TOUTLE — Naselle visited Toutle Lake on Monday for a non-league matchup with the Ducks who showed strong as they defended their home court with a 51-39 win over the Comets.
The Ducks started hot on offense. Having relied on the defense a lot in recent games, it was the three ball that helped Toutle Lake score 19 in the first quarter thanks to three makes from long range.
“I’ve been praising my defense and I will again, but today we shot the ball a little bit better and that was a big factor in the win,” Toutle Lake head coach Daren Dean said.
The Ducks took a seven point lead after one and turned it into a 13 point lead at the half up 32-19. Toutle struggled a bit in the third with just three points, allowing the Comets to close the gap to as close as three points.
“We did not respond to their physicality in the first half,” Naselle coach Russell Hickman said. “Got into major foul trouble and finally came out in the second half and played basketball.”
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But the Ducks answered with 16 points in the fourth to close out the Comets.
“We’re starting to get to the point in the season where we’re learning to deal with pressure, calm down and just take care of the ball and it really showed today against their full-court press,” Dean said.
Karlie Smith led the scoring charge for the Ducks with 11 points and added a team-high seven rebounds while blocking six shots in the paint.
“Karlie Smith has really came on lately,” Dean said. “She played really well inside for us today.”
Jasmine Smith and Jordyn Grabenhorst each added nine points for the Ducks as eight out of nine Toutle Lake players found their way into the scoring column.
“When I can have contributions from the bench like that and everyone is involved it’s good to see,” Dean said.
Grabenhorst led the Ducks on defense and was tasked with slowing down Naselle’s Lauren Katyryniuk.
“She’s the heart of the team and she did a really good job on their best player. Between her and Kendal Dean they were focused on (Katyryniuk).”
The duo held Katyryniuk to nine points while Brynn Tarabochia led the Comets with 11 and Kaylin Shrives added 10.
Toutle Lake (7-6) will get back to Central 2B League play on Thursday at home against Kalama.
Naselle (8-7) will get back to 1B Columbia Valley play on Thursday at Mossyrock.