PRIEST RIVER — It was all about Karah Fink on Tuesday night.
The senior post on the Priest River girls basketball team nearly single-handedly took down Clark Fork, scoring 22 points including 18 in the first half to help the Spartans grab a 48-28 victory.
Fink was a force down low all night. Every time the Spartans missed a shot, she was there to clean up the mess grabbing 17 rebounds.
Priest River head coach Gary Stewart said Fink’s length makes her tough to defend and the team expects her to get a double-double every game.
“[Fink] played the entire game,” he said. “I get nervous taking her out. I think she realized tonight how good she’s going to have to be for us the rest of the season because we really need her.”
The Lady Cats had no answer for Fink and it didn’t help that they couldn’t buy a basket on the offensive end.
Clark Fork only scored 6 points in the first half and in the second quarter they were unable to put any points on the scoreboard until senior Abbie Anderson knocked down a pair of free throws with 2:22 left in the quarter.
Clark Fork head coach Jordan Adams said her team experienced some first game jitters in the first half and weren’t talking and moving the ball early in the game.
The Lady Cats trailed 27-6 at the half, but in the third quarter Clark Fork finally found its rhythm and the Spartans struggled out of the gate committing a handful of turnovers in the opening minutes of the second half to give their’s opponents some momentum.
The Lady Cats outscored Priest River 13-12 in the third quarter.
“When I went in at halftime, I’m pretty sure that’s the most upset I’ve ever been as a coach and they knew it so when they came out in the second half I was actually pretty pumped,” Adams said. “I started smiling again.”
The final eight minutes saw both teams struggle offensively as the Spartans held on the secure their first victory of the season.
Priest River senior Adrie Minish tallied 10 points while junior Makia Fitzmorris added 7.
Senior Sara Hathaway led the way for Clark Fork with 7 points and five assists while senior Ellie Kiebert and freshman Emily Myers each scored 6 points. Kiebert also notched 10 rebounds.
“Overall, I was happy,” Stewart said. “I’d say about 50 percent of the time we looked like a basketball team. We made progress so that was good.”
Priest River (1-2) heads to St. Maries 7 p.m. Friday and Clark Fork (0-1) stays on the road to face Kellogg JV 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
PRIEST RIVER 16 11 12 9 — 48
CLARK FORK 4 2 13 9 — 28
PRIEST RIVER — Rantala 0, Rusho 2, Pound 3, Fink 22, Fitzmorris 7, Radan 0, Palfrey 4, Freitas 0, Meek 0, Minish 10.
CLARK FORK — Matteson 4, Valliere 0, Myers 6, Anderson 2, Yanik 1, Hathaway 7, Kiebert 6, Hoffman 2.