KNAPPA - You can throw everything out the window when Warrenton and Knappa boys basketball teams get together.
Rankings, records, seating capacity of the gym they're playing in ... throw it all out, because the Warriors and Loggers just love battling, anytime, anywhere. And the fans love watching.
The two teams met on the floor Saturday night at Knappa, and the Warriors - who know a thing or two about playing in a hostile environment - managed to escape Loggerville with a 48-33 win.
Only three points separated the two teams in the second half, so it was Warrenton's 19-7 first half that made the difference. That, and Knappa's 1-for-14 performance from the 3-point line.
Warrior coach Gary McBride didn't sense any kind of a letdown from his team, which was coming off a draining, dramatic three-point loss at Portland Adventist two days before.
"They knew Knappa was big," McBride said of his players. "That's who you have to beat to win the West. The PAA game was great to play in, but Knappa is the team we have to beat to win the West. It was at their place, so it's a big win."
The Loggers had played the night before, winning at Corbett 49-38. Yet Knappa coach Craig Cokley was equally confident in his players to come out strong.
"Our guys were in good enough shape to play two games in two days," he said. "Our adrenaline was high - this was the first big game for them.
"Last year we struggled, and we weren't really in what you would call a 'big game.' Tonight, we had a big crowd, and you can't just talk about that, you have to experience it. We were a little bit tentative and tight at first, but I liked the way we responded in the second half."
It was a 3-pointer by Warrenton's Nate McBride that gave the Warriors a 7-2 lead after one quarter. McBride scored 11 of his team's 19 points in the first half, including a short jump shot at the buzzer.
McBride finished with a game-high 16 points, with 12 points apiece from Zach Gantenbein and Brandon Engebretson.
Warrenton's first-half lead could have been even bigger had the Warriors been able to finish on several close-range shots.
"We have not finished well at all this year," coach McBride said. "We've missed a ton of shots in the paint. We can run the plays, but we have not done a good job at finishing.
"We did shoot better from the outside tonight, and I was happy with that," he said. "And we ran our 'cyclone' pretty well. If we get good rotation, we're fine. But we get impatient sometimes, and we're not very good when we're not patient."
Warrenton had the inside game working in the third quarter, as Engebretson scored on three lay-ins, and Nick Bjork added a fourth for a 30-13 lead.
McBride's 3-pointer to open the final period gave Warrenton a 33-15 advantage. A spin move and basket in the lane by McBride, followed by lay-ups from Sean Beecham and Engebretson, gave the Warriors their largest lead at 42-23.
The Loggers - who had 15 points through three quarters - scored 18 in the fourth, including six off the bench from Kory Hamar, a 3-pointer from Ryan Wells, and baskets from Curtis Olds and Brent Brockey.
"We were really nonaggressive in our offensive production in the first half, and it showed," Cokley said. "In the second half, we adjusted and started attacking a little more. We were a little more aggressive, and had better results.
"But Warrenton is a real strong, veteran, physical team, and they're a tough matchup for us. They're a tough matchup for a lot of people.
"Having seen them against PAA, and I've seen some of the other top teams play - I think Warrenton has a good chance to do very well at Pendleton, and maybe even win the thing (2A championship).
"Rankings aren't everything, and when it all comes down to it, I think Regis will be the team to beat," Cokley said. "But there's no overpowering, dominant big people. Warrenton's uses their big people well, and coach McBride does an excellent job. They've got a nice package over there."
Both teams return to action Tuesday (Knappa at Clatskanie, Vernonia at Warrenton).
Taft 64, Astoria 46LINCOLN CITY - A hot night from the field was all Taft needed Friday at home, as the Tigers shot their way past Astoria 64-46 in a nonleague boys basketball game.
Taft connected on 24-of-37 shots from the field, as four players scored in double figures, led by J.T. Gilmore's 20 points.
Anthony Hill had 12 points and five rebounds to lead the Fishermen, while James Jasper added 10 points and six boards.
The Fishermen begin Cowapa League play Wednesday at home against Rainier.
Jewell 54, Damascus Christian 38BORING - Joel Johnston recorded a triple double to highlight Jewell's 54-38 win over Damascus Christian Friday night in Casco League boys basketball action.
Johnston scored 18 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and dished out 11 assists, and also had seven steals to lead the Bluejays.
He had plenty of support as Tim Meier scored 15 points, with seven rebounds, seven steals and three assists for Jewell, which improved to 9-3 overall.
Tony Busch scored eight points with seven boards for the Jays, who host Life Christian Friday.
Knappa 49, Corbett 38CORBETT - With Toivo Fransen knocking down five 3-pointers and Brent Brockey hauling in 17 rebounds, the Knappa Loggers were well covered Friday night, in a 49-38 win at Corbett.
The Loggers won the pivotal Northwest League game by building a 26-14 halftime lead, then hanging on in the second half.
