ILWACO - After trailing 17-8 at the end of the first period the Comets totally dominated the battle for third place in the Ilwaco Holiday Tournament by going on a 58-30 binge the final three periods and pummeling Pe Ell 66-47, Dec. 29. Emily Green's season-high 18 points led a balanced scoring attack for Naselle and Kaelee Dearmore hauled in a team-high nine rebounds.
The Comets were a scintillating 21-41 from the field in the final three periods and had a season-low 10 turnovers in the win. Nicole Tarabochia and Carley Kitzman tallied 10 points each, Taylor Wasmundt added nine, Nicole Laney eight, Dearmore six, and Haleigh See five for the winners.
Coach Russ Hickman related, "Nikki Laney at point guard was a tough defender on our press and she ran our offense very well. It was nice to see Emily shoot well from outside and help loosen up their zone inside and Nicole (Tarabochia) was a key player because she scored well and it's hard for a defense to stop three players."
He added, "Taylor has really helped us off the bench, as has Haleigh. They fit in well with our rotation (of players) on both offense and defense. Kaelee, Carley Kitzman and Nicolle Best all rebounded well today." Naselle forced the Lady Trojans into making 26 turnovers to 10 of their own, but Pe Ell won the battle on the glass 37-28.
The Comets shot 45 percent from the floor for the game, connecting on 25-55 and were 11-15 from the foul line for 73 percent. Pe Ell was 14-45 from the field for a meager 31 percent and made 11-18 from the stripe for 61 percent. Hickman concluded, "I was proud of the way our girls didn't give up after being way behind during the first quarter. We have had three tough losses in a row where we could have come back to win and today we came all the way back. I was especially happy with the way we executed the first three minutes of the second half."
Naselle improves to 4-6 on the year, while the Lady Trojans, who entered the tourney undefeated, fall to 6-2.
Pe Ell - Ratkie 2, Denney 21, Bateman 4, Brooks-Johnson 6, Johnson 8, Robinson 6
Naselle - Laney 8, Wasmundt 9, Green 18, Tarabochia 10, See 5, Kitzman 10, Dearmore 6
Lady Wildcats scratch out win over plucky Naselle 42-38 ILWACO - La Center is among the 1A Trico League favorites and was supposed to buzz by Naselle with ease, but no one told the Comets as they battled back to within four points in the final period before falling 42-38 to the Lady Wildcats in opening round action of the Ilwaco Holiday Tournament Dec. 28.
"We seemed to be always just one pass away from completing a scoring play," coach Russ Hickman stated. "We were often in the right position to score or where we needed to be on defense, but we just couldn't convert or come up with the key steal."
The Comets started slowly as they were 2-11 from the field and missed both of their free throws in the first period, but the Lady Wildcats were also 2-11 from the floor, and had a 9-4 lead by sinking five free tosses. Both teams had five field goals at halftime and La Center had increased their advantage to 18-13 as possibly the 1:30 p.m. start time and the holiday layoff may have taken a toll.
Naselle's Taylor Wasmundt and Haleigh See came off the bench to spark a late third quarter rally after the Comets had fallen behind 29-17 at the 3:53 mark of the final period. Wasmundt would finish with 10 points, all in the second half, to lead her team and See added six.
In the final frame the Comets managed only one field goal from Wasmundt, but they knocked down eight of 15 free throws in the period to stay with the Lady Wildcats. Hannah Trigg led La Center with 13 tallies and Lauren Baker added 11. Both are seniors.
Kaelee Dearmore and Carley Kitzman added seven points each for the Comets, Emily Green chipped in four, Tarabochia finished with three and Nicole Laney scored one point. Dearmore, Tarabochia and Green each had three assists, and Dearmore led her team with nine rebounds.
For the contest Naselle was 14-55 from the field (25 percent) and 12-27 from the line (44 percent), while the Lady Wildcats were 14-50 from the floor (28 percent), including four "three's." They made only 10-23 foul shots (43 percent), while committing 23 fouls to Naselle's 18. Both teams lost the basketball with 25 turnovers and the Comets hustled to win the war on the glass 53-45.
Naselle - Laney 1, Wasmundt 10, Green 4, Tarabochia 3, See 6, Kitzman 7, Dearmore 7
LaCenter - Wise 5, Chamberlain 4, Monson 5, Trigg 13, Moore 4, Baker 11