Ocosta’s Kjirstin Hopfer, right, looks to create room off the dribble while defended by Ilwaco’s Erika Glenn in the third quarter on Wednesday. Hopfer scored a team-best 17 points in Ocosta’s 56-53 overtime loss to Ilwaco. (Hasani Grayson | Grays Harbor News Group)

Ocosta’s Kjirstin Hopfer, right, looks to create room off the dribble while defended by Ilwaco’s Erika Glenn in the third quarter on Wednesday. Hopfer scored a team-best 17 points in Ocosta’s 56-53 overtime loss to Ilwaco. (Hasani Grayson | Grays Harbor News Group)

Wednesday Local Roundup: Half-court shot leads to Ocosta’s overtime loss

WESTPORT — The Wildcats were on the verge of a win, but a half-court shot attempt at the buzzer and an overtime surge from Ilwaco thwarted Ocosta’s hope of an upset.

The Wildcats (15-5, 15-3 Pacific 2B) lost 56-53 in overtime after appearing to have the game in hand, up by three with Kaylee Barnum at the free-throw line.

Barnum, who had hit a critical 3-pointer with 1:34 left to give Ocosta the lead, missed a free throw with five seconds remaining.

The Fishermen (19-1, 18-0) gathered up the rebound and found Ebby McMullen, who banked in a shot from beyond half court to tie the game at 51-51 as the buzzer sounded.

Offense was hard to come by in the extra period for Ocosta, with the Wildcats only hitting one of their five shots from the field in extended time.

The Wildcats were also hampered offensively when Barnum fouled out with just over two minutes to go in overtime.

Barnum was one of three Wildcats in double figures with 11 points.

Ocosta’s Kaylee Barnum, center, drives to the lane and attempts a layup in first quarter against Ilwaco on Tuesday. (Hasani Grayson | Grays Harbor News Group)

Ocosta’s Kaylee Barnum, center, drives to the lane and attempts a layup in first quarter against Ilwaco on Tuesday. (Hasani Grayson | Grays Harbor News Group)

Ocosta head coach Jason Barnum said fouls committed earlier in the contest came back to bite them later.

“We were in foul trouble from early fouls and they had more firepower on the floor at the end,” he said.

Despite one of their leading scorers exiting the game earlier than planed, the Wildcats still had a chance to tie in the final minute of overtime.

Ilwaco was holding on to a slim 54-52 lead and had possession of the ball, which forced Ocosta to foul.

Sophomore Kylee Poirier was called for an intentional foul on McMullen when the referee determined the contact was excessive, forcing Ilwaco to the free-throw line.

“Poirier got her around the neck, so they called an intentional foul, which is two shots and the ball,” Coach Barnum said. “It was a battle, she was going for the ball and her hand caught her around the neck. It could have went either way, but we definitely didn’t lose the game on that play.”

Ocosta’s Layne Martin hits a close-range jump shot in the second quarter against Ilwaco on Tuesday. (Hasani Grayson | Grays Harbor News Group)

Ocosta’s Layne Martin hits a close-range jump shot in the second quarter against Ilwaco on Tuesday. (Hasani Grayson | Grays Harbor News Group)

McMullen made both of the free throws to help seal the deal for the Fishermen.

The game was in doubt until the final seconds of overtime, but Ilwaco appeared to be running away with the victory at halftime.

The Fishermen ended the half on a 15-2 run to take a 28-15 lead into the locker room.

Coach Barnum said poor shooting from the field and at the charity stripe slowed down the offense.

“We started out great in the first quarter and going into the second quarter it’s like the lights went out. I don’t know what happened” he said. “We started the game shooting 0-for-11 at the foul line and we had a hard, crummy second quarter.”

Ocosta eventually found the shooting touch in the third quarter and got lift from Kjirstin Hopfer, who scored seven of her team-leading 17 points in third frame.

Kaylee Barnum said the Wildcats had to get back to what worked in the first quarter and be patient if they wanted to mount a comeback in the second half.

“We knew that we were going to need an isolation with Hopfer because it worked well in the first half and we shied away from it,” she said. “We also knew we needed to chip away at it point by point. We couldn’t come out and try to get 15 points all at once because that’s when we turn the ball over.”

Taking care of the ball was key for Ocosta after turning the ball over 13 times in the first half alone. The Wildcats only committed five turnovers the rest of the game.

Kaylee Barnum said coming back from down 15 and playing a close game against league-leading Ilwaco on Senior Night gave the Wildcats confidence with the postseason approaching.

