When you graduate a trio of girls who scored 50 of your 65 points per game, it’s reasonable to ask where the scoring might come from.
How about everyone?
All 10 players who suited up for the Ilwaco girls’ basketball team on Wednesday scored, and the Fishermen cruised to a 74-28 Pacific 2B League victory in the season opener in Ilwaco.
“It was just good to get back on the floor,” 15th-year coach Ned Bittner said. “You have all this time to think and overanalyze, but this group that’s coming back went to work this summer. We knew we put a lot of time in, and we looked good at times. Tonight showed glimpses of some different personnel that nobody’s seen before.”
Tiana Ramsey came off the bench and led the team with 15 points, Sunny Kemmer dominated the glass and put in 14 points, Erika Glenn scored 12 and Ebby McMullen had 11. Three players scored their first varsity points.
“All of the girls that are out there worked their butts off to be there and they definitely proved it on the court,” McMullen said. “They’re doing amazing. It was a little funky at first because we really haven’t played a lot. To be out there and get to play live basketball against a good opponent, it was really, really nice.”
And really, not much was changed in Ilwaco, even if now collegiate athletes Eliza Bannister (Saint Martin’s cross country), Makenzie Kaech (Saint Martin’s basketball) and Madeline Jacobson (Lower Columbia basketball) weren’t in uniform.
The Fishermen still pride themselves on defense, using a 1-3-1 trapping press to torment their opponent. It generated plenty of free buckets on the other end.
“That’s one thing we’ve worked on is transition, and letting our defense create some offense,” Bittner said. “That’s always kind of been our M.O. Between the different half court traps we get, it’s going to give us a chance to get going.”
It’s a positive start to the Fishermen’s hopes of another league crown. Those thinking Ilwaco might take a significant step backward will likely want to watch the footage of Wednesday night’s affair.
McMullen is healthy again and ready to lead the point, Glenn is a dynamic scorer and sharpshooter and even reserves like Ramsey flashed their potential — and the possible ceiling of this year’s squad.
“A lot of people thought we were going to drop off the face of the earth and not come back out,” McMullen said. “We proved tonight that we have a lot more than people think we do. I’m really proud of all my teammates.