NASELLE - The Comets bolted to an 11-3 lead on Senior Night, but could not contain the taller, more physical Lady Hyaks as Naselle dropped a 53-43 Pacific League game at home Wednesday. The victory put North Beach in a tie for second place in the Pacific 2B League with a 9-3 mark, while the Comets finished fourth at 7-5 and are 9-11 overall.
Naselle scored only one field goal in the second period yet clung to a 23-22 halftime lead. North Beach went on an 11-2 run in the third period on their way to a 41-31 advantage going into the final frame.
After trailing by as much as 46-31 with 4:26 left in the fray Nicole Laney's two free throws and two baskets helped Naselle to get within 46-37 at the 2:12 mark. It was then that the Lady Hyaks took control of the boards to pull out the 10-point win. Naselle seniors Laney finished with 12 points and five steals and Emily Green scored five and had three steals. Sam Bauer also started for the Comets in her final appearance at Lyle Patterson Gym.
Carley Kitzman led Naselle with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Nicole Tarabochia added seven points, eight caroms and three assists. Taylor Wasmundt contributed four points to the cause. Elizabeth Thatcher led the Lady Hyaks with 15 points and 16 rebounds and Nicole Mosley added 10 as they dominated the key.
Coach Russ Hickman said, "We had a good little run to start the game and I thought we could sustain it a little longer than we did. When we ran our offense we had good looks at the basket and easy scores, but we did not run it very often. After all the work we did the last two weeks in practice on shooting, our shooters did not shoot the ball with confidence. In our half-court defense time and again we were out of position on their post players."
Naselle was 14-58 from the field for only 24 percent and 13-20 from the foul line for 65 percent, while North Beach was 22-60 from the floor for 37 percent and made 7-18 free throws for a meager 39 percent. Both teams had two three-point baskets and both squads were whistled for 18 fouls.
The Lady Hyaks won the war on the boards 51-41, but had a 16-rebound advantage going into the fourth period. North Beach tossed the basketball away 26 times, but the Comets had 23 turnovers of their own, with 16 of them coming in the second half. Hickman concluded, "With this being the last home game and Senior Night I just thought we would have come out with more desire."
The Comets will begin District IV play against Pe Ell who tied with Adna and Mossyrock for fourth place in the Central League, Monday, Feb. 15 in Centralia at 5:30 p.m. The winner will play Napavine, the top seed from the Central League Feb. 18 in Rochester at 8 p.m. and the loser will play Feb. 20 at a time and place to be determined.
Greg Nelson's junior varsity downed the Lady Hyaks 48-29. Makenzie Matthews led the way with 16 points and Danielle Larson added 10, Briannan Olsen eight, Mary Wirkkala, Vicki Corona and Ciara Sandell each scored four and Kirsten Scrabeck and Shayla Wilbur both scored a point.
North Beach - Gabbie Makinson 6, Cari Laranang 3, Anna Moody 2, Elizabeth Thatcher 15, Iyha Bastian, Dramikah Skaar 10, Tahnee McCrory 7, Nicole Mosley 10
Naselle - Nicole Laney 12, Taylor Wasmundt 4, Emily Green 5, Nicole Tarabochia 7, Haleigh See, Carley Kitzman 15, Sam Bauer