ILWACO - Karl Oman connected on 15 of 16 foul shots in the fourth period and scored 19 of his 31 points in the final quarter to lead the Fishermen past a scrappy LaCenter team 66-58 in Ilwaco Tuesday, Jan. 4. Ilwaco had fashioned a 32-22 lead at intermission, only to see the Wildcats come back to within 36-35 midway through the third period.
From that point on it was all Ilwaco as Oman tallied 21 second half points and Bobby Byrd had a career-high 19 points and hauled in 10 rebounds for a double-double. Ryan Kukula added eight points, Kyle Breckinridge five, Kasey Plato two, and Ross Kukula in his first action since mid-December knocked down a foul shot for the winners.
Ilwaco was whistled for a season-low six fouls to 24 for the Wildcats, much to their consternation. The Fishermen connected on 24-30 from the line for 80 percent, thanks in large part to Oman's 19-21 overall, while LaCenter was 3-8 from the charity stripe.
The Fishermen won the battle of the boards in impressive fashion 41-29, but turned the ball over a dozen times to just seven for the Wildcats. LaCenter connected on 24-65 from the field for 37 percent, while Ilwaco was 19-44 for 43 percent. "We played our five seniors the entire fourth period and their poise and competitiveness were the keys to the win. We played very well defensively the first half and didn't fold under LaCenter's pressure in the fourth quarter," Coach Kip Meinhardt praised.
The Fishermen are now 7-2 on the year and 4-0 and in first place in the Trico, while LaCenter falls to 6-3 overall and the Wildcats are 1-2 in league play.