Chewelah remained undefeated in Northeast A League basketball play last week when the Cougars clobbered Riverside, 63-46, on Tuesday night and then followed up with a 51-43 victory at Lakeside on Friday night.
The Cougars are now locked in a two-way tie at the top of the current league standing with Medical Lake, both at 3-0. They will square-off against each other at Medical Lake on January 8. But first, the Cougars will have to get past the Freeman Scotties when the league schedule resumes after Christmas break here on January 4.
After taking a four-day Christmas weekend, the Cougars got in a day of practice prior to the Reardan Holiday Tournament this Thursday and Friday.
Chewelah scored the first 16 points of the game against visiting Riverside and never looked back. The Rams hit five three-pointers in the opening half and later cut the Cougar lead to only six points in the third period, but they never went out in front.
To begin the game, the Cougars hit six shots from the floor and a pair of free throws. Caleb Wiebe hit a jumper from the line and a three-pointer, Derek Smith dropped in a driving layup and completed a fast-break, Ben Johnstone hit a shot from outside the three-point line, Deylin turned a steal into a layup, and Brandon Smith made both ends of a two-shot situation from the free throw line.
So, with 3:24 remaining in the first period, Chewelah had built a 16-point lead and had kept Riverside off the scoreboard for more than four and a half minutes. The Rams did get a few shots to drop through the hoop toward the end of the first period, and they cut the Cougar lead to 17-7.
Riverside changed to perimeter shooting near the end of the first period and hit five shots from beyond the arc prior to halftime. But, Chewelah maintained its lead. Brandon Smith canned two three-pointers and Johnstone hit one. Derek Smith made an inside shot and three free throws. Lars Berger hit a jump-shot from the corner and added two free throws. Deylin Peone made a long jumper from just inside the three-point line. By halftime, the Cougars still had a 13-point cushion, 40-27.
The third period has consistently been unfriendly to Chewelah through most of this season. It was no different against Riverside. The Cougars added only six points to their total through this eight-minute stretch. Berger hit a back door floater, and Brandon Smith hit his third three-point shot of the night and followed with a free throw.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the floor, Riverside scored only 10 points through the period, so Chewelah still held a 46-37 lead going into the final period of play.
Two three-pointers by Johnstone and another by Wiebe highlighted a 19-point fourth period during which Chewelah pulled away for the 63-46 win. Derek Smith hit a jumper from the paint and a driving layup. Wiebe also drained a jumper from the paint, and the Cougars tossed in a few free throws in the final two minutes to preserve the lead and the victory.
The Smith Cousins combined for 29 points. Brandon led Cougar scorers with 15 points. Derek had 14. Also shooting double-digits were Johnstone with 12 points and Wiebe with 10.
Chewelah got off to a slow start at Lakeside on Friday night, but they came back to notch a 51-42 win over the homestanding Eagles. The Cougars trailed 14-7 at the end of the first period and 25-21 at halftime.
After the intermission, however, the Cougars roared back, outscoring Lakeside 30-17 in the second half to claim the win. It was a game where Chewelah needed points off the bench, and they came from Brady Flanagan, Tommy Norman, Cordell Bean, and Berger.
Peone’s 12 points earned him top gun honors for the night. Brandon Smith was also in double-digits with 11 points.
The Cougar boys play their first game of the Reardan Holiday Tournament at 7:15 on Thursday night.
Chewelah 63, Riverside 46
Cougars: 17 – 23 – 06 – 17 = 63
Rams: 07 – 20 – 10 – 09 = 46
Cougar scoring: Brandon Smith 15, Derek Smith 14, Ben Johnstone 12, Caleb Wiebe 10, Lars Berger 7, Deylin Peone 5.
Chewelah 51, Lakeside 42
Cougars: 07 – 14 – 12 – 18 = 51
Eagles: 14 – 11 – 05 – 12 = 42
Cougar scoring: Deylin Peone 12, Brandon Smith 11, Ben Johnstone 8, Derek Smith 8, Lars Berger 4, Brady Flanagan 2, Cordell Bean 2, Caleb Wiebe 2, Tommy Norman 2.
Northeast A League
Chewelah 3 – 0
Medical Lake 3 – 0
Freeman 1 – 1
Lakeside 1 – 1
Newport 1 – 2
Riverside 0 – 2
Kettle Falls 0 – 3
By Geno Ludwig, The Independent Staff
In This Photo: Getting up high above the lakeside defense Brandon Smith #13 shoots off a nice jump shot! Kim Johnstone photo