NASELLE - A veteran Naselle Comettes team, which qualified for the girls state B basketball tournament last year, has completed two weeks of preseason practice with head coach Rob Dalton and assistant coach Tim Wirkkala.
In fact, the Comettes opened their season in a jamboree at Warrenton on Monday. They open their 20 game regular season schedule tonight, Dec. 4, when the strong Cathlamet Mules come to town for a non-league game. Naselle travels to Olympia on Thursday, Dec. 5, to take on Northwest Christian in their first league game.
The Comettes will be relying on six seniors who were the nucleus of last year's team which won the Pacific League title, placed third in the district tournament, and lost two close games at the state tournament. Nora Darcher, the league's MVP, returns to lead the Comettes.
She is joined by 5-foot-10-inch Fritha Davern and Lucy Rubio who were both all league a year ago, by 5-foot-11-inch Tiffany Pauly, who was a league honorable mention selection last year but is not available for this year's early games because of an ankle injury suffered during volleyball season, and by Abbie Smith and Dawn Herman who each add all around skills to the Comettes team. The "senior super six" players will form the nucleus for the Comettes varsity.
Sophomores Katie Klinger, Toni Abbott, Annie Herrold, and Kelli Revis will probably complete the varsity roster and hope to be regular contributors to the varsity's efforts.
Third year assistant coach Wirkkala said, "Our six seniors were reduced to five for the first couple of weeks due to Tiffany's injury. We hope to have her back at about the Christmas break. Until we get her back, the other people, mainly Dawn and Katie, will have to fill the gap.
"We have 14 players turning out now, 15 when Tiffany comes back. That means that some of our younger players will swing between the JV and varsity teams."
After Monday's opening jamboree when the Comettes JVs and varsity were each scheduled to play two quarters apiece against teams from Ilwaco and Warrenton, the Naselle girls swing into action tonight playing Cathlamet at home.