The Astoria Lady Fishermen have taken over first place in the Cowapa League girls basketball standings, at least for the time being.

With the No. 2-ranked Banks Braves (5-1 in league) not playing until Friday at Valley Catholic, Astoria’s 68-35 win Thursday night at Tillamook puts the Lady Fish (6-1) into first place by a half-game.

Astoria led 15-4 after one quarter, and had the game locked up by halftime, leading 29-11 against the winless (0-6) Cheesemakers, who have now lost 20 straight league games.

For the Lady Fishermen, Thursday’s win was their 14th straight over Tillamook going back to 2012-13.

Halle Helmersen led Astoria in scoring for the second time in three nights, scoring 13 points to top three players in double figures. Brooklynn Hankwitz added 11 and Elle Espelien scored 10, all in the fourth quarter.

Only three players scored for the Lady Mooks, who were led by Laci Lourenzo’s 13 points.

Banks closes out the league season next Thursday against Seaside, while Astoria plays its league finale Tuesday at Valley Catholic, a team the Fishermen defeated 60-31 last month.

Gary Henley is a sports reporter for The Daily Astorian. Contact him at 503-861-8493 or

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