The Deer Park Stags, helped by five Nate Guske free throws in the fourth quarter, slid past Chewelah 61-57 on Tuesday.
Deer Park head coach Chad Hand, who was not pleased with all aspects of his team’s performance, said he would take the victory in the Stags’ home opener.
The Stags (2-1) broke a 41-41 tie late in third quarter and held off numerous charges by the Cougars down the stretch. Two Guske free throws were followed by offensive rebound basket by Canyon Nielson to increase the Deer Park lead to 58-47 before Chewelah’s Mckenzie Miller hit a 3-pointer to keep the Cougars close.
Nielson added another rebound basket before Miller hit another long-range bomb and Joey Shamberger added another hoop to close the gap to 61-57 with less than a minute to play.
The Cougars had one more possession in the game’s final seconds but could not get off a shot.
The Stags, who held a distinctive height advantage over the Cougars, got a combined 39 points from the front line of Nielson, Travis Pierce and Avery Miller.
Chewelah’s Mason Miller, who tossed four 3-pointers, led all scorers with 26 points.
Deer Park returns to the court at 7:30 p.m. on Friday for a home game against Lakeside.