ECHO — Despite painting with a palette that was missing one of its boldest colors in post Matney Jamieson, the Condon/Wheeler Knights still created a fine finished product Friday in their Big Sky Conference opener in Echo. The game was no masterpiece, but impressive enough.
The Knights pushed past the Cougars 66-53 in their closest game of the year.
The Condon/Wheeler (7-0, 1-0 BSC) attack was peppered with swatches of Ellie Logan. The junior did her best to fill the big 6-footer’s gap left in the middle and was as dangerous from mid-range as right under the hoop. Logan scored a game-high 24 points and nabbed 15 rebounds, including nine on the offensive end.
“We have our big man that’s missing right now and she has those long arms where we could throw up a pass and know that she’ll get it,” the Knights’ Courtney MacInnes said. “Then we have someone who’s quick like Ellie wherever she is.”
The Knights ran down the depth chart in Friday’s win with five girls within four points of the second team lead. Deana Harris and MacInnes each scored 10 points and Emma Logan had another nine in coach Teresa Humphrey’s deep bag of tricks.
The Cougars scored a season high with their 53 points while shooting a matching 53 percent for the game. But Condon/Wheeler’s pressure defense kept the number of Echo’s total offensive possessions down. Echo turned the ball over 34 times with the Knights stealing the ball away 20 times.
Echo pulled to within 10 points with six minutes to play after having trailed by 16 early in the fourth quarter. But turnovers kept the Cougars at bay. Brittney Lyda and Ellie Logan had back-to-back steals that sparked a pair of Logan lay-ups to push Condon/Wheeler’s lead to a game-high 17 points.
“Turnovers have been a story of our season and we still don’t have that true point guard, that understanding and feel for a close game,” said Echo coach Derrek Lete. “It’s a little bit of a confidence thing, the girls knowing they can take care of that ball.”
Ashley Chandler led the Cougars with 14 points off the bench and Evangalyn Marcum added another 12. Katelyn Elligson was stymied for only eight points, but pulled down 17 rebounds to lead all players.
Ellie Logan was closing in on a triple-double at the end of the game with nine steals. Harris added another five.
“We get a lot of turnovers but we usually have a lot of turnovers ourselves; it gets a little out of control sometimes but tonight was better,” Logan said. “I think just having patience and not taking the first open shot.”
Condon/Wheeler turned the ball over just 12 times, but didn’t pull away as quickly as in games past this season. The Knights hadn’t won a game by fewer than 14 points prior to Friday’s action and shot a relatively low 33 percent from the field.
The Big Sky games will go on hold for a few days for both teams. Condon/Wheeler heads back home to Fossil for a matchup with Trout Lake (WA) on Saturday while Echo is at home again that same day against DeSales (WA).
Contact AJ Mazzolini at email@example.com or (541) 966-0839.