“For the past couple of years, it’s been kind of embarrassing going down to Ilwaco. It was nice to be able to give them a fight my senior year,” she said. “This is one of the best games these girls are ever going to play in. They’re going to look back on tonight and say, ‘Remember when that girl hit that full-court shot?’”

The loss won’t affect the Wildcats in the standings as they had already locked up the second seed in the 2B Southwest District IV Tournament.

The Wildcats will get a bye before playing in their first postseason game on Feb. 9.

Coach Barnum is confident his team will build on its close game with Fishermen and carry that momentum over into the next game.

“I’ve felt that I had good teams in the past and they’re our nemesis,” he said. “We go down to Ilwaco and they beat us by 30 and we get them here last year and they beat us up again. This year we felt like we had a chance at home. We grew, we got some respect, and that is a great momentum builder going into districts.”

Ilwaco 7 21 11 12 5 — 56

Ocosta 10 5 18 18 2 — 53

Top Players: Hopfer (17 pts. 3 stl.), Krisit Raffelson (14 pts., 13 reb.), Barnum (11 pts., 4 ast., 3 stl.); Ilwaco — McMullen (19 pts.), Erika Glenn ( 18 pts.), Kylie Gray (12 pts.)

GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL

Wishkah Valley 36, Montesano JV 25

Wishkah Valley turned it on in the third quarter to get the edge over Montesano’s junior varsity team in a 36-25 victory on Wednesday.

Erica Bomhoff led the Loggers (7-6, 5-4 Pacific 1B) with 13 points while Brooke Haskey put up a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Wishkah was down 16-15 at halftime and used an up-tempo game to take the lead in the second half.

“We tightened up the defense and started pushing the ball with a little more intensity,” Wishkah Valley head coach Dave Busz said.”I like the way we played tonight. It was much better than they’ve been playing.”

The Loggers will get back to league play when they host North River at 5:45 p.m. on Friday.

Montesano JV 6 10 4 5 — 25

Wishkah Valley 9 6 13 8 — 36

Top Players: Erica Bomhoff (13 pts.), Brooke Haskey (12 pts., 14 reb.), Char Guiterrez (11 reb., 5 ast.), Mackenzie Robertson (9 reb.)

Willapa Valley 56, Pe Ell 34

Britney Patrick scored a season-high 19 points as the Willapa Valley Vikings won on Senior Night 56-34 over Pe Ell on Wednesday.

The Vikings (16-4, 14-4 Pacific 2B) played a sound offensive game with 15 assists while committing a paltry 11 turnovers as a team.

In addition to Patrick, Willapa Valley’s Katie Adkins and Hannah Cook scored in double digits, finishing with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

“We took care of the ball pretty well,” Willapa Valley head coach John Peterson said. “We did a good job of running the floor and passing the ball. … It was a nice win for our kids.”

Rachel Ward led Pe Ell (5-15, 5-13) with 12 points.

Peterson praised his two seniors, Cook and Brooke Friese, for their contributions to the Vikings program.

“I feel very fortunate to get to coach Hannah and Brooke,” he said. “They’re great leaders and do a real nice job for us.”

Willapa Valley will play in the 2B District IV Tournament at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Rochester High School.

Their opponent has yet to be determined at the time of this writing.

Pe Ell 17 11 16 12 — 34

Willapa Valley 11 7 5 11 — 56

Top Players: Willapa Valley — Patrick (19 pts.), Adkins (12 pts., 7 reb.), Cook (10 pts., 7 reb., 7 stl.), Katelyn McGough (4 asst.); Pe Ell — Ward (12 pts.), Carolann Baldwin (8 pts.).

— Ryan Sparks, Grays Harbor News Group

Aberdeen 61, Aberdeen 31

Aberdeen fell behind by 13 points after the first eight minutes and never recovered in a 61-31 loss to Centralia on Wednesday in Aberdeen.

The Bobcats (1-17, 0-8 Evergreen 2A) struggled to defend early in the game, according to Aberdeen head coach Rachel Wenzel.

“We started in the triangle-and-two on their two best shooters (Hannah Porter and Carissa Kaut), but they were able to score too much on the inside so we had to get out of it.”

Porter scored 12 points while Kaut added nine for the Tigers (4-14, 2-6).

Wenzel noted the all-around play of Emmy Walsh (6 pts.) and Annetthe Orona, stating both “played well on both sides of the court.”

