PRIEST RIVER - The Spartan varsity girls basketball team showed much improvement in an impressive 45-12 victory over Upper Columbia Academy here Jan. 4.
Head coach Christina Leonard said, “We reduced our turnovers with better passing, which has been a focus in practice. Our girls are working hard on their shooting during practice, and that is really starting to show.”
Team co-captain Liann Kren was back on the court after an injury that sidelined her for weeks prior to the Christmas break. Teamed up with fellow junior Jasmine Martin and sophomores Karah Fink, Adrie Minish, and Chelsea Brown, Kren directed the young Spartan team in a total team victory.
In a reversal of fortunes, instead of suffering from an opponent’s full-court press as they had earlier in the season, against the Lions the Spartans used a full-court press with great success. “Our defense is one of our strongest areas right now and the girls are learning to adapt and make changes as they see them on the floor,” said Leonard. The Spartans held UCA to zero points in the final quarter while posting 18 points of their own.
After falling behind early, UCA suffered another blow when its best shooter Julie Meagan went down with a knee injury midway through the contest and sat out much of the game. She led the Lions in scoring with 10 points.
Jasmine Martinez was Priest River’s high scorer with 10 points, and Adrie Minish led the Spartans with eight rebounds. After helping the junior varsity team for three quarters earlier in the day, Shayla Martinez scored seven points during her one quarter of varsity play Jan. 4.
Leonard said, “We are a young team and learning and developing as we go through the season. I am really proud of their performance last night.”
At Lakeland Jan. 5, the team got off to a slow 20-4 start and did not recover, losing 55-23. Kren led Priest River with seven points. At Bonners Ferry Jan. 6, the Badgers imposed their will on the team from Priest River in a 62-18 thrashing. Fink led Spartan scorers with seven points.
PR 10 12 5 18 - 45
UCA 2 5 5 0 - 12
Karah Fink 9, Leanne Kren 5, Jasmine Martin 10, Chelsea Brown 4, Maddy Rusho 3, Adrie Minish 2, Chelsea Brown 4, Serena Archer 2, Jordan Martinez 3, Shayla Martinez 7.
Upper Columbia Academy
Meagan T. 10, Josie C. 2.
PR 4 7 5 7 - 23
Lkl 20 14 14 7 - 55
Kren 7, Fink 4, Brown 2, Minish 0, Martin 6, Russo 2, Fitzmorris 0, Archer 0, Pound 0, Martinez 0, Martin 2.
Leon 9, Cooper 4, Schnepf 6, Pruitt 2, Loutzenhiser 12, Edinger 8, Elpers 8, Neff 4, Kirk 2, Stutheit 0, Rivera 0, Rohde 0.
PR 2 14 2 0 - 18
BF 35 12 11 4 - 62
Kren 1, Russo 0, Brown 2, Fink 7, Fitzmorris 0, Jo. Martin 2, Archer 0, Martinez 3, Minish 0, Ja. Martin 3.
B. Blackmore 2, Skeen 11, Pluid 4, Villelli 5, Wenk 4, Burt 0, Bateman 6, Ansley 21, Liermann 3, Ram 0, E. Blackmore 6.