SEASIDE - The records may not be what they used to be, but a Clatsop Clash is still a Clatsop Clash. Competitive to the end.
Or in Monday night's case, right up until the 5:04 mark of the fourth quarter.
That's about when the wheels came off the wagon for the Astoria girls basketball team, as the Seaside Gulls left the Fishermen in the dust in the first meeting of the year between the two teams.
The Gulls broke open a four-point game midway through the fourth quarter, using a 16-0 run on their way to a 56-36 win over Astoria.
"I'm not exactly sure what happened," said Seaside coach Jill Conklin. "It really surprised me, actually. My assistant coach (Nathan Hankwitz) looked up at the scoreboard and said, 'wait a minute - it was just a four-point game a minute ago.' I haven't seen our team just go crazy like that at the end of a game for a long time.
"I think it was the combination of two things," she said. "There were a lot of turnovers on their part and several steals on our part; and they got into a little foul trouble, and we hit some free throws. That always helps."
LORI ASSA - The Daily Astorian
Astoria's Nicole McBride looks to pass as Seaside's Beth Allen tries to block in a close third quarter.It also helps to have more height, which the Gulls took advantage of to out-rebound Astoria 36-20.
In addition to her game-high 15 points, Seaside's Brenna Archibald had 11 rebounds, while teammate Amanda Laird had 13 points with nine boards.
"Our rebounding has been positive for us all season," Conklin said. "Amanda Laird, Jeannie Pfund ... we have some players who can get the job done underneath the basket, and keep the ball in our hands. They're starting to realize that they can do some damage in there. You just keep hammering, and good things will happen."
The Gulls were coming off a 53-43 win over Banks last week, and are now 2-1 in league play (4-10 overall), and have won their last five games with the Fishermen, who drop to 3-14 overall.
"We gained confidence against Banks, but we were especially up for this, playing our rivals," said Seaside senior Noelle Harer, the Gulls' most experienced player when it comes to the Seaside-Astoria rivalry.
For Harer, it was Clatsop Clash No. 11 - or, in honor of Super Bowl week, Clatsop Clash XI.
"It's still a big rivalry, and it's still exciting," she said. Going back to the 2000-01 season, Harer and the Gulls are now 7-5 against the Fishermen, including 5-1 the last two years.
The key Monday night?
"Defense, definitely," said Harer, whose team forced 24 Astoria turnovers. "Defense always wins the game. And rebounding was big. We stress that every game - our assistant coach is always yelling at us to box out. We're getting a lot better with our free throws, too."
The Gulls went to the free throw line 30 times, hitting 18, while Astoria finished 5-of-8.
A layup from Laura Ferguson gave Astoria an early 6-3 lead, but the first of several big runs by the Gulls put Seaside in front 14-6 early in the second period.
The 11-0 run was capped by a three-point play from Jenna Archibald, who scored eight points off the bench.
Astoria responded with an 8-2 run of its own, as Nicole McBride, Tara Johnson and Shelby Cullen drained consecutive jump shots.
The Gulls outrebounded the Fishermen in the first half (18-8), but Seaside struggled from the field, hitting just 9-of-31 attempts.
Trailing 23-18 at halftime, the Fishermen picked up jumpers from Johnson and Kristann Quigley to open the second half, and a trey from Johnson pulled Astoria to within 27-25.
But that's as close as the Fishermen would come as Seaside opened up a 37-31 lead after three quarters.
Astoria's Heather Arnold scored off an offensive rebound with just over five minutes left in the game, cutting Seaside's lead to 40-36, but two free throws from Ashley Ryan sparked the Gulls' 16-0 run to close the game.
The Gulls, Conklin said, are finally starting to realize their potential.
"I think we had some frustrations (earlier in the season), just from the fact that a lot of these players haven't played together," she said.
"They always hustled and worked hard, but I think they were a little frustrated with each other at some point, but they saw in the Tournament of Champions what they could do if they actually worked together as a team.
"That was a bit of a turning point. We realized that we're not that bad when we work together and help each other out."
Astoria returns to action Thursday at Banks, while Seaside plays at Scappoose.
Warrenton 51, Hillsboro JV 45HILLSBORO - Technically, it was a come-from-behind victory for the Warrenton girls basketball team.
But after overcoming a 12-2 deficit to start the game, it wasn't really that close. The Warriors posted a 51-45 win over the Hillsboro junior varsity squad Monday night.
After falling behind early, Warrenton rallied to take a 14-12 lead after one period, then extended the lead to 43-32 after three quarters.
Grace Smith pumped in 24 points for the Warriors, who outrebounded Hillsboro 37-22.
Dani Cederberg scored 11 points and Olivia Newbold chipped in seven points with 10 rebounds. Smith had nine boards and two blocks for Warrenton, which plays at Neah-Kah-Nie tonight.
Ridgefield 53, Ilwaco 46RIDGEFIELD, Wash. - Ridgefield won the first-place showdown with Ilwaco Monday night as the Spudders held on for a 53-46 victory over the Fishermen in a key Trico League contest.
Both teams entered the game with 5-0 league records, and by game's end, Ridgefield's mark was a perfect 6-0. The teams will meet again in the final game of the regular season, Feb. 20, at Ilwaco.
Johnny Peru scored a game-high 27 points and Drew Bleth added 12 for the Spudders, who hit 21-of-38 shots from the field, and 8-of-9 free throws.
Ryan Cadwell had 16 points for the Fishermen, who were 20-of-45 from the field, and 2-for-2 from the line.
Ilwaco hosts La Center Thursday.