Bulldogs win one, lose one

Chris Rader | Special to the Statesman-ExaminerChris Rader | Special to the Statesman-ExaminerChris Rader | Special to the Statesman-Examiner
Chris Rader
Special to the Statesman-Examiner

Kettle Falls boys’ basketball earned a split in two games before Christmas, a 75-54 win over Mary Walker (Springdale) and a 65-55 loss to Oroville. The Bulldogs are now 6-4 overall and are 2-0 in NE-2B league play.
Kettle Falls has shown an ability to score in bunches this season, but still struggle with cold spells that can cause problems. Head Coach Cameron Stewart stressed the need for consistency. “We have multiple scorers, so we’re not really worried about our scoring," he said. "We just have to be more consistent in our offensive execution over four quarters.”
Matt Thompson, Charlie Andrews and Cade McKern are doing the bulk of the scoring for the Bulldogs, but Carter Matney and Morgan Keller are also capable of scoring at times for Kettle Falls. Coach Stewart feels the most consistent effort this season has come from Matt Thompson. “He’s not shooting the ball as well from deep this year as he was last year. He’s close to finding it though. Overall he’s a much better player this year, he’s a reliable defender, he takes care of the ball, he gets a lot of tough transition buckets, gets in the passing lanes, he’s been pretty good at attacking the basket and scoring from midrange too.”
On the road at Mary Walker (3-5) the Bulldogs established a first quarter advantage, jumping out to a 17-9 lead and led 35-24 at halftime. In the third quarter, Kettle Falls took control with a 29-12 outburst to turn their nine-point lead into a 26-point gap, this proved too much for the Chargers to overcome in the fourth period and Kettle Falls took home the 75-54 victory. Charlie Andrews led the Bulldogs with an efficient 24 points, while Matt Thompson added 17 points. Dustin Cates had 19 points to lead Mary Walker.
Kettle Falls hosted Oroville (6-2, 5-1) to close out their week and the Bulldogs were unable to maintain the advantage built on the strength of a well-played first quarter in a 65-55 loss to the Hornets. Kettle Falls built a 17-12 lead in the first quarter by pressuring the Hornets, causing turnovers and foul trouble for Spencer Martin and Anthony Jamison. Adjustments by Oroville allowed the Hornets to break the Bulldogs press more easily and at the same time Kettle Falls went cold from the field. The second and third quarters saw Kettle Falls outscored 35-21, and at times the Bulldogs trailed by as much as 15 points in the fourth quarter before a late rally closed the gap to 10 points by the final buzzer. “Spencer Martin was tough to deal with,” said Coach Stewart. “He’s an inside-outside player and he was tough on boards, defense, he could post up and shoot the ball too.” Martin finished with 26 points while Austin Bernard finished with 15 points for the Hornets. Kettle Falls was led by Matt Thompson’s 16 points, while Cade McKern chipped in with 15 points.
Kettle Falls is staying busy during the break with the inaugural Kettle Falls Holiday Tournament, Dec. 27-28. Mary Walker, Northport, Odessa, Jenkins (Chewelah), Colville are all taking part. See results in the Jan. 2 Statesman-Examiner.
After this weekend, Kettle Falls next game is at home on Jan. 4 against St. George’s (7-0, 2-0) at 7:30 p.m.