Cards’ coach gets her complete game against Riverside but old habits return versus Kettle Falls
Medical Lake head girls’ basketball coach Carey Schwarzer got her wish for a complete game and a big win.
But just like the fairy tale where the coach turned into a pumpkin at midnight, her Cardinals soon returned to old form with a pair of losses.
The Cardinals defeated Riverside 54-42 this past Tuesday to snap a three-game losing stream but losses at home, 38-35 to Kettle Falls, and Saturday’s 58-26 humbling at the hands of Freeman leave ML in the middle of a three-way tie for a playoff slot.
Just three games remain in the regular season. Medical Lake was at home to Newport this past Tuesday and finishes its NEA schedule on the road at Lakeside (6-2, 12-4), Friday, Jan. 25 and is at Chewelah (2-7, 5-11) Tuesday, Jan. 29. Both games begin at 5:45 p.m. Then there’s Saturday’s Spirit Game Saturday, Jan. 26 when Cheney visits for a 5:45 p.m. tipoff.
A strong third quarter helped Medical Lake put breathing room between themselves and the Rams (4-4, 8-7) who trailed just 25-22 at the half. Sabrina Earle scored 17 points, Kelby Wegner 13 and Cassidy Hagel added 12 for Medical Lake.
“I was really pleased with how the team played,” Schwarzer said. “I thought we put four good quarters together.”
Statistically, aside from the score, the Cardinals controlled the boards too with a 28-19 edge in rebounding. But could they maintain that effort when it really counted Friday in a battle for playoff positioning versus Kettle Falls? Apparently not.
After trailing early, 7-4 after the first quarter, the Cardinals’ 10-5 edge in the second quarter gave them a 14-12 lead at the half. The Bulldogs rallied from that halftime deficit to lead 27-24 after three. They maintained that margin the rest of the way.
The finish was a bit mystifying to Schwarzer. “We practiced hard for two days and came out Friday against Kettle Falls – us, Kettle Falls and Chewelah all have two wins now – so we needed to beat Kettle Falls and we did not show up ready to play,” Schwarzer said.
Josie Stanard led the Bulldogs in scoring with 12 points, eight in that pivotal third quarter. Junior Darby Evans led Medical Lake with nine points.
Against undefeated Freeman (8-0, 16-0), Medical Lake gave the state A runners-up too many open looks and too many second chances.
“They’re really good shooters and first of all you give them an open look they’re going to knock it down most of the time,” Schwarzer said. “Then on top of that you give them second chances you don’t have a very good chance against them.”
The Scotties controlled the boards too 26-17 and that helped them race to a 35-12 lead at the break.
Medical Lake’s inability to score, and turnovers – a 26-12 advantage for the Scotties – played into the big edge Freeman had early. “That was kind of part of the story of the first half,” Schwarzer said.
Alisha Sorenson had 19 points to lead the Scotties, 16 in the first half. “She was just on fire,” Schwarzer said. Earle’s 10 points led Medical Lake.
Paul Delaney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.