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Country Christian dominated Portland Waldorf and Southwest Christian to improve league record to 4-0

ARCHIVE PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Country Christian freshman Lizzy GrandleIn its most lopsided victory of the season, Country Christian's girls' basketball team ran through the Portland Waldorf Wolfpack 66-19 Tuesday, Dec. 18. The win stretched the Cougars win streak to seven, and improved the league record to 3-0.

Freshman Emma Parmelee had the standout performance of the game, scoring 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 steals over the course of the 32 minutes. All of those baskets came from inside the arc, as Parmelee did not attempt any free throws or 3-pointers during the game.

The Country Christian team as a whole kept the scoring under the basket, only attempting two 3-pointers all game.

The lopsided score was at its worst for the Wolfpack in the second quarter, as Country Christian outscored the opposition 20-0 in that time. The closest quarter of the game was the first, when the Cougars only led by 13-8. The writing was on the wall by halftime.

Freshman point guard Lizzy Grandle was the next highest scorer with 10 points, shooting an impressive 83 percent from the field. Fellow freshman McKenzie Syphard nearly had a double-double in the game, recording 9 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 steals in 20 minutes of play. Lilly Begley had 9 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds.

In the next league encounter, Country Christian bested Southwest Christian 49-39 on Thursday, Dec. 20. The win was a showcase night for Grandle, who recorded 23 points on the night, scoring 18 points from the field. The next closest scorer was senior Sarah Phillips with 10 points.

"Southwest did a good job of front and backing Sarah and tripling down," head coach Russ Halverson said. "The referees let them play too, so it opened things up for the guards more."

The Cougars were consistent in their scoring, notching 12, 11, and 12 points in the first three quarters respectively. However, they turned it on and finished strong in the fourth quarter with 14 team points.

The team shot just 20-for-63 from the floor, but was able to rake in 47 rebounds to keep things in its favor. Syphard had 15 rebounds, and Phillips had 10. Another thing the team had going for it was the steal-turnover ratio. Country Christian only allowed 6 turnovers, while getting 11 steals of its own.

"I think we played okay, but struggled to shoot and look whooped," Halverson said. "Having a generally young team means there's tons to do in practice, so we work them extremely hard mentally and physically every day. Combine that with back to back tournament weekends with strong competition and we look tired.

"Having four days off for Christmas will be a good reset and refresh time, and I'm curious to see how we look after," Halverson continued.

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