ILWACO - The Fishermen scored a whopping 21 unanswered points in the second half and sailed to a 67-48 non-league victory over visiting 2A Kingston here Dec. 29. Four Ilwaco players were in double figures, including Jack Whealdon who finished with 21 points, Karl Oman added 16, Kolby Kirby scored 11 and Justin Short finished with 10 points.
The Fishermen had built a 30-18 advantage late in the second period, but an 8-0 outburst by the Buccaneers brought them to within 30-26 with just over six minutes left in the third quarter. That is when Whealdon connected on two free throws, made an old-fashioned three-point play off an acrobatic move in the key, drove for a reverse layup and then hit a long trey to spark the Ilwaco scoring explosion.
The senior guard said, "I didn't try to do anything special, it just sort of happened that I had those chances to score at the start of the second half." He had also swished a long "three" at the buzzer to end the first frame, putting the Fishermen up 16-12. Oman connected on five three-pointers with his rainbow shot and Kirby also scored twice from beyond the arc. Whealdon and Kirby passed for four assists and Oman had three.
Coach Kip Meinhardt said, "We looked rusty at times after our 17-day layoff, but we were able to push the tempo with our defense in the second half. We were also able to stop their big kid inside (Ry Ravenholt at 6-foot-6) by packing in our zone."
Meinhardt had praise for Ross Kary, who finished with four points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots, saying, "Ross played hard and did well defending their posts. Jack did a great job of getting to the basket in the second half and Karl hit some big shots in the first half. Kolby and Justin (Short) also played hard and they went to the hoop strong and played excellent defensively, as did all of our guys." Cody Bliss added three points and Bobby Byrd two to round out Fishermen scoring.
The Fishermen shot a torrid 65 percent in the second half, connecting on 13 of 20 tries after intermission and they were a sizzling 10-12 from the foul line for the game (83 percent). For the contest Ilwaco was 24-52 from the field (46 percent), while Kingston was 16-58 (28 percent) and 12-21 from the charity stripe (57 percent). The Buccaneers held a 38-36 edge on the glass and each team turned the basketball over 13 times, while Ilwaco was whistled for 16 fouls to 13 for the Buccaneers.
The Fishermen improve to 3-1 on the season, while Kingston drops to 0-6 for the campaign. Ilwaco will host Naselle Saturday, Jan. 3 with the JV game beginning at 5:45 p.m. in a make-up contest. Other boys' and girls' basketball games "iced and snowed out" are yet to be re-scheduled at press time.
Kingston-Tucker Bowman 2, Wue Koo 7, Paul Bagala 1, Ryan Byers 6, Aaron Lawrence 10, George Hill 5, Chance Pruiett 6, Zane Ravenholt, Ry Ravenholt 11
Ilwaco - Justin Short 10, Cody Bliss 3, Jack Whealdon 21, Kolby Kirby 11, Bobby Byrd 2, Ross Kary 4, Karl Oman 16