NASELLE — Led by 16 points from Denise Curleybear, Taholah beat Naselle 49-36 in a non-league rivalry game Saturday, Jan. 26.

Curleybear, an ultraquick 5’3” point guard, showed off an unstoppable open-court game, with an assortment of eurosteps and crafty moves near the basket. She scored all 10 Taholah points in the second quarter, eight of them coming on Chitwhin steals, helping Taholah to leads of 18-9 and 20-12. The Comets struggled with turnovers during the period; throughout the game, the Taholah defense got them to pass into narrow or non-existent windows, even disrupting some fast breaks.

The Comets stayed in the game, trailing only 20-15 at halftime and keeping the margin within three to five points for much of the third quarter. The Comets’ half-court defense was keeping Taholah in check, with Bella Colombo, Peyton Dalton and other guards mostly keeping Curleybear in front of them when the Chitwhins weren’t out on the break. But the Chitwhins did some damage in the post during the third quarter to lead 36-27 after three.

Colombo’s three-pointer cut the lead to eight early in the fourth. Another slippery move and layup by Curleybear gave the Chitwhins their largest lead at 15. Dalton answered with a coast-to-coast drive. But under two minutes remained, and the Chitwhins cruised to the win.

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

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