A packed gym at Nestucca High School Thursday night was treated to a pair of nail-biting games between Tillamook County rivals Nestucca and Neah-Kah-Nie.
The girls opened up the evening with a physical, foul-filled game that looked to be safely in the hands of the Bobcats for the majority of the night. However, the resilient Lady Pirates fought tooth and nail to erase a 10 point fourth quarter deficit and cut Nestucca's lead down to just two points with less than 30 seconds to go.
A questionable no-call on the Bobcats proceeding inbound play allowed Nestucca to get the ball inbounds before getting fouled. Clutch, late game free throws be sophomore Shamilee Chatelain, junior Olivia Leslie and senior Yatzari Ozuna iced the game for the Lady Cats and Nestucca prevailed to earn a 38-33 win.
The boys teams hit the floor next in what was expected to be a run of the mill victory for the No. 11 ranked Pirates, who faced the one-win Bobcats. However, the age-old rivalry seemed to give new life to the young 'Cats who are in the midst of a struggling season.
The two teams were neck and neck in the first quarter, but a flurry of first half points by Nestucca junior Mitchell Richwine and a long-range buzzer beating three-pointer by junior Ben Hurliman gave the Bobcats a 31-23 edge at halftime.
Nestucca continued their consistent scoring in the second half but similar to the girls game, the Pirates rallied back to erase the double-digit deficit in the fourth behind multiple three pointers from senior Josh Elinsky and junior Destin Donaldson.
With less than ten seconds left, Neah-Kah-Nie trailed by just three points. However, their last second three-pointer fell just short, completing Nestucca's upset bid by a score of 56-53.
Nestucca is back on the road tomorrow to face Knappa before returning home Monday to play Faith Bible. Neah-Kah-Nie will take the weekend off before hosting Gaston on Tuesday.
Check out the full game story and recap from their upcoming games in the next edition of the Headlight-Herald and North Coast Citizen.