FIRTH - The Firth Lady Cougars welcomed Snake River to town on Friday night and nearly upset the taller, more experienced Lady Panthers. Trailing by only three points entering the final quarter, the Lady Cougars finally ran out of gas and Snake River was able to pull away to a 35-23 win in a contest much closer than the final score would indicate.
"I am so proud of the way the girls played tonight," said Coach Sharla Cook. "We had a tough road trip last night and I know the girls were exhausted, but they dug down deep tonight and played their hearts out."
Four minutes into the game, neither team was able to tally a score, with Firth playing very deliberately on offense and sagging back into the paint on defense, frustrating the taller Lady Panther squad.
"We were caught a bit off balance tonight, but Firth didn't show us anything that we haven't seen before," said Coach Steve Morton. "We just need to be more patient and not let defenses like that throw us off our game."
Firth was able to score first, off of a steal and bucket by senior Emily Fielding, but that score was quickly answered by Snake River's Eden Van Orden on a nice feed from guard Whitney Dance. At quarter's end, Snake River held a 6-4 advantage as the two teams played it very close to the vest.
Things opened up a bit in the second quarter as mounting foul trouble for Snake River forced liberal substitutions into the game and wing player Laura Thompson stepped up her game.
"Laura really gave us a lift tonight as she has done all year long," said Coach Morton. "She came in and hit three quick buckets in the second period, opening things up inside for the other girls."