By PAUL DELANEY
The starts were encouraging, but the finishes disappointing.
That was the quick coach’s diagnosis on the Medical Lake girl’s basketball week that saw the Cardinals stumble and go winless last week.
Medical Lake (3-6 Northeast A, 5-11 overall) extended their losing streak to four games following losses 50-31 to Riverside, 54-40 at Kettle Falls and 50-35 at home to Freeman.
“In both the Riverside and Kettle Falls games, we played good team basketball in the first halves,” head coach Carey Schwarzer said.
The Cards led 17-16 at the half against Riverside (2-6, 5-11) but their offense went away over the final two quarters, scoring just 14 points. At Kettle Falls (4-5, 9-7) it was largely the same with Medical Lake leading 29-20 at the break, but getting just 11 second half points.
Marisa Pace with 15 points and Jamie Hardy’s 12, the majority scored in the second half, fueled the Scotties’ 34-14 second half surge. Cassidy Hagel’s 10 were tops for the Cardinals once again.
“We came out after the break and didn’t execute and lacked intensity on offense and defense,” Schwarzer said. “In both games, we got flat out-worked in the second half, and we got outrebounded, by eight versus Riverside and by 10 in Kettle Falls.”
Hagel’s 12 points were tops for her team versus Riverside, as were her 10 at Kettle Falls. Maleeka Wegner had nine versus the Bulldogs.
Against Freeman (8-0, 12-4) the Scotties raced to a 28-17 lead in the first half, which proved to be plenty of a cushion. “Freeman is a quality team that knows how to win,” Schwarzer said.
“We had a great team effort against Freeman that kept the game close at times, but we had too many slip ups on defense and in our offensive execution,” Schwarzer said.
Medical Lake was at Newport (4-5 NEA, 11-6 overall) this past Tuesday. The Cards host Lakeside (7-1, 14-2) Friday at 5:45 p.m. before wrapping up the regular season hosting Chewelah (1-8, 4-13) next Tuesday.
The Cards will be battling for playoff positioning, and even possible postseason survival in the final three contests as they are just a game ahead of Riverside and Chewelah (2-7, 4-13) in the win column and a game behind Newport and Kettle Falls in a tightly-bunched pack behind Freeman and Lakeside.
District play begins Monday, Feb. 10 with the highest seeds hosting first round games.
Paul Delaney can be reached at email@example.com.