Cougars defeat Badgers 49-42 in round two, head to Baker.

Country Christian’s girls basketball team beat Powder Valley 49-42 on Friday, Feb. 28, in round two of the 1A State Championship. The Cougars advanced to the quarterfinals and play second-ranked Damascus Christian on Wednesday, March 5, at Baker High School.

“The reality is [Damascus Christian is] really, really, really good,” Coach Russell Halverson said. “It could go a lot of different ways. We’re going over there to win. There’s not one girl in this group that’s just satisfied going to Baker. They want to win over there.”

And the Cougars have proved they know how to win. The team went into the playoffs ranked 11th in the state with a round-one bye. Their round-two opponent, Powder Valley, was ranked 10th in the state and brought some big guns to the court. Their 6 foot 1 inch tall post, their “wily” point guard, Alexandra Colton, and good shooters made overcoming the Badgers incredibly difficult, Halverson said. However, the Cougars brought in a sound strategy.

“[Colton] was too fast to press,” Halverson said. “Their guards are dangerous … Our strategy was to wear them out.”

Early on, the Cougars struggled to hit shots, and the Badgers took the lead. However, Country Christian’s girls fought through three tough quarters, never giving up, and finally found the momentum and luck they needed in the fourth.

“For three and half quarters we were getting beat,” Halverson said. “Then the kids knuckled up and played out of their minds. They weren’t going to lose. These kids just didn’t know better.”

Courtney McGrath, who finished with eight assists, held her own against Colton, right up into the fourth, when Colton fouled out.

“[Colton] got tired and reckless in the fourth,” Halverson said. “The momentum shifted—the crowd was incredible—and we got all over them.”

Kennedy Nofziger, who had 16 points, “knocked down a three at a crucial point,” Halverson said, which tied the game in the last minutes. “Then we kept trapping and pressing them.”

The win sent the Cougars on to the quarter finals.

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