By Amylynn Richards
GIRLS’ BASKETBALLMountlake Terrace Cedar Park Christian School rolled into town in a large, black school bus, decorated with an air-brushed neon green lion head, and a mane of neon green “flames” down the length of the bus La Conner to take on the Braves on Tuesday, Dec. 14.The Lions may have won the school bus awesomeness competition hands down, but were not able to overpower the lady Braves on the basketball court; the Lady Braves won 58-19.Team highlights: Priscilla Ponce-Venegas scored 12 points for the Braves and provided 11 rebounds; Nikki Finley, 14 points; Kelly McClung, 8 points; Samie Miller scored 6 points; and Aubrey Stewart, 7 rebounds.“We had a bit of a slow start against Cedar Park,” Coach Marla Quesnell reports, “once we found our rhythm, both offense and defense started to roll. We are still learning about each other on the court some, but I have seen big steps in the last three games.”The girls played Seattle Lutheran at home, beating the Saints 77-40. High scorers for this game: Priscilla Ponce-Venegas, 26 points and 16 rebounds; Nikki Finley, 17 points; Kelly McClung, 6 points; Katie McKnight, 14 points; Aubrey Stewart,6 points and 12 rebounds; and Samie Miller, 6 points.Coach Quesnell was very happy with the teamwork on the court. “This was the most complete game we have had this season,” she said, “we shot a great percentage from the field, looked up in transition, and played the passing lanes very well.”BOYS’ BASKETBALLThe boys hosted the Mountlake Terrace Cedar Park Lions on Tuesday, Dec. 14. The Braves won the game, 63-16. Landy James was the team top-scorer, with 17 points; and Tyler Howlett earned 11. Coach Scott Novak was pleased with the teams “excellent overall effort.”The boys traveled to play Shoreline Christian on Friday, Dec. 17. The Braves won the game 56-43. Landy James was the top scorer, bringing in 19 points for the Braves; Spencer Novak earned 10 points, and DJ Carr brought home 9 points. “It was a tough game,” Coach Novak reports, “we had a great start. Our team was up 22-9 at one point. Everyone played well.” The Braves are now 2-0 in league play. Go, Braves!WRESTLINGFriday Harbor came to La Conner on Friday, Dec. 15 to win the wrestling match 36-30. “It was a good match,” Coach Mike Compton says, “at the end, our heavyweight Cameron Wischhusen had Willy Dunn from Friday Harbor on his back when time ran out. If there’d have been a few more seconds left, Cameron would have pinned him and the team would have won 36-33, it was that close.”Compton was very proud of how Cameron came back from a 12-3 deficit, taking Dunn down on his back with only 15 seconds left. “Although he lost 12-8 he won the hearts of our crowd,” Compton reports, “especially considering that his opponent outweighed him by about 65 lbs.”Ben Harper won by forfeit, and then won an exhibition match by pin. Hunter Johnson, Kevin Aske, and Dahlton Zavala also all won by pin. Compton notes that Wyatt Melton “showed great improvement and nearly pinned his opponent at the end of the 3rd round” but the match was won by Friday Harbor in a close 13-11 battle. Brandon Drye won by forfeit.Dahlton Zavala avenged himself of last week’s loss to Friday Harbor, besting Friday Harbor’s Maverick Blake, much to the delight of the crowd.On Saturday, Dec. 18, the team competed at the Paul Reiman Tournament at Mount Vernon high school. The Braves were the only 2B league school in attendance, and took last place against 2A, 3A, and 4A schools. The tournament winner was 4A league Marysville-Pilchuck, with 282.5 points. Burlington Edison took second, followed by Blaine, Mount Vernon, Stanwood, Anacortes, and then La Conner.Even so, three Braves competed in the Consolation Finals, and one Brave competed in Finals. Sophomore Dahlton Zavala (152 lbs.) earned second place. Zavala had the “best turnaround of the week” according to Coach Compton, and was the highest Brave finisher.Senior Brandon Drye (215 lbs.) won third place in his weight class. Freshman Brave Ben Harper (112 lbs.) is an athlete to keep an eye on as he moves up the ranks; he earned himself fourth place overall in his weight class.“The competition is tough for our little school,” Compton said, “but history in sports has shown that true competitors improve when they face stiff competition. Last season we fared nearly about the same at the Mt. Vernon Tournament, but at the end of the season, in our District Tournament, the La Conner Braves wrestled the best they’d ever done. We are expecting to see the same or better this year in Districts.”WRESTLER OF THE WEEKCoach Compton announced on Monday that this week’s wrestler of the week honor goes to Cameron Wischhusen (285 lbs.) because of his “tremendous effort in a come from behind near victory,” and ended Saturday’s tournament with two pins in a row for La Conner.