Most basketball fans go to watch a ballgame, not a free-throw shooting contest. Those fans probably would not have enjoyed Friday night’s game at Kettle Falls, even though the Lady Cougars won their league opener against the Bulldogs by a 60-46 score.
During the course of the game, 61 fouls were whistled by the officials and a total of 81 free throws were shot by the two teams.
“We were already shooting a double-bonus in the first quarter,” said Coach Tom Skok.
The game lasted two and a half hours, with the clock stopping whenever a free throw was attempted. By the end of the game, six players had fouled out, five from Kettle Falls and one from Chewelah.
“And the sad thing about all the fouls was that every one of them was legitimate. The referees were just doing their job. It was like a rugby game out on the floor.”
The Lady Cougars walked up to the free throw line 42 times, making 23 attempts. Kettle Falls shot 39 free throws, making 13.
However, in spite of all the whistles, the Lady Cougars started their league season with a win. They are 1-0 in league play and 3-2 overall after five games.
Chewelah had a good first half. The Lady Cougars outscored the Bulldogs by a 30-17 margin before halftime, and that is what made the difference in the final outcome.
Brittney Wuesthoff scored a season-high 21 points for Chewelah. Katelyn Garner and Kara Frederick were also in double-digits with 10 points each.
“Brittney was sick before and during the game,” said Skok. “Still, she had one of the best games of her high school career.”
With the win, Chewelah went onto the league leader board in the top position with a 1-0 record.
By Saturday, three more Lady Cougar starters had become ill, but all three played against Colville that night. And, in spite of all the sickness, they played even basketball with the Lady Indians until the fateful fourth period.
Chewelah trailed Colville by only two points, 36-34, at the conclusion of the third period. Then, the Lady Cougars never scored again. They went through the entire eight minutes of the fourth period without making a shot from the floor or from the free throw line.
“I think we finally hit the wall,” said Skok. “Three of our girls were throwing up before the game and at halftime. All of the sickness, combined with the rough game they played at Kettle Falls the night before, finally sapped all of their energy.
“What amazed me is that even though they were sick, they played their hearts out until they had no more to give. That’s how much they wanted to win.”
Colville scored nine straight points in the fourth period to bag the win, 45-34.
Mikaela Hopkins and Wuesthoff each made a pair of three pointers. Wuesthoff made one in the first period and the other in the second. Hopkins made back to back three-point shots from the same place on the court.
Together, the two scored 20 of Chewelah’s 34 points. Wuesthoff was Chewelah’s high scorer with 12 points. Hopkins finished the game with eight points.
The Lady Cougar have only one ballgame this weekend. On Friday night, they travel to Lakeside. Game time is 7:30. The boys play the early game at 5:45.
Chewelah 60, KF 46
Cougars: 12 – 18 – 15 – 15 = 60
Bulldogs: 09 – 08 – 17 – 12 = 46
Lady Cougar scoring: Brittney Wuesthoff 21, Katelyn Garner 10, Kara Frederick 10, Amanda Pugh 9, Sydnie Katzer 4, Patti Hernandez 2, Ryann Richmond 2, Mikaela Hopkins 1, Kaitlin Krouse 1.
Colville 45, Chewelah 34
Cougars: 12 – 13 – 09 – 00 = 34
Indians: 16 – 09 – 11 – 09 = 45
Lady Cougar scoring: Brittney Wuesthoff 12, Mikaela Hopkins 8, Kaitlin Krouse 5, Sydnie Katzer 3, Amanda Pugh 2, Kara Frederick 2, Katelyn Garner 2.
Northeast A League
Newport 2 – 0
Chewelah 1 – 0
Riverside 1 – 0
Freeman 0 – 0
Medical Lake 0 – 1
Lakeside 0 – 1
Kettle Falls 0 – 2By Geno Ludwig, The Independent Staff
In This Photo: In a rough game against the Kettle Falls Bulldogs, the girls put up with multiple fouls. Here Sidney Katzer #31 is fouled under the basket, while Kaitlyn Krous #24 helps with defense. Kim Johnstone photo