Aberdeen makes its last road trip of the season when they visit Rochester to take on the Warriors at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Centralia 18 14 9 20 — 61

Aberdeen 5 8 7 11 — 31

Top Players: Aberdeen — Walsh (6 pts.), Ryder Heikkila (6 pts.), Aliyah Tageant (5 pts.); Makayla Erickson (12 pts.), Porter (12 pts.), Kaut (9 pts.).

— Ryan Sparks, Grays Harbor News Group

South Bend 40, Raymond 27

Karley Reidinger scored 22 points and South Bend’s defense held the Seagulls in check as the Indians defeated Raymond 40-27 on Wednesday in South Bend.

South Bend (12-8, 12-6 Pacific 2B), which lost to Raymond on Jan. 3 in a game where Seagulls freshman Kyra Gardner scored 36 points, didn’t have to change up the defense to come out successful on Wednesday, according to Indians head coach Gary Wilson.

“Solid defense was once again the difference in the game,” he said. “We did nothing different, just being aware of where their shooters were was the key. Gardner is always a threat but the girls did a nice job of knowing where she was and not allowing her to penetrate the key.”

Gardner led Raymond (11-8, 10-7) with 13 points on 5-for-22 shooting, but the night belonged to South Bend and its defense, which held Raymond to 18 percent shooting from the field, including 3-for-22 from beyond the arc.

In addition to her high-scoring night, Reidinger finished with 10 rebounds and four steals.

Hannah Byington and Alise Rohr scored seven points apiece for South Bend in a victory Wilson said was “a game where everyone played a monster role.”

The Indians celebrated Senior Night, with Reidinger, Byington and Jessica Sanchez being honored during the evening.

“What a way to finish on their last game at Koplitz Field House,” said Wilson. “Now on to districts.”

Raymond 4 5 13 5 — 27

South Bend 13 10 7 10 — 40

Top Players: South Bend — Reidinger (22 pts., 10 reb., 4 stl.), Byington (7 pts.), Rohr (7 pts., 9 reb.), Sanchez (3 pts., 8 reb., 4 asst.); Raymond — Gardner (13 pts., 7 reb., 7 stl.); Miller (7 pts., 7 reb., 3 stl.).

— Ryan Sparks, Grays Harbor News Group

Lake Quinault 34, North River 19

Lake Quinault got a double-double from Kat Neeland en route to a 34-19 victory over North River on Wednesday at Lake Quinault High School.

Neeland scored 10 points to go along with 16 rebounds to lead the Lady Elks (6-8, 5-5 Coastal 1B) to the victory in the regular-season finale.

Christin Saavedra scored a game-high 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the win.

The win ties Lake Quinault with Wishkah Valley for third place in the 1B Coastal League.

Following the game, Lake Quinault won a coin flip and will host the Washington School for the Deaf in the first round of the district playoffs on Monday, Feb. 4.

North River 9 5 2 3 — 19

Lake Quinault 8 10 11 5 — 34

Top Players: LQ — Saavedra (16 pts., 8 reb.), Neeland (10 pts., 16 reb.), Liz Guadarrama (6 pts., 12 reb.).

— Ryan Sparks, Grays Harbor News Group

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Grays Harbor 72, South Puget Sound 63

Grays Harbor used intense defense and a trio of players in double figures to capture the 72-63 win at South Puget Sound on Wednesday.

Sandin Kidder put up 28 points and also added six assists and five steals to her statline on a night where the Chokers (10-8, 4-2 NWAC West) forced the Clippers (4-16, 2-5) into 32 turnovers.

Charleea Armstrong also had a solid game with 20 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

Despite the number of turnovers, the Chokers struggled to convert on transition opportunities at times and shot 39 percent from the field.

Grays Harbor head coach Chad Allan said he likes the direction his team is headed in, but would like to see the Chokers shoot better in the future.

“The ladies came out and played extremely hard defensively to cause 32 turnovers in the game, but shooting percentages and capitalizing on all those turnovers continue to elude us,” he said. “This team can really make some noise if we can continue to improve.”

Grays Harbor has a bye this Saturday and will be back in action on Feb. 6 to host Centralia at 6 p.m.

Grays Harbor College 13 17 23 19 — 72

South Puget Sound 16 13 19 15 — 63

Top Players: Grays Harbor — Kidder (28 pts., 6 ast. 5 stl.), Armstrong (20 pts., 8 ast., 7 reb.)., Isabel Hernandez (10 pts., 8 reb.); South Puget Sound — Trinity Betoney (28 pts., 13 reb.), Keilani Brown (12 pts., 14 reb.)