Indians secure second place finish in NEA
Colville gives top-rankedFreeman all they can handleBy virtue of their second place Northeast A League finish, the Colville High girls avoid the District 7 1A Tournament loser-out pressure cooker on Saturday and can prepare for the opening round of the double elimination portion of the tournament that gets started Wednesday, Feb. 8 at Mead High School.The Indians (8-2, 14-6) will play the winner of the Chewelah (0-10, 2-18) vs. Lakeside (5-5, 10-10) loser-out match-up Saturday at Nine Mile Falls. The other loser-out match-up on Saturday pits NEA No. 4 Newport (5-5, 14-6) against visiting NEA No. 5 Riverside (2-8, 7-13). Both games are scheduled for 5 p.m. starts.The survivor of Newport vs. Riverside will oppose top-ranked NEA champion Freeman (10-0, 20-0) in a first round NEA District game Wednesday, Feb. 8 at Mead High (8 p.m.).Barring a monumental upset that would border on the impossible, Colville will oppose Lakeside next Wednesday at Mead. Game time is 5 p.m.District title gameWinners of Wednesday’s opening round District 7 1A Tournament games at Mead will square off for the District title on Friday, Feb. 10 back at Mead High (game time 8 p.m.). The winner will get the District’s top seed to the regional tournament against the Caribou-Trail League.Three teams from the NEA District will advance to play the top three teams from the CTL District. The regional tournament will start with loser-out opening round games at Moses Lake High School on Feb. 14 and move to Chelan High School.WEEK’S RECAPColville finished up a busy NEA schedule last week by going 2-1. The Indians opened the week with a tough 45-42 win at Lakeside and followed that up back home on Friday by giving Freeman a battle before falling 40-34.On Saturday, Colville held Chewelah to one first half point en route to a 59-18 win.Colville didn’t play particularly well at Nine Mile Falls, but it was good enough. Senior post Ashley Knight hit a pair of key free throws with 10 seconds left to push the Indians’ lead to three points. Lakeside’s last-second three-pointer was off the mark and Colville had escaped a tough environment.Senior guard Tasha Luu scored 14 points (12 in the second half) and Erin Little added 10 more to go with seven rebounds and five assists.Taylor Flemming led LHS with 15 points.“We didn’t play very well,” CHS co-head coach Al Bushnell said of the win at Lakeside. “The key for us was perseverance.”Colville shot 38 percent from the field from two-point distance (16 of 42). The Indians were three of 13 from three-point distance and four of five from the free throw line. CHS committed only eight turnovers.The big win set up a battle for first place three nights later back in Colville. Freeman, riding a 41-game winning streak, hadn’t been tested all season long.But the Indians were up to the task.Colville put the clamps on Freeman early defensively, holding the two-time defending State 1A champions to only two first quarter points. Trailing 20-14 at the half, Freeman asserted itself on both sides of the ball in the second half and was able to pull out a difficult win in a tough environment.Freeman ratchets up the pressure in the second half“Their pressure hurt us,” CHS co-head coach Ray Clark said of Freeman’s strong second half. “We played tremendous defense on them in the first half…but in the fourth quarter, we just didn’t get enough shots…and we were shooting too early in the shot clock. We didn’t rotate the ball nearly well enough.