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By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Lyle-Wishram boys start 2-0 while girls quickly improving

 

December 6, 2017

Jaryd Cline

Lyle-Wishram junior DaSean Leslie, left, and sophomore Brandon Montoya contest a shot against Klickitat-Glenwood senior Easton Atchley during the Klickitat Jamboree last Wednesday.

The Lyle-Wishram Cougars started off the season with a pair of wins that were aided by big fourth quarter runs.

The Cougars opened the season with a 68-49 win over the Columbia (White Salmon) Bruins on Friday in Lyle before picking up a win on the other side of the river after topping Dufur 56-47 on Saturday.

Lyle-Wishram was able to use its 2-2-1 zone press defense against both the Bruins and Rangers to force turnovers and easy scoring opportunities over the weekend.

"That's what we've been running (2-2-1 zone press) all practice and preparing and trying to go deep on the bench and be good at the end of the game conditioning wise," Padgett said. "I think that showed up a little bit in those games and I think we wanted it a little more toward the end."

Against the Bruins on Friday, the Cougars led 51-43 entering the fourth quarter, but outscored the visitors 17-6 in the fourth for the win.

The next night against Dufur, the Cougs were in their 2-2-1 zone press pretty much the entire game, giving fits to the young Rangers team.

By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, with the Cougs clinging to a 43-41 lead, the Rangers game slipped as their players wore down.

That's exactly what happened against Dufur, as the Cougs outscored the Rangers 13-6 over the last eight minutes to come away with the win.

The game was a lot closer in the opening half until a rally late in the second quarter sparked Lyle-Wishram. Leading by one with just over a minute left in the second, the Cougars scored seven straight points in the final minute of the half which gave the team a big boost in momentum entering halftime. What once was a one point lead turned into an eight point lead in just one minute of game time.

"That's kind of the idea of the press. You get points in a flurry," Padgett said.

"Every once in a while you'll get it and it will actually work out like it's supposed to and we got it right at the end of the second quarter."

The Cougars carried the momentum over into the third and fourth quarters and looked good offensively. They were moving the ball well and taking and making good shots, and put the game on ice with their defensive effort in the fourth quarter.

Box scores

Cougars 12 22 17 17 - 68

Bruins 13 13 17 6 - 49

Lyle-Wishram scoring: Riley Mills 18, DaSean Leslie 17, Kurtis Billette 8, Brandon Montoya 8, Randy Hubbard 6, Andrew Carlock 5, Jarren Leslie 4, Reco Quintero 2.

Cougars 14 16 13 13 - 56

Rangers 13 13 15 6 - 47

Lyle-Wishram scoring: DaSean Leslie 12, Zach Miller 10, Brandon Montoya 9, Randy Hubbard 8, Riley Mills 5, Andrew Carlock 4, Jarren Leslie 4, Kurtis Billette 4,

Up next

Both the Cougars boys and girls were on the road in Klickitat playing the Vandals on Tuesday, but results were unavailable at press time.

After Tuesday's contest, they are off until next Tuesday when they are scheduled for a rematch against White Salmon.

"It's kind of nice to play them twice that early in the season because you get to measure yourself pretty quick with your adjustments," Padgett said.

Girls

The Lyle-Wishram girls, under first-year head coach Ronni Orton, already have made big strides less than a week after the Klickitat Jamboree.

Jaryd Cline

Lyle-Wishram senior Shakira Kelly blocks a shot during the Klickitat Jamboree last Wednesday.

The Cougars fell in their opener to White Salmon 47-41 on Friday, but brought forth a much improved effort from just two days earlier in Klickitat.

"It was very intense. I think the girls had a lot of adrenalin and they played hard and used what we've been practicing and learned from our jamboree," Orton said.

They had been focusing on their man-to-man defense, and on Friday were able to use it to limit the Bruins' scoring.

Orton admitted she was expecting her team to make a few more mistakes in the first game of the season, but was impressed with how her girls shared the ball, took good shots, and just competed against the bigger Bruins.

"The girls really came out and stepped their game up," she said, "and proved that they can tackle what we've been working on."

The Cougars fell the next day across the river against Dufur, dropping a 49-16 decision to the Rangers.

 

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