WESTPORT - Nate Sultemeier sank a pair of crucial free throws with four seconds remaining to help Naselle defeat a stubborn Ocosta team 57-53 in Westport Thursday. The Comets had soared over Ocosta 41-31 mid-way through the third period, but the Wildcats clawed back to within two points at 55-53 inside the final minute of the physical fray.
With four seconds remaining Sultemeier proved to be a hero by sinking two foul shots and making it a two-possession game. The senior guard finished with 17 points and he sank all eight of his free tosses during the contest. "We were up in the third period by 10 points, but Ocosta battled back on us," Coach Brian Macy explained. "Fortunately for us we did a good job of holding onto the basketball at the end of the game and keeping them from scoring."
Ocosta's two-headed monster of 6-foot-5 Richard Graham racked up 20 points and 19 rebounds and point guard Kaylan Forbis scored 19 points and added 11 boards. A.J. Oglesby grabbed 10 caroms for Ocosta who is now 2-5 in league play and 6-9 overall.
Naselle countered with Conor Smith's nine points and 13 rebounds and Austin Burkhalter chipped in 12 points and nine boards. Nick Hines added seven points, four steals and had the unenviable task of guarding Forbis, Drew Macy scored five points and had four assists as did Hines and Sultemeier, Randy Hamm scored four points and Alan Erickson contributed two tallies to the win.
The Comets were 19-54 from the field for 35 percent and sank 13-23 from the free throw line for 57 percent, while Ocosta was 20-50 from the floor for 40 percent and made 11-15 foul shots for 73 percent. Ocosta's Graham dominated inside early in the contest to give his team a 17-10 lead after one period, but Naselle hustled back into the contest by intermission to take the lead 29-27.
The Comets had but 11 turnovers in the contest and forced Ocosta into tossing the ball away 23 times. The Wildcats won the battle of the boards 41-33. Naselle is now 5-1 in the Pacific and tied for first place and 10-3 for the season. The Comets junior varsity, who has only lost once this season, dominated the preliminary game.
Naselle 10 19 16 12 --57
Ocosta 17 10 10 16 --53
Naselle-Ollie Baker 1, Nate Sultemeier 17, Nick Hines 7, Drew Macy 5, Gabe See, Austin Burkhalter 12, Alan Erickson 2, Conor Smith 9, Randy Hamm 4, Manuel Lopez
Ocosta-Kaylan Forbis 19, Patrick Glennon, Joey Mitchell 8, A.J. Oglesby 6, Richard Graham 20, Paulus, Graham