OAKVILLE — Kolby Glenn scored 26 points as the Naselle Comets won the District IV championship with a 66-51 victory over Willapa Valley Tuesday, June 8.
Valley, coming off a fifth-place run at the 2B State tournament in 2020, had split two regular-season games with the Comets, who had placed third at 1B State last year.
In the District final, the Comets jumped out to an 18-5 lead. Naselle, normally a team that loves to press, showed their versatility, stopping the Vikings early with a stingy half-court defense.
Coach Bill Olson said the Vikings showed in the teams’ previous meeting that they had figured out the press.
“So we did reverse psychology on them. Let them beat us in the half-court game if they can. And then spring it on them a few times.”
Jason Harman supplied much of the early offense with seven first-quarter points. He pried away a steal and took it in for a layup for an 11-2 lead halfway through the quarter, followed with an open three, and added another bucket in the lane.
Quickly the game became a high-contact battle. Senior Jimmy Strange hit the bench with his third foul early in the second quarter. Glenn matched his play to the rhythm of the game. He forced his way into traffic to invite fouls. Even at half-court he found ways to dribble into contact. Glenn hit eight of eight free throws over the last nine minutes of the half.
“They were fouling a lot, so I decided to be aggressive,” Glenn said. “Also, it slowed the game down. I didn’t start very strong, so getting to the line got me in my comfort zone.”
Glenn, who had only two points until the final minute of the first quarter, had 13 by half time. The Comets led 33-20 at the half.
Naselle hit four third-quarter threes as they stretched it to 51-32. Glenn hit an aggressive pull-up three early in the period. Warren Wirkkala, who seemed to spend his whole senior season open from long-range, knocked down a pair; he had four threes on the night. Harman hit one on a drive-and-kick pass from Glenn for the 19-point lead.
Valley never closed the gap much in the fourth quarter. In the final minute, Olson took out his three senior starters, Glenn, Wirkkala and Strange, to cheers from the Comet fan section. Soon afterward, Comet players cut down the nets as District IV champions.