Ilwaco was in the position it wanted. A home game against Central 2B League’s No. 7 seed in the first round of the Southwest 2B District Tournament gave the Fishermen a good chance to be one of six teams to advance out of the district playoffs and on to regionals. Given Ilwaco’s No. 8 ranking in the WIAA’s new RPI ratings system, getting out of districts would mean making the trip to Spokane in March.
Winlock put a halt to any of that thinking. The Cardinals pulled to a 33-15 lead at the break and held on to a 49-46 first-round victory over the Fishermen Wednesday.
“It was a pretty wild game,” Winlock coach Nick Bamer said. “We were able to have the lead with under 1 minute to play and hit our free throws.”
Carter Whitehead and Wyatt Dean each scored 11 points for the Cardinals, who face rival Toledo in the district quarterfinals Saturday.
“We just didn’t show up in the first half,” Fishermen coach Tim Harrell said. “To do that tonight on our home court was really frustrating. We were in a good position and now we have to battle back.”
Ilwaco did some battling in the second half Wednesday night, as Zac Tapio finished with a game-high 22 points, including a 3-pointer that drew Ilwaco to within one with 10 seconds left before Dawson Hall hit two free throws for Winlock to seal the deal.
“We couldn’t put one foot in front of the other,” said Harrell, whose squad shot 13 of 52 from the floor and was outrebounded 42-34. “The game is 32 minutes long and we were sitting back on our heels in the first half.”
Toutle Lake 48, Willapa Valley 41: The Ducks shook off a slow start and emerged from the a 22-20 halftime deficit to score 20 points in the third quarter and escaped with the Southwest 2B District opening-round victory. The Ducks will play Life Christian Academy Saturday at a time and location to be announced.
“We came out a little flat but Valley played really well in the first half,” TL coach Eric Swanson said. “We weren’t ready from the start but I thought we bounced back well in the third quarter to take the lead.”
Cam Swanson scored 13 points and Michael Adams added 10.
Kalama 70, Raymond 46: Second-half adjustments to combat the Seagulls’ easy transition buckets pushed the Chinooks to a first-round Southwest 2B District victory. Cameron Walker scored 23 points and Blake Stemkoski finished with 17 points for the Chinooks, who will play Napavine in the district quarterfinals Saturday.
“Raymond came out and played really well to start,” Kalama coach Jody Stemkoski said. “But we picked up the defensive intensity in the second half, forced some steals and had a great 14-0 run in the third quarter. … It was a good effort.”
Naselle 73, Three Rivers Christian 30: Corey Gregory hit three of his five 3-pointers in the first quarter as the freshman finished with a game-high 20 points to send the Comets to the Southwest 1B District semifinals and end the Eagles season. Naselle will play Columbia Adventist at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Castle Rock High School for a regional berth. TRC’s season ends at 3-11.
Donny Edwards added 14 points for Naselle, Antonio Nolan finished with 15 and Jacob Eaton had 10.
Nate Duscha led TRC with eight points and Ryan Ransom and Wyatt Richards added seven apiece.
Clatskanie 56, Portland Christian 55: The Tigers clinched the No. 6 seed out of the Lewis and Clark 3A League after holding off the Royals late. Dusten Sewald finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds for Clatskanie, which ends its season with Rainier before playing in the district playoffs Monday at Portland Adventist.
“When Ryan Watson got hurt three weeks ago, I was a bit worried. He was our strongest guard and best perimeter defender,” first-year coach Ryan Svenson said. “The young guys have really stepped up.”
On Wednesday, the Tigers finished the majority of the final five minutes with three freshmen on the court, before James Helmen’s steal sealed the game late. Dustin Luquette added 13 points and Devon Jones finished with 10.
Kelso 62, Gig Harbor 52: The Hilanders were solid in the fourth quarter in closing out a first-round victory in the West Central/Southwest Bi-District tournament Wednesday at Timberline High in Lacey.
Kelso (17-4) plays Wilson of Tacoma in a winner-to-state quarterfinal matchup at 6 p.m. Friday in Olympia.
“We scored on six of nine possessions, and we were 8 of 10 at the free-throw line,” Kelso coach Joe Kinch said of the Hilanders’ fourth-quarter play. “We did a good job defensively, and we played a solid game at both ends.”
Kelso outscored the Tides 23-17 in the fourth quarter. The Hilanders had four turnovers in the second half, and outrebounded Gig Harbor 31-19.
Riley Noah led Kelso with 20 points, and Shaw Anderson added 17 points.
Toledo 57, Northwest Christian 42: The Indians saved the best for last, outscoring the Navigators 26-10 in the final eight minutes for a victory in the Southwest District 2B Boys Basketball Tournament at the George Murdoch Gymnasium in Toledo.
Toledo (17-4) plays Winlock in a tournament quarterfinal game on Saturday at a site and time to be determined.
“Joe Wallace hit two 3-pointers, and Reece Wallace added eight free throws in the fourth quarter,” Toledo coach Grady Fallon said. “We couldn’t get any momentum at the start of the game, but we hung around and got more aggressive as the game went on.”
Toledo had 12 of its 14 turnovers in the first half.
Joe Wallace paced the Indians with 18 points, with Reece Wallace adding 16. Carmen Robles tossed in 12 points, and Junior Arroyo grabbed 13 rebounds.
Wallace, Hoff make Central 2B first team: Toledo junior Reece Wallace and Toutle Lake junior Nate Hoff were selected to the Central 2B all-league first team, which was released Tuesday. Wallace paced the Indians, who finished third in the league, with 14.5 points per game while Hoff led the Ducks, who finished fourth, with 13.5 points per game. Napavine’s Wyatt Stanley was named the MVP and Rex Stanley, also of the Tigers, was named coach of the year.
In the Coastal 1B League, Naselle’s Antonio Nolan was named to the all-league first team after averaging 15 points per game in his first year with the Comets since transferring from Montesano. Oakville’ Devin Boyd was named MVP and Taholah’s Mike Rose was selected as coach of the year.
For the full list and all of the winter season’s all-league teams, visit the Preps+ Blog at tdnpreps.com.
Men’s college basketball
Pierce 76, Lower Columbia 59: The sixth-ranked Red Devils started strong, but faltered in the second half of an NWAC West Region matchup on Wednesday in Lakewood.
The loss dropped LCC to 17-6, 6-2 in the region.
“We started fine and ran our plays, but as the game went on they were tougher than we were,” LCC coach Jim Roffler said. “They beat us on the boards bad. We’d grab rebounds and they would take them away. We have to get tougher.”
The Red Devils were forced into 22 turnovers, and the Raiders grabbed 23 offensive rebounds.
“You won’t win many games when you have numbers like that,” Roffler lamented. “Our weaknesses were exposed. We weren’t good enough to get into our sets in the second half, and we were too individualistic at times.”
No game statistics were available.
The Red Devils host Tacoma on Saturday.