Lady Tigers finish final week 1-2

TONASKET – The Tonasket girls’ basketball team finished their final week of the season with one win and two losses last week for a fifth place Caribou Trail League finish, ending with a league record of 2-8 and an overall record of 8-12

On Tuesday, Feb. 1, the Lady Tigers lost in Okanogan 53-22.

“Okanogan is a very good team so you can’t look at your stats directly with theirs, you have to look at how you played as a team,” Head Coach Stephanie Schertenleib said. “Our defense was pretty solid, specifically in the second half and I thought we got some good passes into our posts from our offense.”

Senior Shelby Olma had six points while senior Jerian Ashley had five points, senior Jayden Hawkins had four points and six rebounds, sophomore Devan Utt had four points and senior Karen Keeton had three points.

On Thursday, Feb. 3, the Lady Tigers defeated Omak for the second time this season 46-39.

“I thought our team showed a lot of heart against Omak,” Schertenleib said. “They were down by nine in the third quarter and come back to within two by the fourth quarter, where the outscored their opponent by nine to win. [Taylor] Ayers came through with some key rebounds throughout the game, Hawkins really got a couple key offensive rebounds for putbacks and Ashley finished the second half better than I have seen all year. They really pulled it together and came out with a win. I was really proud.”

Ashley led the Lady Tigers with 12 points while Hawkins had 10, Ayers had eight, Olma had five, senior Michelle Carlson had four, Utt had three and Keeton and sophomore Megan Beyers each had two.

In their final game, the Lady Tigers suffered a Senior Night loss of 67-37 at home against Cashmere.

“Cashmere really shot the ball well, scoring 36 points in the first half,” Schertenleib said. “We actually played pretty well but it just wasn’t enough to keep us from digging a hole going into the second half. They pressure the heck out of the ball and it just really wears on you. They are the quickest team in our league and maybe the quickest team we have played all year. I thought our girls came out and gave a heart-felt effort and I applaud them for that. Having this be our last game and with six seniors who devoted themselves to this sport of basketball for so long, it was very emotional. My heart goes out to them because I can still feel that emptiness I had when I looked at their faces after their last game.”

Hawkins led the Lady Tigers with 11 points while Olma, Ashley and Ayers all had eight and Utt had two.

“We could tell people played hard and the seniors really wanted to win,” Ayers said. “I believe we came out as a team. This week, we were really excited to beat Omak again because it was nice to have another win in our league and even [Schertenleib] said we improved so much and grew together as a team.”

Schertenleib said the team improved more than just their record this season over last season.

“They have reduced their turnovers, increased points per game, had more steals and just got more even scoring throughout the team,” she said. “It is hard to look back at your season and see anything but a loss, because that is how it ended. The fact of the matter is every team but one will end their season with a loss. I hope they will remember that. I don’t have any regrets with this team; I felt they tried their hardest and never gave up. What more can I ask for? They are a great group of girls and I loved having the opportunity to coach them.”

The team banquet has been tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. but Schertenleib said that may change.