By Kim Staudinger
The Chinook Sugarbeeters, playing their only game of the weekend Saturday against Cascade, capitalized on numerous chances at the free-throw line to come away with a 67-59 win.
The Badgers led nearly the entire game, taking a 49-45 lead into the fourth quarter. The two teams met on the hardwood for the first time this season due to a rescheduling that dropped Simms off the Chinook schedule.
Chinook head coach Derek Miller said he didn't quite know what to expect from the winless Badgers, whom he hadn't seen play in several years. Still, Miller said, his team did not come out ready and that hurt them early on.
"We put ourselves in a position we shouldn't have been in," he said.
Cascade jumped out early and led by one at the end of the first quarter. The Badgers increased their lead to 33-26 at the half, sparked by 21 second-quarter points. The lead began to diminish after the third quarter, at 49-45.
Led by a key three-point basket by Casey Schmitt and free throws by nearly every team member, the Beeters battled back to outscore Cascade 22-10 in the fourth. With the Badgers in foul trouble in the fourth quarter, the Sugarbeeters capitalized on their chances at the foul line, sinking 13 of 21 free throws for 62 percent to seal the win.
"It was an ugly win," Miller said. "But it was a win nonetheless. You have to give Cascade credit. They came out ready to play. Our kids came through and hit some clutch free throws and played better down the stretch. I am really pleased with them showing some heart and coming back like that."
With the win, Chinook improved to 2-1 on the season, doubling the wins the Beeters had all season last year. Chinook's other win came against Cut Bank, while the only loss came to Wolf Point.
Chinook's next games are this weekend against Harlem and Malta.
12 21 16 1059
11 15 19 2267
Cascade John Rumney 13, Paul Moe 5, Clay Nylund 14, Shane Voss 13, Will Milburn 2, Kory Hastings 4, Matt Weakland 6, Cody Tamositis 2.
Chinook Mike Mirenes 6, Kevin Hansen 16, Matt Roseberry 1, Casey Schmitt 18, Mickey Haney 8, Morgan Strauser 5, Jordan Nissen 13.