The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Brandon Cline
Managing Editor 

Lady Broncos get big win over Colfax, playoffs in sight

 

January 24, 2019

Journal photo by Brandon Cline

Sophomore guard Linnea Schafer shoots the ball as she drives the baseline in the Lady Broncos' win over Colfax on Jan. 19. Schafer finished the game with 18 points.

The Lind-Ritzville/Sprague Lady Broncos split a pair of league games over the weekend to move to 4-3 in league play as the end of the regular season draws nearer.

The Lady Broncos' weekend got off to a tough start on Jan. 18, as they traveled to Spangle to take on the Liberty Lancers, who entered the game with a 4-1 record in league play and a 12-2 record overall on the season. The Lancers dominated the game from the get-go, leading 44-15 at halftime and winning by a score of 66-34.

No LRS player finished in double figures in scoring, with junior Eliza Galbreath leading the team in scoring with nine points. Freshman Dakota Killian finished with eight points and sophomore Julia Klein scored six points. The 34 points by the Lady Broncos was the fewest the team has scored in a game since Dec. 11, when they scored just 29 points in a loss to this same Liberty team.

Head coach Steve Wellsandt said he went into the game wanting his team to pack the paint defensively against Liberty's best player-and probably the best player in the league-Maisie Burnham, and force the other Liberty players to beat them. Unfortunately the Lancers caught fire in the opening quarter, hitting five three-pointers in the first quarter alone.

But LRS recovered and turned around the very next night to take down the Colfax Bulldogs at home, 55-47. The game was close throughout, with the Lady Broncos leading 26-23 at halftime.

LRS held that narrow lead throughout much of the second half before building a larger lead late in the fourth quarter. The Lady Broncos were able to hold onto that lead and not allow Colfax to get close thanks to clutch free throw shooting in the game's final two minutes and a three-pointer from the corner from senior Lacey Miller.

"It really was some solid free throw shooting in the final few minutes," said Wellsandt. "And that's where those possessions mean something. As much as we try to, you just can't replicate that in practice, it's hard."

Sophomore Linnea Schafer led the Lady Broncos in the scoring department with 18 points and six assists (shooting 8-10 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter), while Galbreath and Klein each scored 11 points in the win. Wellsandt said he thought Klein played her best all-around game of the season, as she shot 5-10 from the field, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out three assists and didn't turn the ball over.

Wellsandt was pleased with the team's assist-to-turnover ratio in the game, as they recorded 12 assists compared to just eight turnovers against the Bulldogs.

"That's something that we haven't been doing well this year, and the last few ballgames it's been a lot better," said Wellsandt. "We're looking for each other and looking for the open man."

The Lady Broncos are now 4-3 in league play and 7-9 overall, with three league games and one non-league game left in the regular season. The loss dropped Colfax to 5-2 in league play, with both of their league losses coming at the hands of LRS.

The team took on non-league foe Northwest Christian on Jan. 22 in their final non-league game. And while the Northwest Christian Crusaders aren't in the same league as LRS, they may face the fellow Northeast 2B Conference school in the conference tournament in February.

The team travels to Tekoa to take on the Tekoa-Rosalia Timberwolves on Jan. 25. The Lady Broncos beat the Timberwolves soundly in their first matchup of the year on Jan. 11, 68-28 at the Gilson Gymnasium. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

 

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