Corbett outscored Knappa 3-2 in a slowdown third quarter, and the teams played to a 21-21 tie in the fourth.
Ilwaco 40, White Salmon 31WHITE SALMON, Wash. - Ilwaco was held to a season low 40 points, but that was still good enough for a 40-31 win at White Salmon Saturday night, in a Trico League boys basketball game.
Playing their third game in four days, the Fishermen trailed 14-9 at halftime before blowing out the Bruins 31-10 in the second half. Salvatore Inserra led Ilwaco with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The Fishermen host Castle Rock Tuesday.
Ilwaco 80, Stevenson 63ILWACO, Wash. - Rocky Mirelez scored 18 points to lead four players in double figures Friday night as Ilwaco won a makeup game with Stevenson, 80-63.
Salvatore Inserra added 17 points, with Jordan Williams and Tony Crete chipping in 12 points apiece.
Knappa 54, Warrenton 45KNAPPA - You had to look closely, but there was some good basketball being played Saturday night in the first meeting of the year between the Warrenton and Knappa girls.
In between the 54 fouls and 58 free throws, the Warriors and Loggers managed to keep the battle close most of the way, with Knappa finally emerging victorious, 54-45.
The Loggers' victory vaulted Knappa (4-0) into first place in the West Division by a half-game over the Warriors (4-1).
"I thought we played pretty well for a quarter-and-a-half, but after that the intensity kind of dropped off," said Knappa coach Mike Jacobson, whose team improves to 11-3 overall. "We started standing around, and (Warrenton) got back within three points.
"Corbett did a good job against us (Friday) night, and our starters expended a lot of energy," he said. "Defense and rebounding is a key. That's what we keep telling the girls. If they do that, then we'll be fine. They really saw that tonight against a better team."
Three-point baskets by Nadra Evans and Kasha Klauser helped Knappa take a 15-6 lead after one quarter, but the Warriors charged back behind Gracie Smith's seven points in the second quarter to cut the Logger lead to 27-24 at halftime.
Warrenton could have easily led at the break, but the Warriors missed 10 of their 16 free throw attempts in the first half. Warrenton finished 7-of-22 at the line.
The Loggers were 21-of-36, as the game turned into a free throw fest in the second half.
Four Warrenton starters (Dani Cederberg, Rose Dugan, Lizzie O'Casey and Smith), and three Logger starters (Katie Ho, Evans and Klauser) all fouled out.
"It's hard to get into a rhythm with all the fouls, especially when you lose your point guard," Jacobson said. "Then Katie (Ho) and Kasha (Klauser) fouled out, so we had to bring some freshmen in off the bench. And they went in and did a good job."
Third-quarter baskets by Cederberg and Chelsea Abbott cut Knappa's lead to 34-32, but the Loggers responded with a trey from Corey Jacobson and a jumper by Klauser to go on an 8-0 run to finish the period.
The Warriors were still within 45-42 late in the game, following a 3-pointer by Smith with 1:40 left.
But the play of the game was turned in by Tracie Nygaard, as she stole the ball, scored and was fouled with 1:23 remaining. She hit the free throw for a 49-42 advantage.
Warrenton is scheduled to play a makeup game at R.A. Long tonight, and Knappa plays at Clatskanie Tuesday.
Taft 38, Astoria 30LINCOLN CITY - Astoria was within two points with 1:30 left, but the Taft Tigers clinched it at the free throw line as they posted a 38-30 win over the Fishermen in a nonleague girls basketball game Friday night.
Rose Hollingsworth scored 17 points to lead a taller Taft team, which outrebounded Astoria only 36-31.
Kristann Quigley led the Fishermen with eight points, followed by Nicole McBride with seven points and Tara Johnson with six.
Astoria opens Cowapa League play Tuesday at Rainier.
Damascus Christian 50, Jewell 26BORING - Damascus Christian defeated Jewell 50-26 in a Casco League girls basketball game Friday night. No other details were available.
The Bluejays host Life Christian Friday.
Knappa 69, Corbett 41CORBETT - Tracie Nygaard scored 18 points and teammate Nadra Evans added 17 as Knappa defeated Corbett 69-41 in a girls Northwest League contest Friday night.
Evans also pulled down 10 rebounds and had 10 steals for the Loggers, who hit 17-of-19 free throws. Nygaard was 8-for-8 and Evans was 7-for-7 at the line.
Ilwaco 70, White Salmon 47WHITE SALMON, Wash. - White Salmon did not have an answer for Ashley Kitzman Saturday night as Ilwaco's junior post scored 28 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in a 70-47 Trico League win over the Bruins.
Kitzman had support from teammates Ashley Fauver (16 points) and Katie Holmes (15 points), while the Fishermen defense forced 25 turnovers.
Ilwaco 83, Stevenson 34ILWACO, Wash. - Ilwaco led 31-3 after one quarter on its way to an 83-34 win over Stevenson Friday night.
Ashley Kitzman led the Fishermen with 22 points.