The comeback was on, then it was off.
The Astoria girls basketball team - which has pulled off more than one miracle fourth-quarter comeback this season - had a good one going Thursday night at home before a few late-game turnovers helped Rainier pull away for a 54-39 victory.
It was the Cowapa League opener for both teams, who met in the Vince Dulcich Tournament in December. The Columbians won the first meeting by an identical 15-point margin, 44-29.
The Fishermen found themselves in a hole early, trailing 17-6 in the second period, following consecutive hoops from Rainier's Leanna Nagunst.
Astoria closed the gap with a quick 8-0 run, highlighted by a steal and a basket from Sara Kelly.
A three-point play by Nagunst gave the Columbians a 28-21 lead midway through the third, but a pair of baskets from Heather Arnold, a short jump shot by Corey Jacobson and Jade Kelly's fast break score tied the game at 30.
Rainier responded with an 8-0 run of its own before Astoria made one last rally.
Jade Kelly scored off a steal, Jacobson hit from the outside and Brittany McGinnis buried a jump shot to help the Fishermen pull to within 39-37 with 4:05 left.
It was all Rainier from there, as a 3-pointer by Kariebeth Baldwin sparked a 15-0 run, capped by a pair of jumpers from Baldwin, who led all scorers with 19 points.
Nagunst added 13, while Arnold scored 10 for Astoria.
Tillamook 76, Seaside 35TILLAMOOK - Tillamook was in fine form to open the Cowapa League season Thursday night, scoring a 76-35 win over visiting Seaside.
The Lady Mooks held a 42-12 lead by halftime and cruised from there, picking up 10 points, 13 steals and five rebounds from Natalie Runkle, to go with Kim Kittell's 16 points and seven assists.
Jenna Archibald scored 11 points and Jamie May added eight for the Gulls in a starting role.
In other Cowapa action, Scappoose defeated Banks 46-32.
Warrenton 48, Corbett 30WARRENTON - A record-setting night for Liz O'Casey resulted in a Northwest League win for Warrenton Thursday, 48-30 over Corbett.
O'Casey scored 17 points and pulled down 17 rebounds, to go with six steals and three blocked shots. Whitney Johnson scored a game-high 19 for the Warriors.
O'Casey's 17 boards give the senior 695 career rebounds, breaking DeeDee Arnall's school record of 691.
Warrenton broke open a close game by outscoring the Cardinals 17-9 in the second quarter, then closed it out with a 14-6 run in the fourth period.
The Warriors (2-5 in league) were 15-of-29 at the free throw line, to Corbett's 5-of-7.
In other Northwest League action, Portland Christian defeated De La Salle 39-30.
Boys BasketballCorbett 54, Warrenton 49WARRENTON - A furious second-half rally by the Warrenton Warriors came up just a bit short Thursday night as Corbett held on for a 54-49 Northwest League boys basketball win.
The Cardinals' 27-12 halftime lead nearly disappeared in the second half, when the Warriors outscored Corbett 37-27.
Brandon Engebretson led Warrenton with 17 points and 10 rebounds, with 11 points from Eric Gantenbein.
David Gama pumped in 18 points for the Cards.
Naselle 63, Wishkah 42NASELLE, Wash. - A slow start turned into a strong finish for the Naselle boys basketball team Thursday night as the Comets defeated Wishkah 63-42 at Naselle.
The Comets trailed 8-3 after one quarter, but bounced back by outscoring the Loggers 19-6 in the second and 22-8 in the third.
Naselle's Jason Gradt led all scorers with 14 points, while teammates Evan Hendrickson and Greg Queener added 11 apiece. Kyle Burkhalter chipped in 10 points for the Comets, who host Willapa Valley Saturday.