Chewelah’s inability to take care of the ball late in the game cost the Cougars dearly last Saturday night as three turnovers opened the door for an 11-point Colville run, leading to a 48-45 Indian victory.
Not that the Chewelah turnovers by themselves were self-destructive, but they put into motion a change of momentum that gave Colville its second wind.
Chewelah held a 34-29 lead at the end of three periods of play, but the Cougars did not score another point until two and a half minutes had blinked off the scoreclock. By that time, Colville had gone ahead 40-34 and left Chewelah with an uphill battle that the Cougars were unable to win.
Ben Johnstone finally ended Colville’s 11-point string with 5:31 remaining in the game. He then hit a rebounded bucket that cut the Colville lead to 43-39 and fueled a Cougar come-back.
Deylin Peone hit a long jumper and Brandon Smith drained a three-pointer to tie the score at 44- all with 1:28 left to play. In four minutes, the Cougars had totally erased Colville’s six-point lead.
However, Colville made four of eight free throws down the final stretch to regain the lead and celebrate the non-league win.
The game was a rollercoaster ride for Chewelah. The Cougars could have been riding a six-point lead or falling into a 10-point shortfall.
The opening period ended in a 9-9 tie. The Cougars got a long jumper and an inside basket from Caleb Wiebe, a layup by Derek Smith, and a three-pointer from Lars Berger.
The second period started much the same as the fatal fourth. Colville outscored the Cougars 11-1 over the first five and a half minutes of the period. Brady Flanagan’s free throw provided Chewelah with its only point. The last two and a half minutes, on the other hand, saw the Cougars close the gap on a rebound bucket by Tommy Norman and a pair of three-pointers by Deylin Peone. Colville held onto a 20-18 lead at halftime.
The third period belonged to Chewelah. Wiebe, Peone, and Ben Johnstone each hit a three-point shot from the perimeter. Flanagan hit a shot off the glass and Johnstone put back a rebound. Peone’s third trey of the game gave the Cougars a five-point lead, 34- 29, at the close of the quarter.
And then it happened again, for the second time in the game. The Chewelah side of the scoreboard froze for that same five and a half minutes, this time at 34.
And, Colville scored that same 11 points during the Cougar slump.
And, once more, Chewelah chewed up the difference to tie the score, this time at 44-44.
Colville shot eight free throws in the final 1:21 of the game, making four. The Cougars shot only two free throws, making only one. In the end, the game was decided at the free throw line with Chewelah falling 48-45.
But, as much as the Cougars hate to lose to Colville, the game meant nothing in the league standings. The game that counted was Friday night’s win at Kettle Falls.
Peone led Cougar scorers against the Indians with 11 points. Wiebe and Johnstone scored 10 points apiece.
Chewelah 57, KF 44
Johnstone and Brandon Smith teamed up to score 31 points at Kettle Falls to lead Chewelah to a 57-44 victory as the Cougars started their league season with a win.
Johnstone was the game’s top gun with 16 points, and Smith was one point behind with a 15-point performance.
After a close first period, Chewelah broke away, outscoring the home-standing Bulldogs by a 28-16 margin. The Cougars then coasted to the win with every member of the team contributing to the final score.
This weekend, the Cougars have only one game. They travel to Lakeside on Friday night to play the Eagles with tip-off time set at 5:45. The girls will follow at 7:30.
Chewelah 57, KF 44
Cougars: 13 – 13 – 15 – 16 = 57
Bulldogs: 11 – 06 – 10 – 17 = 44
Cougar scoring: Ben Johnstone 16, Brandon Smith 15, Derek Smith 8, Lars Berger 5, Deylin Peone 5, Caleb Wiebe 4, Cordell Bean 2, Tommy Norman 2.
Colville 48, Chewelah 45
Cougars: 09 – 09 – 16 – 11 = 45
Indians: 09 – 11 – 09 – 19 = 48
Cougar scoring: Deylin Peone 11, Caleb Wiebe 10, Ben John-stone 10, Brandon Smith 4, Lars Berger 3, Brady Flanagan 3, Tommy Norman 2, Derek Smith 2.
Northeast A League
Chewelah 1 – 0
Newport 1 – 0
Lakeside 1 – 0
Medical Lake 1 – 0
Riverside 0 – 1
Freeman 0 – 1
Kettle Falls 0 – 2
By Geno Ludwig, The Independent Staff
In This Photo: It was war under the basket against the Indians as Derek Smith attempts a layin with 6ft 9in #24 trying to block the shots. Braeton Flanagan #22 gets pressure from another Indian defender. Kim Johnstone photo