Colville cranks up the defensive pressure in three league wins

First place in NEA on the line at FreemanColville High girls’ basketball co-head coaches Al Bushnell and Ray Clark have conceded all along this season that the Indians’ mix of veteran talent and youth has been an ongoing work in progress.Well, that work in progress has progressed nicely after early returns around the Northeast A League last week.The Indians (7-5, 3-0) picked up wins at Newport (53-41) back on Jan. 3 and won in convincing fashion during a Northeast A League home stand last Friday and Saturday. CHS held off improved Riverside (5-8, 0-3) 49-44 on Friday night and raced past Lakeside 49-30 on Saturday night.THIS WEEKColville traveled to defending State 1A champion Freeman (11-0, 3-0) on Tuesday in an NEA battle for first place. On Friday, Colville travels to Chewelah (2-11, 0-3). Game time is 5:45 p.m.The Indians are off on Saturday night and will entertain Newport (9-3, 1-2) next Tuesday. Game time is 5:45 p.m.RECAPColville overcame an ugly start at Newport (9-3, 1-2). The Indians managed only one first quarter point and trailed 9-1 after the first quarter. But it was all CHS after that. Colville outscored the Grizzlies 52-32 in the second half.The Indians had 24 turnovers in the game. Fifteen of those came in the first quarter.Senior post Ashley Knight led the Indians with 18 points. Senior guard Tasha Luu turned in her best offensive game of the season with 17, nine of those in the Indians 21 point fourth quarter.Knight also pulled down 13 rebounds. Senior Erin Little had 10 boards.Colville pressure Colville was able to ratchet up the defensive pressure on a very good Newport team after that forgettable first quarter.“After that first quarter we were able to pick it up on defense and started settling down and executing on offense,” Bushnell said of the turnaround. “We started running the floor better and got some steals.”Bushnell and Clark credited the defensive work by Luu and sophomore guard Sadie Learn. “Newport got frustrated and a little tired there,” Clark added. “We have a lot of depth and four players who come off the bench that have started at one time or another for us…there are a lot of fresh legs when we rotate in.”On Friday night at home, Colville held off improved Riverside 49-44. The Indians built a big lead through three quarters, then held off Riverside’s fourth quarter run. The Rams outscored CHS 15-7 in the fourth quarter.Knight led the Indians with 19 points (seven of 14 from the field). Courtney Davis scored a game-high 20 points for Riverside. One night later, Colville’s relentless full court pressure translated into a relatively easy 49-30 win over always tough Lakeside (7-6, 2-1).Little led Colville with a career-high 20 points, 15 in the first half. The 5-11 senior guard added eight rebounds and six steals on a night to remember.Colville exacted a toll on Lakeside early, running to a 15-6 first quarter lead and leading 29-12 at halftime.“Lakeside is way better than they looked against us,” Clark said of the Eagles and their problems with some stifling Colville defensive pressure. Tayler Flemming, who led Lakeside one night earlier with 18 points in a win over Chewelah, was held scoreless for the first three quarters. Fleming managed seven fourth quarter points, but it was too little, too late.“We did a very good job on Flemming the first three quarters,” Clark said.The key statistic in this one was Colville’s defensive work and work on the boards. The Indians had 21 steals and Lakeside managed only one offensive rebound in the game. “That was another key stat,” Bushnell said. “We kept them to one (shot) and out.”THIS WEEKThe Indians will get a good barometer on where they are at Freeman on Tuesday night. The Scotties have been one of the top Class 1A girl’s programs in the state for several years. Their 2011-2012 edition looks like it has every intention of defending a state title in March.“Freeman doesn’t score much, but they are very disciplined and technical in what they do,” Clark said. “They are tough on the defensive end.”The Scotties are usually led in scoring by veterans Alyssa Maine and Molly McIntyre.The Freeman game marks the end of the first half of NEA play—already. Newport visits next Tuesday to start the second half of the league schedule.“This week we are through the first half,” Clark said. “Some teams will turn it up and some will turn it down…we have to turn it up. The key for us is defensive pressure all the time. “We will see the most defensive pressure we’ve seen all season (at Freeman). We have to try and keep them from taking us out of our game.”ELSEWHEREIn action around the league back on Jan. 3, Freeman blew out winless Chewelah 47-15, outscoring the overmatched Cougars 24-5 in the first quarter.Molly McIntyre led Freeman with 10 points and seven steals. Alisha Sorensen added nine points for the Scotties.Lakeside held Riverside scoreless for the first 12 minutes of the second half and cruised to a 47-35 win at Nine Mile Falls.Tayler Flemming led LHS with 19 points and seven rebounds.Courtney Davis led all scorers with 21 points for Riverside.Freeman saw its average margin of victory slashed last Friday night in Newport in a tough 48-41 win. The Grizzlies gave Freeman a game, hanging with the Scotties until the visitors went on a 14-7 run to end the game.Freeman came in beating opponents by an average of almost 24 points a game. But it didn’t happen in a tough environment and against a solid opponent.Maine led Freeman with 13 points.Taylor Lewis scored 13 and Miranda Frederick added 12 more for Newport.Taylor Flemming scored 18 points to lead Lakeside to a 68-29 rout of Chewelah on Friday night.. Lakeside led 38-17 at halftime.Newport got back on the winning track after two straight losses with a 65-34 win at Chewelah on Saturday night.Newport led by 31 points at halftime.Courtney Weise led Newport with 20 points. Taylor Lewis added 16 more.Ryann Richmond led Chewelah (2-11, 0-3) with 14 points.Freeman raced to a 31-18 halftime lead, then blew the game open in the third quarter on an 18-4 run en route to a 62-36 win over Riverside on Saturday.Alyssa Maine and sierra McGarity combined for 29 points for balanced Freeman. Colville 49, Lakeside 30LHS 6 6 6 12—30CHS 15 14 12 8-- 49Lakeside—Cook-Cox 4, Kyllo 3, Widman 9, Flemming 7, Markis 3, J. Cook-Cox 4.Colville—Little 20, Brons 1, Luu 7, Learn 4, Main 6, Knight 8, J. Wittmeyer 1, Cabbage 2, Lehman 0. R. Wittmeyer 0. Colville 49, Riverside 44RHS 8 12 9 15—44CHS 15 15 12 7—49Riverside—Lajiness 5, Workman 4, Holme 4, M. Pace 11, Davis 20.Colville—Knight 19, Lehman 0, Learn 3, Little 6, Main 4, Luu 6, E. Wittmeyer 0, Brons 6, J. Wittmeyer 3, Cabbage 2.Colville 53, Newport 41CHS 1 18 13 21—53NHS 9 14 8 10—41Colville—Luu 17, Learn 0, Little 6, Main 3, Brons 4, J. Wittmeyer 5, Knight 18, Lehman 0, Cabbage 0. Newport—Lewis 14, Wiese 3, H. Malsbury 4, M. Frederick 11, Young 2, L. Malsbury 3, Newcomb 4.