While West Valley was coming through the first weekend of Frontier League basketball unscathed, Sabron Stone could hardly stand not being a part of it.
Stone, who had been averaging 13.3 points and 9 rebounds per game before he broke his wrist in a fall against Sandpoint, is not a good bench sitter.
“I don’t like it at all,” said Stone of his injuryforced hiatus.
Scheduled to miss five weeks of the season, he expects to be back sooner.
“I can’t wait that long,” Stone said. “I’m going to cut the cast off in two weeks.”
Coach Joe Feist hopes he’s right.
“He was the one thing that made us special,” said Feist. “We’re not as quick as we were and can’t pressure the point anymore on defense.”
Still, the Eagles got off to an impressive start. WV beat Clarkston 57-34 by limiting the host Bantams to 11 second-half points, and cofavorite Pullman 65-50 by outscoring the Greyhounds 19-7 in the game’s final nine minutes.
“It was a good weekend for us,” said Feist. “Neither win was pretty, but I thought we competed hard.”
During the two wins the Eagles canned 21 three-point baskets, getting a 24-point first night from David Schillinger and 25 the next night (on seven treys) from Brian Lindley.
The Eagles also had a huge rebounding advantage over the Greyhounds, led by Greg Jones’ 15 and Joe Bonner’s 11.
Although Schillinger struggled offensively, Feist said his play against Pullman’s double teams and trapping defense was instrumental in victory.
“I thought David did a great job of taking care of the ball,” Feist said. “That might have been the key.’
WV girls untrack at right time
West Valley’s veteran girls basketball team had struggled with three wins in nine nonleague games.
Last weekend’s season-opening sweep of their first two league games revitalized the Eagles at the right time.
This weekend the team has games against Colville at home and at unbeaten Cheney.
“The first game is the one we are most concerned with, it is really big for us,” said Coach Mark Kuipers of the impending showdown. “The second game we’ll deal with when it comes.”
He credited improved defense with West Valley’s 45-35 win in Clarkston and 50-45 victory over the defending league champion Greyhounds.
“We gave them a lot of stuff in the preseason and it was a matter of picking out what they ran best,” he said.
The Eagles were also playing at full strength with Kaci Stansbury recovered from an ankle injury and two others back from suspension.
“For a while we were disrupted,” said Kuipers. “The girls played hard and played well but those we were missing were worth 20 points a game.”
WV outscored Clarkston 13-7 in the second and fourth quarters, capitalizing on Bantam foul troubles. They outscored Pullman 16-11 in the fourth quarter to win the next night.
Dawn Salfer scored 16 points, including two critical 3’s in the final period. Stansbury was 8 for 8 from the free throw line.
“We’re not near where we want to be,” said Kuipers after the weekend. “But I can’t be any more satisfied than to be 2-0 in league play.”
Freeman ambushed in Kettle Falls
Kettle Falls hasn’t been kind to Freeman.
First the football team, now the basketball team has been ambushed by the Bulldogs.
Strange things, football coach John Custer had said, can occur there. Like the 74 percent field goal shooting that beat Freeman despite the fact the Scotties themselves scored 80 points.
“Kettle Falls is a difficult place to play,” said Coach John Nelson. “And we ran into a team that shot well and got on a roll.”
Coming on the heels of a huge 61-45 victory at Riverside, the loss prevented the Scotties from sharing second place in the Northeast A.
The focus obviously was on the Riverside game in which the Scotties broke a 25-25 halftime deadlock to run away from their hosts.
“We made some adjustments after struggling in the first half,” said Nelson. “We slowed Riverside to a point where on offense they were standing around.”
Next night Kettle Falls couldn’t be stopped despite having won just one game previously. The Bulldogs outscored Freeman 44-36 in the first half and held on.
“It’s hard to prepare for two games back-toback, expecially when you have a biggie on Friday,” said Nelson. “The Riverside win was really gratifying.”
Travis Goldsmith had a big weekend, scoring 51 points in the games. He’s averaging 17.1 points for the year.
Freeman hosts league runnerup Medical Lake on Friday.
Still chasing Bi-County elite
Valley Christian’s boys and girls basketball teams have experienced their share of success.
But the Panthers still find themselves chasing the Bi-County League’s best teams.
The boys have lost only once in the preseason but are just 2-5 against league foes. They led unbeaten Sprague-Harrington into the fourth quarter before losing 67-62 and were beaten in Ritzville.
After 11 games, Travis Harken is averaging 15.8 points, Austin Gerrells 13.4 and Aaron Asbury 12.9 per outing.
The girls have a school-record four victories overall this year and are likely to win nearly as many more in league.
Key performers in the first 11 games have included scoring leaders Stacey Hudson, Carmen Evans and Nicole Monforten, averaging nearly 8 points per game each.