KNAPPA - "Both teams played very hard, but Knappa played a smarter basketball game," Ilwaco Coach Paul Jarrett said after the Fishermen dropped a 75-68 barn burner there Friday. The fact that the home-standing Loggers shot an astounding 45 free throws didn't hurt their cause, either.
Ilwaco held a slim 30-29 lead at intermission and was ahead 42-40 as late as the 3:21 mark of the third period. It was then that the steady procession to the foul line began for Knappa. From that point on the Loggers attempted 38 of their 45 free tosses in the game and they connected on 23 of those 38 second-half charity shots to pull away from Ilwaco.
In the first half freshman point guard Karl Oman took charge of the Fishermen offense, dropping in 10 of his 14 points and dishing out five assists, despite the typical Knappa full-court pressure defense that is Coach Craig Cokley's signature. In the third period Ryan Blake hit eight points in the paint on two assists from Oman and two from Matt Kaino to earn Ilwaco the 42-40 advantage before the Fishermen's ship began to founder.
In the final period Ilwaco had nine field goals to Knappa's two, but the steady parade to the free throw line by the home team netted the Loggers a 17-3 advantage from the charity stripe. "Our effort was outstanding, but they made their free throws and we weren't able to come back," Jarrett lamented.
One problem for Ilwaco was turnovers as they lost the basketball 21 times to Knappa's dozen miscues. Ilwaco won the battle of boards 38-36 and shot considerably better from the floor. The Fishermen connected on 27 of 55 attempts for 49 percent while the Loggers hit on only 40 percent of their shots, going 22 of 55 from the field. Knappa banged home 29 of their whopping 45 free tosses (65 percent) and Ilwaco converted only 11 of their 20 freebies for 55 percent accuracy.
The Fishermen were whistled for 28 fouls, with 21 of them coming in the second half, while Knappa had 20 infractions called for the entire contest.
Oman came close to a double-double in his second varsity game as he scored 14 points and nabbed nine rebounds. Blake scored a game-high 18 points and garnered a dozen boards and Ryan Rodenbaugh scored 10 points and grabbed 10 caroms to join Blake with a double-double effort. Kaino added 11 points, as did Jack Whealdon to the Fishermen cause. Jordan DeSimone scored four points.
The Ilwaco junior varsity was trounced 63-33 and Ross Kary and Patrick Whealdon led the young Fishermen scoring with six points apiece.