Sandpoint basketball teams battle Bonners Ferry

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(Photo by DYLAN GREENE) Senior Aly Lish dribbles prior to passing the ball to a teammate against Timberlake on Dec. 12 at Les Rogers Court.

After the winter storm forced the school to cancel Saturday’s games at West Valley, the Sandpoint boys and girls basketball teams return to action Tuesday to face Bonners Ferry.

The last time the boys team was on the court they suffered a 61-54 loss at Moscow on Thursday. Just like nearly every game for the Bulldogs so far this season, it came down to the final minutes.

In the end, Sandpoint came up short in its first league game of the season. Although, head coach Wade Engelson continued to be impressed by the play of his younger players who have stepped up all season.

Led by freshmen Colin Roos and Arie VanDenBerg, the younger Bulldogs have showed they aren’t phased by the varsity spotlight giving the team valuable minutes in crucial moments.

The Bulldogs streak of failing to win a regular season league contest is now up to 12 straight. But if Sandpoint continues playing like they did against the Bears that streak will certainly come to an end when they meet at Les Rogers Court on Feb. 8.

The girls are coming off a 60-42 home defeat last Wednesday to arguably one of the top 5A teams in the state in Lake City.

Despite losing, the Bulldogs did a handful of positive things including outscoring the Timberwolves 30-28 in the second half and getting senior Maddie Morgan going from behind the 3-point line.

Morgan has always been a threat from outside but early on in the season, Sandpoint struggled getting her clean looks at the basket. But its clear that has changed recently especially against Lake City where Morgan drilled a 3-pointer and knocked down a couple jumpers en route to 9 points.

It was apparent Morgan was starting to feel it as her shot became effortless. If the Bulldogs can continue finding Morgan and making sure she gets her shots off, Sandpoint has a great chance to capture the league title and get back to state.

One thing that both the boys and girls teams have undoubtedly struggled with this season is getting going early in games.

Both Engelson and girls head coach Will Love have made it a point to make sure that doesn’t happen to their squads as they head into the most crucial part of their seasons.

The girls host Bonners Ferry 7 p.m. tonight at Les Rogers Court while the boys play at the Badgers at the same time.

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