The Chewelah Cougars girlâ€™s basketball team dropped three games before their ten-day holiÂday break, losing games to ReÂpublic and Medical Lake at home and falling to Northwest Christian on the road.
In a home game against Republic, a strong first quarter put CheweÂlah out in front, but a better second quarter put Republic up by a score of 23-19 at the end of the first half. In the second half, the Cougars managed to tie the game at 31 on the strength of their pressure defense, but the Tigers pulled away with a couple of late baskets that Chewelah couldnâ€™t answer in a 40-36 loss.
Brittney Wuesthoff led the CouÂgars with 11 points.
Head coach Tom Skok was pleased with the effort of his young team against a much taller Republic team.
â€śRepublic didnâ€™t shoot the ball really well, but they were able to out-rebound us,â€ť Skok said. â€śOur defensive pressure was able to keep us in the game by causing turnovers.â€ť
The Cougars dropped a 50-38 game to Medical Lake last week.
The first half was almost a mirÂror image of the previous one for the Cougars--a good shootÂing first quarter and some good pressure defense gave CheweÂlah a 20-17 lead at halftime. In the second half, Medical Lake made some adjustments to the press and wore down the smaller Cougars to take the lead in the third quarter and pull away in the fourth.
Katelyn Garner led the Cougars with 13 points.
The Cougars played both teams tough, but the taller teams just proved too much for smaller, younger Chewelah.
â€śWe played pretty darn well,â€ť said coach Skok. â€śItâ€™s just that both those teams had quite a bit of size on us and that wore us out at the end of both of those games.â€ť
Last Saturday, the Cougars traveled to Northwest Christian and dropped a 46-6 decision. Chewelah was shut out in the first and third quarters and only made two baskets the enÂtire game.
It was one of those mostly forgettable games.
Coach Skok summed up the game in the first sentence, â€śWe had a rough go of it.â€ť
Unsure of what caused the Cougars to miss so many open shots, the NWC game appeared to be one of those contests where nothing was going to go rightâ€”from the get-go.
â€śWe came out flatter than a pancake,â€ť said coach Skok. â€śWe had some very good looks at the basket and missed...we missed layups...we just couldnâ€™t make anything happen in that game.â€ť
The ten-day break allowed the Cougars (1-4) to practice and build confidence before their season resumes Tuesday.
â€śWeâ€™ll have five or six practices to focus on things we arenâ€™t doÂing well, and hopefully be better when we play Selkirk,â€ť said coach Skok.
The season resumes this week with a pair of games before Christmas. Selkirk visited Chewelah on Tuesday. On Thursday, Springdale of the Bi-County League visits JHS. Both games begin at 5:30 p.m.
Republic 10 13 8 9--40
Chewelah 13 6 12 5--36
Republic--Jessen 6, Dillon 0, McQuay 0, Brown 11, Largent 8, Stout 11, Lane 3.
Chewelah--Hopkins 5, Wuesthoff 11, Riese 0, Richmond 9, Krouse 0, Garner 2, Katzer 0, Smith 9.
Med. Lake 8 9 15 18--50
Chewelah 12 8 7 11--38
Medical Lake--Nilles 3, Evans 2, W. Wren 8, Trout 2, Wegner 10, Petersen 3, B. Wren 0, Earle 16, Biesecker 6.
Chewelah--Hopkins 0, Wuesthoff 11, Riese 2, Richmond 1, Frederick 0, Krouse 0, Garner 13, Katzer 8, Smith 3.
NWC 11 17 16 2--46
Chew. 0 4 0 2-- 6
Northwest Christian--Me. Guske 0, Dietzen 10, McÂFaul 5, Ma. Guske 0, C. Gray 2, Shellerud 0, Farmer 11, Knight 13, M. Gray 0, Yates 5.
Chewelah--Hopkins 0, WuesÂthoff 3, Riese 0, Richmond 0, Frederick 0, Krouse 2, Garner 0, Katzer 1, Smith 0.