Chewelah takes out Springdale, falls to NWC…
Bailey Smith scored a game-high 18 points and Alyssa Fitzgerald scored 15 as the Lady Cougars steamrolled a young and inexperienced Springdale team 58-14 on Wednesday evening.
With the girls’ junior varsity game going into triple overtime before Chewelah secured the win, Coach Tom Skok did not have a long bench to draw from when his Cougars went to afterburners.
Without Larissa Sweat and Cassidy Wittekind, who are both out for the remainder of the season with injuries, Skok filled his roster with Keelin Middlesworth and Erica Tindal. This left the JV team shorthanded, but the two girls got significant time on the floor in the second half.
This was a nonleague game because Springdale has assumed independent status through this school year in order to rebuild its athletic programs. Wednesday’s game demonstrated the need for this decision as the Chargers started three young sophomores against the more veteran Cougars.
Chewelah ran the floor all night long as Springdale was unable to put up roadblocks to stop the ball. Most Cougar baskets came from uncontested layups. Smith took the ball to the hoop six times and added a duo of three-pointers for her 18 points. Fitzgerald, Sheppard, Becca Bennett, and Taya Tapia also made shots from beyond the arc.
Repeated steals handcuffed the Chargers and gave Chewelah excessive possessions. The Cougars led 19-5 at the end of the first period and 34-7 at halftime.
Leading 56-12 at the end of the third period, Chewelah put its offense into standby status. The Cougars ran considerable time off the clock with every possession and added only two points to its side of the scorebook in the final eight minutes.
It is difficult to win a basketball game when turnovers outnumber points. That is what the Lady Cougars discovered in the first half at Northwest Christian on Friday night when they were thrashed 42-31 by the Lady Crusaders. After going completely scoreless during the first period against Northwest Christian’s pressing defense, Smith finally hit a jumper with 6:47 remaining in the second period. Two buckets by Robison and a pair of free throws from Smith still left the Cougars on the low end of a 24-8 score at halftime.
Chewelah had a good second half, partly because the Crusaders relaxed their full-court press and partly because the Cougars began to see their shots fall through the hoop. In fact, the Cougars outscored the Crusaders 23-18 through the rest of the game. Fitzgerald dumped in all of her 14 points after the break. Smith, Robison, Tapia, and Bennett also saw their shots ripple the net.
The Lady Cougars went into this week with an 8-4 season record, 1-1 in league play. They will host the Lady Dragons from St. George’s here on Friday at 6 p.m. and then travel to Wilbur-Creston on Saturday. They return to play Davenport here on the following Friday.
(STORY BY GENO LUDWIG/Chewelah Independent)
Wednesday, Jan. 2
Chewelah 58, Springdale 14
Chargers 5 2 5 2 = 14
Cougars 19 15 22 2 = 58
Cougar scoring: Bailey Smith 18, Alyssa Fitzgerald 15, Kennedy Robison 8, Natalie Sheppard 5, Becca Bennett 5, Lexi Robertson 4, Taya Tapia 3
Charger scoring: Tamieka Valentine 5, Naomi Turner 4, Kiana Johnson 3, Eden Clemmer 2
Friday, Jan 4
Northwest Christian 42, Chewelah 31
Cougars 0 8 10 13 = 31
Crusaders 10 14 11 7 = 42
Cougar scoring: Alyssa Fitzgerald 14, Kennedy Robison 6, Bailey Smith 6, Becca Bennett 3,Taya Tapia 2