically and mentally.”

The high-flying Comets are 10-2 on the season and are 5-0 in the Pacific League, while North Beach is also undefeated in league play and will be Naselle’s next opponent Saturday, Jan. 8. The Lady Vikings are now 1-3 in the Pacific.


The Naselle junior varsity’s furious fourth quarter comeback fell a point short in a 34-33 loss. The young Comets rolled in 21 points in the final frame, led by Kayti Nelson’s 13. For the contest Katie Green and Kirsten Scrabeck each scored eight and Haley Pine added four points. Abby DaVall, Karianne Condon, Mary Wirkkala, Rachel Underwood and Christina Carter also contributed to the win for Coach Greg Nelson.

 Naselle   14   10   5   12   --41

 Valley   6   5   7   7   --25


 Naselle—Taylor Wasmundt 5, Nicole Tarabochia 5, Haleigh See 6, Ciara Sandell 2, Carley Kitzman 17, Makenzie Matthews 3, Vicky Corona 2, Kayti Nelson, Katie Green 1


Valley—A. Smaciarz 11, Huber 4, Abby Smaciarz 5, Archer 2, Walker 2, Friese 1

Comets Carley Kitzman is WIAA’s athlete of the week

NASELLE — Carley Kitzman, a junior forward for Naselle’s girls’ basketball team, was named State Athlete of the Week for her play Dec. 12-16 for the Comets. The award was signed by Mike Colbrese, Washington Interscholastic Activities Association executive director and The Seattle Times.

“This award is given for outstanding achievement for the week of December 12-16, 2010,” the certificate says. Of minor note is her first name is misspelled.

Kitzman, who was Pacific 2B League most valuable player last season as a sophomore, is currently averaging 16 points per game for the 9-2 Comets and she is also her team’s unofficial leader in rebounds and steals and often brings the basketball up the court against pressing defenses.

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