Two small-town basketball powers from opposite sides of the Columbia River hooked up for a nonleague boys basketball game Friday night at Knappa.
Ranked No. 2 in the latest Oregon 2A coaches poll, the Loggers hosted Naselle, the fourth-ranked 1B team in the Washington high school RPI rankings.
And Knappa rallied from a rare halftime deficit to defeat the Comets, 63-57.
Naselle was coming off a 74-9 win over Firm Foundation Christian three nights earlier.
“We won a tough one tonight,” said Knappa coach Paul Isom, whose team is now 13-0, the best record in Oregon at any level. “Credit to Naselle. They came ready to play and battled us all night. They led most of the game and made our lives difficult throughout the game.
“But the guys responded after being down at half (33-27) and played well in the second half, especially defensively,” he said. “Offensively, we used our size advantage much better in the second and got some good looks in the paint.”
Mason Westerholm and Eli Takalo kept the Loggers close in the first half with 13 points from Westerholm (who finished with 15), while Takalo scored nine the first half and 10 in the second for a team-high 19.
“Then Devin (Hoover) got going in the second half, scoring 15,” Isom said. The Comets had seven 3-pointers in the first half, three from Corey Gregory.
Naselle extended its lead to 39-32 early in the third quarter. After Knappa closed to within one point, Ethan Lindstrom's deep three at the third-quarter buzzer stretched the lead to 45-41.
Knappa took a 52-50 lead with 3:45 left on a three-point play by Takalo.
Naselle's Jimmy Strange split a pair of free throws with 1:28 left, cutting the Logger lead to 58-57. Knappa clinched it by hitting 5-of-6 free throws the remainder of the game.
“Kanai (Phillip) made probably the biggest play of the game when Devin found him on a full-court pass and he was able to spin and finish a left-handed layin to put us up five late,” Isom said. “Overall, another nice win against one of the best teams in the state at their level in Washington.”