Wolves rally past Falcons, 27-26 | RecordCourier.com

Wolves rally past Falcons, 27-26

Staff Reports
Sierra Lutheran guard Natalie Echeverria delivers a pass between two Coleville defenders on Saturday.
Shannon Litz | The Record-Courier

Statistics didn’t paint an accurate picture on Saturday of the Western Division IV girls basketball game between Coleville and Sierra Lutheran.

Just consider Sierra Lutheran shot 39 percent from the field and Coleville shot 18 percent. Then again, Coleville put up 62 shots as opposed to Sierra Lutheran’s 31.

In the end, a pair of Stephanie Sandoval free throws down the stretch proved decisive for Coleville (12-5 overall, 6-3 league) in its come-from-behind 27-26 victory at Sierra Lutheran.

“It was definitely a defensive battle,” Coleville coach Will Sandy said. “We were happy to get out of there with a win. Sierra Lutheran played a good game. They executed their offensive game plan very well; they had half as many shots but they made theirs count.”

Sandoval finished with 10 points, including those free throws that tied the score and then gave Coleville its 27-26 lead. Sophomore post Shaylor McCann also had 8 points, including a key putback that brought the Wolves to within one point late in the fourth quarter. McCann also grabbed 7 rebounds.

Sierra Lutheran (7-12, 2-6) led by as much as 10-2 early in the second quarter and was on top at halftime, 10-8. The Falcons took a 20-19 lead to the fourth quarter.

“This was our best overall offensive execution of the season,” Sierra Lutheran coach Michael Nelson said. “The girls are really beginning to understand the point of our offense. They got a bunch of easy shots, which is what we designed our offense for. The Coleville zone slowed us down a bit, but we were still able to get where we wanted to be, just didn’t get the buckets.

“We made too many physical mistakes (17 turnovers) in the first half, which kept them in the game, and too many mental mistakes (giving up offensive rebounds to Coleville) at the end of the game to earn the victory.”

Cali Benton shot 6-for-10 from the floor for the Falcons and finished with a game-high 12 points plus she grabbed 8 rebounds.

Amy Westre also had 8 rebounds while Sabrina Ronato and Leanna Temple each dished out 3 assists for the Falcons.

Also for Coleville, Nicole Smith pulled down 12 rebounds to go with 4 assists and 4 steals. Aide Merito, McCann and Smith combined to grab 19 offensive rebounds for the Wolves.

“We did a good job there,” Sandy said of the offensive rebounds. “That and we had a lot of steals (18). We had a lot of good shots, we just couldn’t put the ball in the basket.”