Defense keys Indians’ District championship

Colville heads to ChelanColville High built a big early lead and cruised to a 44-26 win over Newport to annex the District 7 1A girl’s basketball championship last Friday night at Mead High School.Behind Ashley Knight’s 28 points and 12 rebounds, the Indians (16-6) advanced to the title game with a 51-36 win last Wednesday over Lakeside in the opening round of District play. CHS advances as District 7’s top seed to this week’s Bi-District 6-7 Tournament at Chelan High School and the Chelan Community Center. The Indians will open Bi-District play Friday night at Chelan High School (5:45 p.m.) against the survivor of Wednesday night’s loser-out titanic at Moses Lake High School between top-ranked Freeman (21-1) and second-ranked Cashmere (20-1).Both Freeman and Cashmere were upset in their district tournaments last week, setting up a rare loser out/winner advances meeting between the two Class 1A powerhouses. Game time is 7 p.m. at Moses Lake High School.In the other Bi-District loser-out game Wednesday at Moses Lake, Chelan (11-11) will oppose Newport (16-7) at 5:30 p.m.That survivor will advance to play CTL District champion Okanogan (18-4) Friday night (5:45 p.m.) at the Chelan Community Center.Regional tournaments up next for three survivors of Bi-DistrictThe winners of Friday night’s games will play on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the community center for seeding to the regional tournaments (Wenatchee and Yakima). The loser’s of Friday night’s games will play Saturday at 1 p.m. (at the Chelan Community Center) for the Bi-District’s third and final seed to regionals.The Indians need to win one game to advance out of Bi-District.“I like our chances,” conceded CHS co-head coach, Ray Clark. “Especially after one of the two great teams (Freeman or Cashmere) is eliminated (on Wednesday). You don’t figure something like that to happen.”Two-time defending State 1A champion Freeman was riding a 43-game winning streak before upstart Newport pulled off a 51-46 overtime upset over the Scotties in the District opener at Mead last Wednesday night.Cashmere, winning games by an average of more than 20 points all season long, was upset by Okanogan 64-59 in the CTL title game last Saturday. Okanogan had lost a previous game to CHS by a scant two points.CHS co-head coach Al Bushnell figures that it doesn’t really matter who the Indians face at this point. It’s the post-season and everybody’s tough.“It really doesn’t matter,” Bushnell said. “You have to be ready to compete. The important thing is that we don’t have to play (a loser-out game) on Wednesday. That can suck the life out of you.“We have two opportunities to win one game this weekend.”Cashmere and Freeman bring somewhat differing styles to the table. Precise Freeman plays tough man-to-man defense and likes to work the clock and time of possession. Cashmere, on the other hand, is more up-tempo and likely quicker.DISTRICT RECAPThe Indians are playing their best basketball in the post-season. Clark and Bushnell hope that trend continues this week in Chelan.“We did a really good job on defense (at District),” Bushnell said. “Especially in that first half against Newport. We were able to make them do what we wanted them to do.”It didn’t hurt that Colville hit half of its first half shots and rolled to a big 17-5 first quarter lead.“We did a lot of good things in the first half of that Newport game,” Clark said. “We ran the floor well and defended well.“We are playing our best basketball of the season right now. The kids are excited.”Luu has solid two games on both endsClark and Bushnell praised all of their kids for stepping up their level of play at District last week. Senior guard Tasha Luu was acknowledged for her consistency at Mead last week.“Tasha is playing under control… she gave us great leadership and eight quarters of great basketball on both ends,” Clark said. Knight led Colville with 13 points and Luu had 10 in the win over Newport.Taylor Lewis, injured early in the first quarter, came back later and led NHS with eight points.In the Newport win, Colville was 13 of 37 from two-point distance (35 percent) and one of four from long range. The Indians were 15 of 20 at the free throw line and committed 17 turnovers.Knight, named to the All-NEA first team last week, also was on top of her game last week, particularly in that 28-point outburst against Lakeside.Colville and Lakeside were tied 16-16 at halftime before the Indians went on a 19-7 third quarter run to take control.“It took us awhile to get going against Lakeside,” Bushnell said. “We were kind of unraveled for awhile.”The unraveling came during the latter stages of warm-up, when Colville starting guard Sadie Learn went down with an ankle injury. While Learn would play later in the game, the injury wreaked a little havoc with game plans and defensive assignments.“It changed all our defensive assignments,” Clark said. The coaching staff scrambled and inserted sophomore McKenna Cabbage into the starting line-up.“McKenna came in and did a great job for us,” Clark said.CHS was 20 of 51 from the field (39 percent) and zero for three from three-point distance against LHS. The Indians shot a poor 11 of 26 at the free throw line. Colville committed only 10 turnovers in the big win.In the game for third seed to Bi-District, Freeman built a comfortable early lead and held off Lakeside 47-36 behind Molly McIntyre’s 16 points and 12 rebounds.Taylor Flemming led Lakeside (11-12) with 13 points.Colville 44, Newport 26CHS 17 9 8 10— 44NHS 5 7 5 9-- 26Colville—Knight 13, Lehman 2, Cabbage 2, Lee 0, Luu 10, Brons 5, R, Wittmeyer 0, Little 4, Learn 3, Main 5, J. Wittmeyer 0.Newport—J. Frederick 2, Lewis 8, Wiese 2, M. Frederick 6, Young 3, Newcomb 4.Colville 51, Lakeside 36LHS 6 10 7 13—36CHS 10 6 19 16—51Lakeside—A. Cook-Cox 6, Flemming 23, Widman 2, J. Cook-Cox 5.Colville—Knight 28, Brons 5, Luu 7, Learn 2, Little 5, Main 0, J. Wittmeyer 0, R. Wittmeyer 0, Lehman 0, Cabbage 4, Lee 0.