Seaside missed too many free throws. Astoria gave up too many offensive rebounds. Seaside nearly let a 17-point, third-quarter lead slip away. Astoria let the entire first half slip away.
In the end, it all came out just about the way it should have. As Gulls coach Bill Westerholm summed it up: "It's just good to get a win at Astoria."
Whether it was by 17 points or five points, it didn't really matter. Seaside's 58-53 win at the Brick House Tuesday night helped the Gulls (2-1) keep pace with Rainier and Scappoose (both 2-1) in the Cowapa League boys basketball standings, while the Fishermen slip to 0-3.
KIM ERSKINE - The Daily Astorian
Seaside Gull Jayme Toyas (30) charges through Astoria players Chad Geertz (25), James Jasper (31), and Joseph Painter (45) for the lay up during Tuesday night's basketball game in Astoria.While the Gulls have showed that they're nearly unstoppable when they get on a roll, Astoria is still searching for that full, 32-minute effort.
The Fishermen were outscored 34-17 in the first half, then outscored the Gulls 36-24 in the second.
"I'm at a loss as to what it is," said Astoria coach Chris Hunt. "It's something we're searching for right now.
"Tonight, it was one of those things where all of a sudden we started playing hard," he said. "We just had too many lulls in the first half. We'd crawl back, then they'd go on another run, like the one they did at the end of the half."
Seaside led 24-16 with 3:27 left in the second period, then Vito Cerelli and Jayme Toyas both knocked down 3-pointers and Derek Spivey scored off a steal to the end the half and cap a 12-1 run.
In his first game back from a knee injury suffered against Tillamook, Toyas scored 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Cerelli added 15 points, with three 3-pointers.
The Gulls held a 34-17 advantage at halftime, and matched their largest lead late in the third quarter when Bryan Robison's jump shot put Seaside in front, 46-29.
"They made a lot of shots with guys in their face," Hunt said. "But I was just not pleased with our effort as a team in the first half, offensively or defensively."
The Fishermen - who are quickly becoming the best second-half team in the league - battled back the Seaside way in the fourth quarter.
Freshman Nick Alfonse came off the bench and hit a pair of 3-pointers, his second cutting the Gulls' lead to 50-43 with five minutes remaining.
Cerelli and Toyas both scored baskets to push the lead back to 54-43, but Astoria's foul tactics started to pay off when the Gulls made just 2-of-9 free throws in the final 2:20.
Meanwhile, Astoria's Digger Cokley hit four in a row, Anthony Hill scored off a steal, James Jasper added a basket, and Cokley's layup with 21 seconds left cut the Seaside lead to 57-53.
But the Fishermen were unable to foul when they needed to, before finally sending Robison to the line with two seconds left.
Unfortunately for Astoria, the Fishermen were unable to take advantage of Seaside's misses at the free throw line, as the Gulls twice came up with offensive rebounds off missed foul shots in the final minute.
"Four-for-14 just ain't going to cut it," Westerholm said. "And we never got into the flow of things in the second half. A lot of standing around.
"Astoria played well tonight," he added. "The little freshman kid, Alfonse, came in and hit some big three's for them. We knew they were going to make a run, and it probably should have stayed a 10-15 point game if we make our free throws, but we didn't. Luckily we were ahead by 17."
Hunt said, "We fouled the people we wanted to, and they were missing, but we didn't get the boards when we needed to.
"When it gets down to a five-point game, you start adding up the little things, and it makes a difference," he said. "We didn't get rebounds, we didn't get shots up when we needed to, ball handling errors ... those are the things that come back to haunt you."
Cokley led Astoria with 16 points, with Alfonse scoring 10 in a reserve role.
Seaside (9-7 overall) hosts Scappoose Friday, while the Fishermen will try to get their first league win when Banks visits the Brick House Friday.
Knappa 63, Vernonia 51VERNONIA - Knappa took another step toward clinching the No. 2 spot out of the Northwest League's West Division Tuesday night, with a 63-51 win at Vernonia.
Brent Brockey scored a game-high 19 points to lead Knappa, which took control of the game late in the third quarter to pick up the victory.
Knappa was missing Derek Jacobson (out with the flu), but other players picked up the slack as Toivo Fransen scored 14 and Curtis Olds and Brad Salisbury added 10 points apiece.
Knappa hit 20-of-44 shots from 2-point territory, 4-of-15 from the 3-point line. The Loggers are also on school record pace for least number of turnovers in a season, as they turned it over just 11 times Tuesday.
Knappa hosts Portland Lutheran in another key Northwest League matchup Friday.
