NASELLE — Naselle is in an awkward spot with its junior varsity girls basketball squad. Most 1B schools they compete with are too small to field JV teams. Naselle is on the borderline, deep enough that some players need more playing time than they would get on varsity, but thin enough that fielding a JV squad is a challenge.
Once eighth-grade basketball season ended, the Lady Comets were able to bring in middle-school reinforcements for the JV squad. Before that, JV coach Katie Green had quite a challenge.
“By the end of one early game, we only had four players available,” she said.
The team played just eight JV games, all against 2B opponents (or Oregon 2As, their equivalent), finishing 4-4.
The most important outcome of the season was the fact that several JV players became the high-school basketball version of late-season triple-A callups. The eighth-graders who were initially needed to reinforce the JV roster ended up doing the same for the varsity squad.
Bella Colombo, the JV point guard, was the first to be moved up to varsity, in December. By season’s end, she was starting most games. Colombo scored 14 points for the varsity squad in a January win over Knappa. She had seven steals against Columbia Adventist in January. Throughout the season, she showed a good mid-range shot and a willingness to take it.
Forward Kaylin Shrives showed shot-blocking ability in JV and got a bit of varsity action, hitting several late baskets to secure a 41-39 varsity win over Toutle Lake Dec. 30.
Lauren Katyryniuk, who like Colombo and Shrives is in eighth-grade, is developing into a defensive stopper at the varsity level. She was part of the crunch-time lineup in the Regionals win over Clallam Bay, making major defensive contributions.
Speedster Echo Cenci shared JV point-guard duties with Colombo, fully taking over the position when Colombo got promoted. Grace Hunt also started for JV and got into a few varsity games. Kylie Tarabochia swung between varsity and JV.
Courtney Paul, Haley Eastham, Ameri Larson, and three-point shooting specialist Hailey Lopez all contributed for the junior-varsity squad.