With two league losses last week, the Chewelah girls fell from first place to fifth place in the league standings as the Lady Cougars were defeated by Riverside and Lakeside.
Some good stories do not have happy endings. Likewise, some good ballgames also have not so happy endings. So it was with Tuesday night’s game against Riverside.
After trailing by 11 points late in the third period on Tuesday night against Riverside, the Lady Cougars battled their way back into the game. They tied the score at 37-37 with 6:32 remaining in the game and again at 40-all with 4:17 left on the scoreclock.
However, Chewelah struggled at the free throw line in the waning minutes. The Lady Cougars shot three consecutive double-bonuses and did not make a single attempt. Those six misses probably cost them the ballgame.
During the final two minutes, Riverside made five free throws to take home the win by a 49-46 final score.
Chewelah did get a rebound basket from Katelyn Garner, a fast-break bucket from Sydnie Katzer, and a pair of free throws from Mikaela Hopkins in the final minute. But those points were not enough to make up for the ones lost at the free throw line during the previous scoreless four minutes.
Still, it was a close and exciting game from start to finish.
Chewelah held the lead through the entire first period, led by Katzer’s five points. She scored on an inside basket, an out of bounds play, and from the free throw line. Ryann Richmond hit a long jumper and Amanda Pugh made a free throw. The Lady Cougars ended the period with an 8-7 lead.
A total of 37 points were scored in a fast and furious second period, but only 15 of them were scored by Chewelah. The other 22 were scored by Riverside as the Rams took a 29-23 halftime lead.
The Lady Cougars started the second period with an initial surge that gave them a 15-9 lead. Richmond made an old school three-point play, and Brittney Wuesthoff and Kaitlin Krouse each made a pair of free throws.
Riverside countered with a 10-point run midway through the period that was partly fueled by Chewelah turnovers. With just over three minutes to play in the first half, the Rams held a 22-16 lead.
Wuesthoff hit a three-pointer and four free throws just before halftime, but Riverside went into the locker room with a 29-23 lead.
Chewelah played catch-up through the third period, and the Lady Cougars were able to whittle the Ram lead down to a single digit, 37-36. Two free throws apiece by Katelyn Garner and Pugh cut the Riverside lead to 32-27. Inside baskets by Krouse and Katzer narrowed that lead to 37-34. Wuesthoff’s jumper then made it a two-point game at 37-36 as the period ended.
So, during a three-minute rally, the Lady Cougars cut the Riverside lead from 11 points to one point.
The Cougar comeback continued into the fourth period. Krouse made a free throw to tie the game at 37-apiece and Wuesthoff followed with a timely three-point shot from the corner for a 40-37 Chewelah lead.
Wuesthoff’s trey would be the only basket made by the Lady Cougars over the next four minutes. This allowed Riverside to score eight straight points and take over the lead, 45-40. It was during this time that Chewelah missed both ends of three double bonuses.
Garner’s put-back finally ended Chewelah’s scoring drought with 44 seconds remaining in the game. Katzer made a layup off a fast break with 26 seconds left to play and Mikaela Hopkins drained two free throws with three seconds left on the clock. However, those points were unable to overcome the Riverside lead. The Rams held on to win the game, 49-46.
At Lakeside on Friday night, the Lady Cougars were overwhelmed by the Eagles, 43-25, for their second loss of the week.
This week, the Lady Cougars will compete in the Reardan Holiday Tournament on Thursday and Friday. Their first game is at 5:30 on Thursday evening.
The Cougars then return to league play on January 4, when they host Freeman.
Riverside 49, Chewelah 46
Cougars: 08 – 15 – 13 – 10 = 46
Rams: 07 – 22 – 08 – 12 = 49
Lady Cougar scoring: Brittney Wuesthoff 15, Sydnie Katzer 9, Kaitlin Krouse 8, Ryann Richmond 5, Katelyn Garner 4, Amanda Pugh 3, Mikaela Hopkins 2.
Lakeside 43, Chewelah 25
Cougars: 02 – 05 – 10 – 08 = 25
Eagles: 06 – 15 – 13 – 09 = 43
Lady Cougar scoring: Brittney Wuesthoff 9, Ryann Richmond 7, Kaitlin Krouse 4, Amanda Pugh 3, Mikaela Hopkins 2.
Northeast A League
Riverside 2 – 0
Freeman 2 – 0
Newport 2 – 1
Lakeside 1 – 1
Chewelah 1 – 2
Medical Lake 1 – 2
Kettle Falls 0 – 3
By Geno Ludwig, The Independent Staff
In This Photo: Mikaela Hopkins fights to knock off the lakeside attempt to score! Kim Johnstone photo