Indians play without Hubbard
It’s tough to win without your all-league meal ticket.
So it went for Colville High (4-4) in last Thursday night’s non-league boy’s basketball game with visiting Priest River.
The Indians were playing without their 6-9 junior post, Matt Hubbard. The team’s leading scorer and rebounder was in Oklahoma with his family.
Colville played well early and led by as many as nine points in the third quarter before Priest River found their collective shooting eye.
CHS led 34-25 at the 6:17 mark of the third quarter on Omar Khater’s three-pointer. The Indians stretched their lead to 35-25 at the 4:40 mark of the third period when senior point guard Jay Shoemaker made the front end of a one-and-one opportunity.
PR finds easy pickings inside in the fourth quarter
From there, Priest River, who went inside against a Colville team missing the considerable presence of Hubbard. The Indians were outscored 24-13 in the pivotal fourth quarter.
Tevyn Holling led Colville with 12 points. Shoemaker added 10 more.
Priest River (5-4) was led in scoring by Coleton Stelow, who scored 11 of his game-high 16 points in the second half. R.C. Akre added 13 points for the Spartans.
Jimmy Koch, working almost exclusively inside, scored all nine of his points in the fourth quarter.
“We were pretty woeful on defense in the fourth quarter,” CHS head coach John Foulkes said. “You can’t win many games giving up 24 points in a quarter.”
For sure, it was one of the few times all season when an opponent has been able to get inside on Colville. Of course, that’s because of the sizeable presence of Hubbard.
“We weren’t quite ready to defend properly there,” Foulkes said. “It tends to change things when you have a 6-9 guy in there.”
It also tends to change things when you don’t have an active 6-9 kid in there.
Priest River’s two post players, who came in as the Trojans’[ fourth and fifth leading scorers in December, combined for 14 of the team’s 24 fourth quarter points.
While Colville took good care of the ball (11 turnovers for the game), the Indians didn’t take care of the ball down the stretch when PR was making its move (four turnovers down the stretch).
“I think we learned some valuable lessons there,” Foulkes figured. “I thought we played well enough to win, but we didn’t respond well to their (fourth quarter) surge. We got tentative late and didn’t get the ball to the right people.”
Shoemaker, save for five turnovers, played solidly with those 10 points and eight assists. He also had four steals.
Lukyn Holling, playing his first game of the season, was solid and played 21 minutes.
“He’s still a little rusty,” Foulkes said. “But he played pretty well in his first game back. He’ll help us a bunch (in league play).”
Hot from the line
Colville was 15 of 38 from the field (40 percent). PR was 23 of 54 (43 percent).
The Indians hit a season-high 18 of 21 free throws. Priest River was seven of 12.
Colville was three of 11 from three-point distance. Priest River was five of 16.
Colville was outrebounded 39-27.
Colville is idle until opening Great Northern League play at Clarkston on Saturday night. Game time is 4:15 p.m.
CHS will host West Valley (7-1) on Jan. 8 in Colville. Game time is 5:45 p.m.
“Both of those teams are similar,” Foulkes said. “We get two of the best teams (in the Great Northern League) right out of the gate.”
Clarkston features a junior and guard-oriented outfit that likes to get out and run.
“They like to play fast,” Foulkes said.
West Valley (7-1) has more size than the Bantams, and are playing at a high level right now. The 6-5 Jake Love is one of the top inside players in the GNL.
Priest River 58, Colville 51
PR 13 11 10 24—58
CHS 15 14 9 13-- 51
Priest River—Riley 10, Akre 13, Stelow 16, Koch 9, Sommer 7, Reynolds 3.
Colville—Artzis 2, Thompson 8, Shoemaker 10, T. Holling 12, L. Holling 5, Wolfrum 6, Hegney 1, Khater 7.