Warrenton 73, Neah-Kah-Nie 49ROCKAWAY BEACH - Some early 3-pointers from Warrenton's Zach Gantenbein set the tone for a big first quarter for the Warriors Tuesday night, as Warrenton cruised to a 73-49 Northwest League win at Neah-Kah-Nie.
Gantenbein finished with a game-high 21 points, with Nate McBride adding 18 points and seven assists. Brandon Engebretson scored 16 points and Nick Bjork pulled down 10 rebounds for the third-ranked Warriors, who led 26-12 after one quarter.
Warrenton plays at Vernonia Saturday.
Jewell 51, Heritage 37HILLSBORO - Jewell built a solid first-half lead, then played their way to another victory Tuesday night, defeating Heritage Christian 51-37 in a Casco League contest.
The Bluejays led 9-3 after one quarter, and 29-9 by halftime.
Joel Johnston scored 19 points to lead Jewell, which improves to 11-3 overall. Jon Wickliffe added eight points, with Jake Groat and Tony Busch chipping in six points apiece.
No score was reported from the Jewell at Heritage girls game.
Jewell hosts Columbia Christian Friday.
Naselle 64, Wishkah 52NASELLE, Wash. - Evan Hendrickson scored 19 points and Ricky Johnson added 15 as Naselle posted a 64-52 win over Wishkah Tuesday night in a Pacific B League game at Naselle.
Johnson pulled down 11 rebounds, while Hendrickson dished out four assists with four boards for the Comets, who improve to 5-7 in league play, 5-11 overall.
Aoy Marion added 11 points, five assists and four rebounds for Naselle, which built a 29-21 halftime lead, then pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring the Loggers 24-15 in the period.
The Comets host Mary M. Knight Saturday.
Knappa 62, Vernonia 52VERNONIA - Knappa held off a hot-shooting Vernonia team Tuesday night, 62-52, in a Northwest League girls basketball game.
Vernonia hit 19-of-39 shots from the field (49 percent), while Knappa connected on just 19-of-57.
Knappa held a big edge on the boards, however, outrebounding Vernonia 46-24. Knappa pulled down 27 offensive rebounds, to Vernonia's eight.
Tracie Nygaard pulled down 12 rebounds and led the offensive attack with 15 points, followed by Katie Ho with 12 points and Kasha Klauser with 11.
Knappa was 21-of-35 at the free throw line, and Vernonia was 5-of-14. Ali Gerttula had six steals for Knappa, which hosts Portland Lutheran Friday.
Warrenton 59, Neah-Kah-Nie 42ROCKAWAY BEACH - Warrenton's Grace Smith erupted for a career-high 35 points Tuesday night, leading the Warriors to a 59-42 Northwest League win at Neah-Kah-Nie.
While Smith was racking up big numbers offensively, the difference was Warrenton's full-court pressure in the second half. The Warriors broke a 24-24 tie at halftime by outscoring the Pirates 35-18 in the second half (22-7 in the fourth quarter).
And Smith did more than just score - she came up with six steals, five rebounds and three assists. Olivia Newbold added six boards, and Kathryn Johnson had four points with three blocks.
Melissa Bennett led Neah-Kah-Nie with 17 points, with Tia McCormick adding 13.
The Warriors were outrebounded for the first time all season (31-23), but made up for it with a good night from the field, hitting 24-of-45 shots.
Warrenton (7-1 in league) maintains its half-game lead over Knappa in the West Division of the NWL, with the Loggers at 6-1.
The Warriors play at Vernonia Saturday.
Ridgefield 59, Ilwaco 53ILWACO, Wash. - Ilwaco had three players in double figures, but it wasn't enough as Ridgefield left town with a 59-53 win over the Lady Fishermen in a Trico League contest at Aase Gymnasium Tuesday.
Ashley Kitzman scored 16, Ashley Fauver added 15 and Ariel Barker chipped in 10 for Ilwaco, which hosts La Center Thursday (boys game starts at 5:45 p.m., girls at 7:30 p.m.).
Ridgefield's Kelly Heald led all scorers with 23 points, and teammate Caitlin Hutchison added nine.
Wishkah 49, Naselle 27NASELLE, Wash. - Early foul trouble for Naselle's Kelli Revis and Annie Herrold, coupled with a 30-point night for Wishkah's Katherine Carlisle, led to a 49-27 victory for the Loggerettes over the Comettes.
Naselle also coughed up 46 turnovers in the loss, which drops the Comettes to 5-7 in league.
Revis led the Comettes with 11 points, with Herrold adding seven points, 21 rebounds and two steals.
Naselle plays at Mary M. Knight Friday.