The Medical Lake girl’s basketball team got its week, and the Northeast A League season off to a good start last week, battling through some early challenges and defensive pressure to score a 44-31 win over Riverside.
But dealing with that same pressure Friday night was not as successful in a 58-42 loss to Kettle Falls. Between those two contests the Cardinal girls fell in a nonleague game versus Colville, 48-25. All three contests were at home for the Cardinals.
“This was a battle,” Cardinals’ head coach Carey Schwarzer said. “Riverside has good defensive pressure, and for the first three quarters of the game, it forced us into many bad decisions on offense.”
Big plays down the stretch on offense helped turn things around. After trailing 9-5 following the first quarter Medical Lake won the second quarter 15-6 to lead at the half 20-15 and put things away with an edge in the fourth.
Cassidy Hagel led the scoring with 11 points while Maleeka Wegner had 7 points and 10 rebounds against Riverside (1-1 NEA, 4-3 overall).
Friday versus Kettle Falls (1-2, 6-2) the Bulldogs came out pressing from the opening tip. “We did not handle the pressure, committing 23 turnovers,” Schwarzer said. “We did a good job attacking the hoop, but then could not convert at the free throw line, making 9 of 28.”
Kettle Falls’ Erin Johnson had a game-high 21points, 17 in the first half, something not lost on Schwarzer. “The first half our defense couldn’t stop Johnson who went off.”
The Cardinals made a run in the second half, trimming the margin to single-digits. “But then could not convert on the offensive end,” Schwarzer said.
Kettle Falls outrebounded Medical Lake 36 to 26, with 17 offensive rebounds. Wegner led Medical Lake with 12 points, 7 rebounds.
In their final nonleague game Wednesday versus Colville (0-0, 3-2 overall) of the Great Northern League, Schwarzer said her team, “Played solid team defense, but didn’t take care of the ball on the offensive end.” Hagel led ML with 11 points while Wegner had 10 points.
Medical Lake takes the Christmas holiday off, resuming play Saturday, Jan. 4 for a 4:15 p.m. game at Deer Park.
Paul Delaney can be reached at email@example.com.