“We need to work on our patience on offense.”Freeman outscored Colville 8-2 in the pivotal fourth period.Early-on, it was all Colville.Colville pushed its lead to 11-2 at the 7:48 mark of the second quarter on a Tasha Luu left-handed runner in the lane. Freeman began to chip away, but Colville was able to maintain their lead through the second period.In the third quarter, the Scotties ratcheted up the pressure with an effective half-court trap that the Indians hadn’t seen in their first game against Freeman earlier in the month. The pressure paid dividends and FHS crawled back in.A Colville three-pointer by Jessie Wittmeyer (Colville’s lone made three-pointer of the game) broke a 24-all tie at the 4:24 mark of the third quarter.Luu followed with a pair of free throws before Freeman senior Alyssa Maine scored in the key to cut Colville’s lead to 29-28. After Tyra Brons hit a baseline jumper, Maine was fouled at the 1:27 mark and converted both free throws to cut the Indians’ lead to 31-30.Alisha Sorensen converted a lay-in moments later to give Freeman a 32-31 lead.Little converted one of two free throws to tie the game at 32-all heading into the fourth period.The fourth quarter was all Freeman. The Scotties ramped up the defensive pressure, created some turnovers and Colville was able to manage only four fourth quarter shots.Colville got up only 28 shots against Freeman (11 of 28). The Indians were one of nine from distance and nine of 16 at the free throw line. Luu and Knight led the Indians with 10 points apiece.Freeman forced Colville into 25 turnovers.On Saturday, the Indians took care of business with a 59-18 win at home over Chewelah Ashley Knight led CHS with 17 points.THIS WEEKClark and Bushnell are looking forward to the opportunity for some extended practice time this week.“This will give us our longest string of work in awhile,” Clark said. “We have plenty to work on.”The Indians’ entire focus this week will be on Lakeside.“We can’t look past them,” Clark said. “Our entire focus is on Lakeside and what we need to do to get to that championship game with Freeman.”Both Bushnell and Clark are very pleased with what their mix of veterans and youngsters have accomplished to date. But if CHS plans to make a District and Regional run, they need to keep improving.“The kids have done well…they have responded well,” Clark pointed out. “We have pushed them hard.”“But this is another season where we need to refocus.”ELSEWHEREMaine, who led Freeman with 12 points in their NEA title annexing win at Colville one night earlier, scored 13 of her game-high 19 points in the second quarter to lead the Scotties over Lakeside on Saturday, 56-28.It was déjà vu all over again for Freeman against Lakeside. The Scotties managed only one first quarter point and trailed 10-1 before responding with a 25-4 second quarter run and putting this one away.Jocelyn Cook-Cox led LHS with 16 points and nine rebounds.Newport got 18 points from Miranda Frederick in a 57-35 win Saturday over Riverside.Taylor Lewis and Holly Malsbury added 12 points apiece for Newport. Courtney Davis led Riverside with 14 points, 14 rebounds, six steals and four blocked shots.On Friday night, Riverside escaped a major upset, edging home-standing Chewelah 41-40 on Jamie Hardy’s three-pointer with 30 seconds left in the game.Davis led RHS with 15 points.Sydnie Katzer led Chewelah with 17 points.Newport outscored Lakeside 18-2 in the second quarter en route to a 48-30 win at home on Friday night.Malsbury led Newport with 11 points and nine rebounds.Back on Jan. 24, Freeman blasted Riverside 62-29 behind Maine’s 15 points.Newport got 14 points from Taylor Lewis and 13 points from Miranda Frederick in a 58-35 win over Chewelah last Tuesday.CHS 45, Lakeside 42CHS 2 12 15 16—45LHS 4 13 14 11—42Colville—Luu 14, Brons 4, Learn 4, Wittmeyer 0, Little 10, Lehman 0, Cabbage 2, Knight 6, J. Wittmeyer 0, Main 5.Lakeside—Kyllo 2, Flemming 15, A. Cook-Cox 5, Widman 5, Mahowald 2, J. Cook-Cox, 13.Freeman 40, CHS 34FHS 2 12 18 8—40CHS 9 11 12 2—34Freeman—McGarity 2, Barnes 3, Vold 5, Maine 12, McIntyre 6, Paukett 7, Sorensen 5.Colville—Luu 10, Brons 4, Learn 2, Main 0, J. Wittmeyer 5, Knight 10, Lehman 0, Cabbage 0, Little 3.CHS 59, Chewelah 18Chew. 0 1 13 4—18CHS 10 16 14 19—59Chewelah—Richmond 1, Hopkins 4, Krouse 3, Katzer 8, Smith 2.Colville—R. Wittmeyer 6, Luu 2, Brons 7, Little 6, Learn 2, J. Wittmeyer 2, Main 3, Knight 17, Cabbage 3, Lehman 9, Rainer 0, Lee 2, M. Luu 0.