Nine is arguably the loneliest number on the scoreboard.
Sure, nine gets to be on the right side of the scoreboard all the time — 19, 39, 49 — but rarely do the lights on the left get to burn a proud 9 in the presence of a crowd.
The number nine got a big hug Dec. 2 from Evergreen.
The 10th-ranked Lady Cougars scored like they were sugared up on Pop Rocks and Monster energy drinks en route to a season-opening 92-32 Class 4A nonleague victory over Battle Mountain.
“We got really good shots,” Cougars coach Ali Meyers said.
For the record, the Cougars (1-0) shot the ball 83 times and sank 41 baskets. Had they shot better than 8-for-17 from the free-throw line, the Cougars might have been able to light up those forsaken bulbs on the far left of the scoreboard to make it 100.
Considering the Evergreen junior varsity squad defeated Battle Mountain’s group 82-4 prior to tip off, the scoreboard had to feel like a Skee Ball machine.
Five players scored in double figures, led by 5-foot-10 junior Steph Wiens, who scored 22 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.
“She was a monster tonight,” Meyers said.
Wiens got plenty of time and space to two post players out or seeing limited minutes. Jordan Florschuetz did not play and Halle Johnson had to sit until the fourth quarter.
Besides Bryn Haebe, who did not return after aggravating her hamstring midway through the first quarter, every Cougar that dressed scored a point. Grace Beaudin scored 13 points, Kelsey Bestall had 12, Lauren Jagels and Erin Dobey both scored 10.
The Globetrotters’ theme music should have been played after it was apparent this was no contest. The Cougars opened the game on a 16-0 run, forced 12 turnovers and limited the Huskies to just five points. They devoured the visitors with steals and transition buckets, often making the extra — call it intuitive — pass for the easiest possible shot.
“All of those girls have played together before,” Meyer said. “We don’t even work on backdoor cuts, and they’re cutting back door just because they know each other; they read each other.”
Haley Stading had seven points, Tayler Warren added six, Haley Newhall and Taylor Rauch had four apiece and Ryleigh Ellingsen had two points.
There was drama at the end when the Cougars realized they were not going to reach 100 and that Johnson had not scored. The Cougars came down, found Johnson on the right wing and the junior drove around the edge and scored a layup to make it 92 and give the Cougars 11 players with points.
Battle Mtn. 5-9-12-6—32
Evergreen: Warren 2 1-2 6, Bestall 5 2-4 12, Stading 3 1-2 7, Beaudin 4 4-4 13, Wiens 11 0-4 22, Haebe 0 0-0 0, Jagels 5 0-0 10, Dobey 5 0-1 10, Newhall 2 0-0 4, Rauch 2 0-0 4, Johnson 1 0-0 2, Ellingsen 1 0-0 2. Totals: 41 8-17 92.