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For the week of February 14 through 20, 2001

Cutthroat girls enjoy a banner season

Northside JV tournament champions

Coach Ryan Waterfield was pleased with the progress of The Community School girls’ basketball program this winter.

Playing a junior varsity schedule, the Cutthroats improved throughout the season and finished with the best record, 11-6, in 16 years of Cutthroat basketball.

The Cutthroats won seven of their final nine games including a dramatic 45-42 double overtime win over top-seeded Carey in the championship game of the Northside Conference JV tourney Jan. 27 at Gooding.

Pauli Ochi scored 16 points in the title game. Jamie Terry had 11 points plus 9 rebounds and 4 blocked shots, Katie Matteson 5 assists and 3 steals, and freshman Jenny Rutherford 8 points, a team-high 14 rebounds and 4 steals.

Waterfield said, "It was an exciting game. I was very proud of the girls for their focus and for holding on to a close game. They have every chance to give up but they never hung their heads.

"We set this championship as our goal at the end of the year. While we would have liked to have a better overall record, there were some great lessons learned over the course of the season—things like sacrifices for the team.

"The girls really understood what it was going to take to win and they pulled through!"

It was the first tournament championship for fifth-year Cutthroat coach Waterfield (38-40), whose three JV teams have a combined 25-21 record.

The Community School had won its first Northside JV tournament championship for coach Deborah Newlen in 1996, when Brooke Bergdahl’s 12-footer with 15 seconds left topped a Cutthroat comeback for a 25-23 win over Shoshone. That team finished at 10-9.

Ironically, the Cutthroats played their best basketball after sophomore guard Erika Connelly left school and moved over Christmas break, taking her leadership and 7.6 ppg scoring average with her.

Waterfield said, "We worried over the loss of Erika and, while we all missed her dearly, she was as much a presence on the court as anyone else at the tournament.

"Pauli and I were both thinking about Erika every time Pauli stepped to the free throw line in overtime!"

The coach added, "Pauli played a great overall game. Her ball-handling has improved so much over last year. She works hard, and I enjoy coaching her.

"Although Pauli made some mental errors that I hope we won’t see next year, she really pulled it together mentally when she had to—making 7-of-8 free throws in overtime and 10-of-16 for the game."

Coach Waterfield also made some comments about other Cutthroat players:

·  Katie Matteson: "She really improved over the course of the season. Katie is a real leader. I was shaking in my boots when she fouled out of the championship game. I certainly didn’t want to lose her presence on the court because Katie is always intent on winning and we need her desire in the game."

·  Kristin Hickey: "I was very worried when she fouled out of the championship game in the fourth quarter. Kristin is always one of our leading scorers and rebounders. She’s also one of the players with the most experience so I like to have her on the floor.

"She is very capable with tons of potential if she continues to work hard—and continues to feed her desire to do well. She had a few big games this year, like 19 points against Camas County. We’re working on getting her to always be thinking of herself as an offensive threat out there."

·  Jenny Rutherford: "She had some important rebounds (14!!!) and two big shots. I was very impressed with her play and the way she kept her head during a very stressful game. She takes a lot of heat from me and takes it in stride. There’s a lot of pressure on a freshman and she stepped up to the challenge."

·  Jamie Terry: "What I would have given for Jamie to have played for the past two years! She is that solid of a player and she has never really played before. I couldn’t do without her on the floor.

"Posts up strong, rebounds well. Her major weakness is that she gets frustrated when she doesn’t understand something—like the rules, or why the referee called this thing or didn’t call that thing."

·  Morgan LaPeter, Abby Minford and Maddy Weisz: "Morgan and Abby really stepped in during a difficult time—when Kristin and Katie fouled out of the championship game. Although they didn’t see many minutes over the course of the season, they did exactly what I asked for. Couldn’t be more proud of them.

"Maddy played more over the course of the year and has more experience than Morgan and Abby. And Maddy played pretty well when she was in early during the final game. I didn’t put her in at the end because Abby really hits the boards and I needed that—and then Abby and Morgan were just holding it together too well to make any switches."


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