Indians control own fate in wild NEA boy’s race

Colville High boys face difficult weekThe Colville High boy’s basketball team, coming off big wins over Newport and Riverside, face their final—and most important—week of Northeast A League play this week.On Tuesday, the Indians (5-2, 10-7), in a three-way tie for first place, were at one of the toughest gyms in the NEA (Lakeside). Colville, with a home win over the Eagles earlier this month, will likely be the underdog this time around against LHS (3-4, 8-9).So it goes in the wild NEA, where protecting the home court is paramount and stealing a road win here and there the goal. With NEA playoffs looming next week, five of the league’s six teams have a shot at least a share of the regular season title. On Friday, Colville returns home to face a Freeman team that dropped a surprising 46-24 decision at Chewelah back on Jan. 17. The Cougars outscored cold-shooting Freeman 33-11 in the second half.Chewelah (5-2, 13-4) and Freeman (5-2, 11-7) are both tied atop the league standings with Colville. Newport and Lakeside are two games back in the loss column.CHS will host Chewelah on Saturday night.Game time both nights is 7:30 p.m.LAST WEEKColville used an impressive 17-3 third quarter run to bury skidding Newport (3-4, 9-8) 49-38 back on Jan. 17 in front of a big home crowd. Colville got 13 points and 12 rebounds from 6-9 sophomore post Matt Hubbard and something of a break-out game from junior guard Jay Shoemaker (11 points, five steals). Shoemaker hit a pair of three-pointers.Alex Pond, a 6-5 senior post, added eight points and eight rebounds. Senior 6-6 swingman J.R. Henry had 10 points and nine rebounds.Senior Jake Wiley, Newport’s 6-7 senior who’s headed to the University of Montana, scored 18 of Newport’s 21 second half points. Wiley scored a game-high 26 points.Colville held NHS point guard Jeron Konkright, who scored 19 points in Colville’s loss earlier this month at Newport, to only five points, all in the first half.Big third quarter“That was our goal,” Foulkes said. “Do the best we could on Wiley and hold Konkright down. We were able to do that.”Colville was 18 of 49 from the field (39 percent) and three of 11 from distance. Newport was 14 of 53 (26 percent) and only two of 11 from three-point range.CHS was 10 of 17 from the free throw line.“That was a great win for us at home,” Foulkes said. “We played well enough for three quarters against a very dangerous team with a dynamic player (Wiley).”RIVERSIDE RECAPOn Friday, CHS head coach John Foulkes 0-5 at Chattaroy in his career against always tough Riverside (0-7, 4-13), picked up an important road win. The Indians built a 13-point second half lead and withstood a fourth quarter RHS rally to post a 51-47 win.Hubbard tied a school record of long-standing when he hauled down 21 rebounds against Riverside. He also led the Indians with 16 points and four assists.“Matt was just dynamic for us,” Foulkes said. “That’s a lot of rebounds.”CHS needed pretty much every one of them. The Rams mounted a late run and it got a little sweatier at the end than maybe it needed to be. Riverside hit four three-pointers in the fourth quarter to make things interesting.RHS freshman point guard Tyler Axtell and Logan Owens were the two principals in the Riverside run. Axtell, who finished with 14 points, had six points in the game’s final 3 ½ minutes. Owens hit a pair of fourth quarter three-pointers.“They are just a thorn in our side in that gym,” Foulkes said. “Nothing comes easy.”Big fourth quarter for HenryIt didn’t help that Colville missed the front end of some free throws down the stretch.“But we did some good things and we got off to a great start in the fourth quarter…that helped,” Foulkes added. Henry, struggling on 1 of 9 shooting heading into the fourth quarter, helped ignite the Indians. The big redhead scored nine of his 13 points in the fourth quarter. He also pulled down 10 rebounds for the game.Colville, who committed 18 turnovers against Newport, turned it over 16 times against Riverside. Still, those numbers are less than the Indians’ season average.Colville shot 36 percent from the field (18 of 50) and were six of 16 from three-point distance. The Indians hit all three of their three-pointers in the first quarter.Alex Pond, saddled with foul trouble, finished with six points and seven rebounds.Riverside was 17 of 58 from the field and only six of 24 from long range. All but two of those came in that fourth quarter run.Opponents are averaging just under 30 percent from the field against Colville this season. So it goes when your front line is 6-9, 6-6, 6-5.“Our length causes teams problems,” Foulkes said. Colville had a 49-32 edge on the boards.Foulkes knows that Colville’s stretch of three tough opponents this week will test the Indians’ mettle. “It’s going to be tough,” Foulkes added. “But we are the only team right now that controls its own destiny. “It’s a very competitive league and everybody can win. Nobody has separated themselves--and you can’t even count Riverside out. They have played people tough and have been in almost every game.“Going to Lakeside is always tough. That’s a traditionally good program. We just have to keep getting better, be sharp this week and keep battling.ELSEWHEREIn non-league action Saturday night involving NEA teams, Newport blew a 12-point lead and lost at Timberlake, 53-46. The Tigers trailed 42-30 after three quarters, but the hosts outscored NHS 23-4 in the fourth quarter. Trevor Masterson led a balanced Timberlake (10-4) attack with 11 points.Jake Wiley dumped in 15 points for Newport. That was a season low for Wiley.Newport was 0-3 for the week.On Friday night, Freeman (10-7, 5-2) downed Newport 60-42 behind Kellen Miller and Derek Harter, who dumped in 14 points apiece. Wiley led Newport with 19 points.Derek Smith scored 16 points and dished out seven assists to lead Chewelah past Lakeside 63-57 in Chewelah last Friday night. Conner Moffatt scored a game-high 23 points for Lakeside.Last Tuesday night around the NEA, Kyle Powell scored a game-high 27 points to lead Lakeside to a 57-52 win at Riverside.Jordan Wood led Riverside with 14 points. Colville 51, Riverside 47CHS 15 6 12 18—51RHS 14 7 8 18—47Colville—Murto 3, Shoemaker 5, L. Holling 5, T. Holling 0, J.R. Henry 13, G. Vaagen 0, Lee 0, Khater 3, Pond 6, Hubbard 16.Riverside—Wood 9, Owens 13, Axtell 14, Reed 2, Davis 2, Reinsenaur 5, Zanoli 3.Colville 49, Newport 38NHS 8 9 3 18—38CHS 13 8 17 11—49Newport—Wiley 26, Schultz 2, Konkright 5, Douglas 5.Colville—Shoemaker 11, J.R. Henry 10, L. Holling 2, Lee 5, Hubbard 13, Pond 8.