Lady Cougs have a good week on the court

John Michaels
IVN Contributing Writer

The Illinois Valley High School girls basketball team had an encouraging week with a one win and a couple of close losses while hosting a pair of Valley Coast Conference games and traveling for a single league game in basketball last week. The Lady Cougars sit at 3-16 for the year right now with a 2-9 VCC mark.
The highlight of the week was a 43-23 victory over Gold Beach on Tuesday. The Panthers came to Cave Junction intent on getting revenge for the loss the Lady Cougars handed them earlier this season. For a half, it looked as though Gold Beach might get its vengeance.
In the opening quarter Illinois Valley could only manage field goals by Kaleigh Box and Jessame Pope, and dropped behind Gold Beach 7-4. The second quarter was a near repeat of the first, with field goals by Box and Pope in addition to a single free throw from Shelby Reed as the Panthers went in at halftime ahead of the Cougars 13-9.
I.V. really turned it around at halftime, focusing on getting the ball to Pope and outscoring Gold Beach 16-5 in the quarter to take a 24-18 lead heading into the final stanza. Pope scored eight of the Cougars’ 16 points in the quarter.
In the final quarter, I.V. again worked the ball into its forwards and centers as Pope, Evelyn Guzman and Charlotte boss each scored six points in the quarter.
While having one of its best offensive quarters of the year, the Cougars also got the job done on defense limiting the Panthers to just 5 points securing a second Valley Coast Conference victory.
Pope was the game’s high scorer pouring in 18 points on the night. Guzman and Bosse both chipped in eight points. Reed finished with five points on the evening while Box finished with four.
The week started with a home game against Lowell on Monday in a game re-scheduled due to an ice storm earlier this month. I.V. was very competitive, but dropped a 35-30 decision to the Devils.
The Cougars put together a solid, if unspectacular, first half, leading 13-12 at the intermission. In the second half, Lowell was just a little bit better, outscoring I.V. 16-12 in the third quarter to take a 28-25 lead going into the last eight minutes.
Unfortunately, Pope fouled out of the game and the Cougs were only able to manage five points in the quarter, while the Devils scored seven, leading to a disappointing 35-30 loss.
Pope was the main offensive threat for I.V. before being disqualified with 13 points. Guzman pitched in eight and Reed had five. Freshman Paige Paul, getting significant playing time with Pope’s foul trouble, chipped in four points.
On Thursday the Lady Cougars traveled to Reedsport and dropped a hard-fought 49-43 decision to the Brave. I.V. might have won this game had it been able to find an answer for Reedsport’s freshman phenom Sahara Kramer.
Kramer was unstoppable scoring 30 of the Brave’s 49 points. The Cougars held Kramer to just a pair of free throws in the first quarter and grabbed an early 16-8 lead. I.V. was hoping to build on the momentum from earlier in the week and actually build a winning streak. Kramer had other ideas.
The freshman torched the Cougars for 12 points in the second quarter, and Reedsport outpaced I.V. 21-8 in the period to take a 29-24 lead into the half.
I.V. cut the lead by one, to 37-33 at the end of three quarters and was in position to grab a third VCC win. Once again, Kramer had another plan. Kramer scored 10 points in the quarter, hitting two field goals and another pair from long distance. Her 10 points matched the I.V. output for the quarter and the Cougars dropped a 49-43 contest.
Pope scored 16 points to pace the I.V. Guzman added 11 for the Lady Cougars, while Reed chipped in eight. Bosse got credit for six point while freshman Kava Rose finished the I.V. scoring with a single field goal.
The Cougars host a pair of Valley Coast Conference games after traveling for their first game this week. The Cougars will go to Waldport on Monday for a game against the 19th-ranked Irish. On Friday, Toledo comes to Cave Junction for a game pitting teams with identical VCC records. On Saturday, I.V. will host Reedsport and try to find a way to stop Kramer and get its own revenge in a game rescheduled from Jan. 9.