Brittney Wuesthoff’s three steals in the final minute of last Saturday’s basketball home opener triggered a seven-point run that lifted the Lady Cougars to a 46-42 come from behind victory over the visiting Lady Dragons from St. George’s.
With 1:08 remaining in the game, the Cougars trailed 42-39 and were aggressively pressing with hope to cause a Dragon turnover. Wuesthoff took advantage of every opportunity. Her first steal led to a three-pointer by Ryann Richmond that tied the game at 42-all with 43 seconds left to play.
Wuesthoff’s second steal with 36 blinks left on the scoreclock led to Sydney Katzer’s inside basket that gave Chewelah a 44-42 lead. Her third steal eventually sent Richmond to the free throw line with 10 seconds left to make both shots, giving the Lady Cougars a 46-42 win.
Saturday’s first half was a see-saw battle that was won by Chewelah, 19-17, going into halftime. St. George’s took over the lead early in the third period and held onto it until the Lady Cougars rallied at the end of the game to steal the victory.
The Lady Cougars got off to a good start as they took an early 5-2 lead. Baskets by Katelyn Garner and Amanda Pugh kept them ahead 9-4 at the conclusion of the first period.
Chewelah fell behind, 13-9 early in the second period as St. George’s scored the first nine points while the Lady Cougars put up a lot of missed shots. Wuesthoff finally broke the ice when she turned a steal into a layup. Amanda Pugh then hit a shot in the paint to tie the score at 13-apiece and added a free throw to return the lead back to Chewelah, 14-13.
The lead swapped hands through the remainder of the second period. Katelyn Garner hit a three-pointer, and Pugh and Richmond both made free throws to put Chewelah ahead at halftime by a 19-17 score.
The Cougars fell behind in the third period when St. George’s hit a trio of three-point shots from the perimeter. However, Sydney Katzer and Pugh worked overtime inside to keep the game from slipping away. Katzer hit three shots and a free throw. Pugh scored on a cross-over move. But, Chewelah trailed going into the fourth period, 32-28.
The Dragons built a seven-point lead early in the final period, 37-30, before Chewelah rallied back into the game. Katzer hit a short jumper and a free throw, Richmond drained a three-pointer, and Pugh added two more points from the free throw line to cut the St. George’s lead to a single digit, 37-36, with 3:26 remaining in the game.
Again, the Dragons surged to a five-point lead, 41-36, with 1:45 left to play, but here is where the Lady Cougars started their come from behind effort. Garner hit a three-point shot that cut the St. George’s lead to 41-39. Then, Wuesthoff took over on defense with her three consecutive steals to feed Richmond and Katzer for the Chewelah win.
Katzer and Pugh dominated the inside against the taller Dragons to share high-point honors with 12 points apiece. Richmond had nine points, Garner had eight points and Wuesthoff finished the game with five points.
The Lady Cougars will face Northwest Christian this Saturday afternoon at 3:00 in another nonleague encounter.
Chewelah 46, St. George’s 42
Cougars: 09 – 10 – 09 – 18 = 46
Dragons: 04 – 13 – 15 – 10 = 42
Lady Cougar scoring: Amanda Pugh 12, Sydney Katzer 12, Ryann Richmond 9, Katelyn Garner 8, Brittney Wuesthoff 5.By Geno Ludwig, The Independent Staff
In This Photo: Ryann Richmond (middle) steals the ball away from the Dragons as Brittney Wuesthoff #11 and Mikaela Hopkins #10 look on! Kim Johnstone photo