Prep Basketball -- Ex-Naselle Coach Returns A Winner
Seattle Times Staff
NASELLE - Lyle Patterson wanted to return to Naselle High School for a 33rd and final season as boys basketball coach.
But four weeks before the start of practice, the Naselle School Board voted to replace the second all-time winningest coach in state history.
Last night, Patterson returned to the Naselle gym - as an assistant coach for Knappa, Ore.
Knappa, employing Patterson's swarming defense he made successful in 32 seasons at Naselle, handed the Comets an 89-46 pounding before a packed house.
Knappa, ranked No. 1 in Oregon's Class 2A poll, improved to 9-0. Naselle, now coached by Ryan Bjornsgard, fell to 2-7.
"Everybody's so nice, it's almost heartwarming," Patterson told a friend after last night's game.
Earlier this summer, it was a dispute that split a community. Although the school board voted unanimously to replace Patterson at the Naselle helm, some members of the community didn't agree. One resident submitted a petition both pro and con for Patterson at the school board meeting in which the veteran coach was fired. The petition favored rehiring Patterson by a margin of 227-27.
Patterson compiled a record of 623-230 in his 32 seasons at Naselle - second only to Mercer Island's Ed Pepple on the state's all-time list for victories.
Patterson's Comets posted a 60-49 record in Class B state-tournament games. They appeared in the state-championship game five times - and finished second five times. They also had three third-place finishes, four fourths, one fifth, three sixths, one seventh and two eighth-place finishes at state.
Patterson's teams won 15 district titles and owned a 119-43 record in district-tournament play.
Seattle Lutheran 76, King's West 56 - Mike Shields poured in 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as Seattle Lutheran (4-0, 9-1) remained unbeaten in Sea-Tac B League play and posted its ninth consecutive victory overall. Erich Neupert scored 20 points for the Saints, who led 22-13 after one quarter and hammered King's West on the boards. Josh Morse led the Warriors with 28 points.
At King's West 66, Seattle Lutheran 43 - Beth Ellis scored 21 points to lead the Warriors (3-0, 8-2) over the Saints in a Sea-Tac B League game. Lindsay Friesen added 16 points and Paige Kuske grabbed 10 rebounds to go along with nine steals for the Warriors. Brit Christopher led Seattle Lutheran with 17 points.
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