Country Christian wins defensive battle at Colton
COLTON — Country Christian coach Russ Halverson and Colton coach Valerie Wakefield spent much of their postgame interviews complimenting each other team's defense.
Offense was another story, as the Cougars went on the road to defeat rival Colton 40-25 Thursday night in a non-league girls basketball game.
"They're executing really well, and defensively running some good schemes, too," Halverson said of Colton. "They kept adjusting so we kept having to figure out where our scoring options were. That was a good mental test. She's (Wakefield) got them playing some good basketball."
Country Christian never trailed, opening the game on a 6-0 run.
Colton senior Madie Beguelin knocked down a 3-pointer with 3:35 remaining in the first quarter to get the Vikings on the scoreboard. She then made two free throws to get Colton within 6-5.
The Cougars led 11-9 after the first quarter and began putting some distance between themselves and Colton in the second period as the Vikings struggled offensively.
Country Christian sophomore Lilly Begley banked in a 3-pointer to give the Cougars a 20-13 lead at halftime.
Colton then scored just five points in the third quarter to fall behind 29-18.
The Vikings, who missed six straight free throws in the second half and finished the game 5-for-18 from the foul line, were stuck at 18 points until sophomore Olivia Haines scored with 3:40 remaining in the game to get Colton within 33-20.
"I thought we got good looks," Wakefield. "They just didn't fall for whatever reason. Kudos to Country, they crash the boards super hard. They play good defense. It's not like our shots were uncontested or anything like that, but I thought we got good looks. We've just go to get them to fall."
Country Christian sophomore Lizzy Grandle, who led all scorers with 16 points, had 10 in the second half.
Freshman Allison Bafford added seven points to go along with 13 rebounds.
With shots not falling from the outside, Grandle and Bafford did most of their damage in the paint.
"We were also having trouble hitting out on the perimeter, so it was nice to see us make the adjustment where we went with Lizzy and Annie as post and worked inside," Halverson said.
Beguelin led Colton with 10 points. Haines added seven points.
Both Country Christian and Colton were coming off tough league games.
The Cougars came from behind to defeat Damascus Christian, coached by Valerie Wakefield's father Dave, 41-38 Tuesday.
"It was a very good scheming," Halverson said of the game, which Country Christian trialed in by six points in the fourth quarter. "They're sharp coaches. She's doing the exact same thing he does, and she's doing it well."
Grandle had 16 points and 11 rebounds against Damascus.
Colton lost 40-37 at Santiam on Tuesday.
"We've had a few tough losses lately, but I feel like we've improved a lot from where we started, and hopefully we'll just continue in that direction," Wakefield said of the Vikings five-game losing streak. "We're just trying to find some consistency offensively. Shooting has been up and down and tonight was obviously down."
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