A look back at the biggest and most decisive games Ilwaco’s six-year run of Pacific League titles:
2/4/15 @ Willapa Valley: Freshman phenom Makenzie Kaech was fouled at the buzzer and hit the game-ending free throw for a 52-51 victory in the second to last game of the season, eliminating Willapa Valley from the league title race. The Lady Fishermen survived a 31-point night from league MVP Karli Friese. With a win, Valley would have ultimately won the league title on a tie-breaker.
2/6/15 @ Raymond: Ilwaco 61, Raymond 48. In the game that decided the league title, Ilwaco (10-0) beat the Raymond Seagulls (8-2) behind a 22-point, 19-rebound performance from Kaech. A win would have given Raymond the league title on the head-to-head tiebreaker. That Raymond team was led by freshman Karlee Freeman, now a track-and-field star at USC.
2/4/16 @ Raymond: Ilwaco 67, Raymond 59: Ilwaco again visited Raymond to decide the league title in the season’s final game. Kaech, who now plays college basketball for St. Martin’s, scored 42 points, the second most in Ilwaco history, ensuring that she would win her first of three league MVP awards. Raymond led 38-31 with under three minutes to go in the third quarter. With Eliza Bannister holding Freeman to 12 points, Winter Newman was the ‘Gulls’ top scorer with 21.
1/20/17 @ Ilwaco: Raymond 51, Ilwaco 43. It was the only loss Ilwaco has taken in Pacific League play in six seasons since joining the league, leading to their only shared league title. The teams finished tied for first at 15-1, splitting the head-to-head meetings in league play in the year the league switched to having teams play each other twice.
2/3/18 @ Ilwaco: Ilwaco 55, Life Christian 40. In the season’s final game, Ilwaco was looking for a stand-alone title, while Life Christian sought a share of the championship. Ilwaco (16-0) had won 81-46 in Tacoma, but this time the contest was tied at 27 early in the third quarter. The Lady Fishermen, with perhaps the best team in their history, were not going to be denied, pulling away from the Lady Eagles (14-2) late in the third.
1/30/19 @ Ocosta: Ilwaco 55, Ocosta 52 OT. Ebby McMullen’s beyond half-court bank shot forced overtime against the stunned Ocosta Wildcats (15-3), and Ilwaco (18-0) went on to win. Ilwaco had already clinched sole possession of the league title with a loss earlier in the week by the Kjirsten Hopfer-led ‘Cats. But they put an exclamation point on the league season with this wild win in the finale. The Cats had come back from a 19-point deficit to take the lead late in regulation.
1/31/20: Ilwaco 46, Raymond 32: Erika Glenn scored 30 points. A 20-4 closing run won the game for Ilwaco, which took sole possession of the league title once again with two games remaining in the regular season.