Lyle's first big test of the Greater Columbia B League's season came last Saturday in Yakima, against defending champion Riverside Christian.
The Cougars lost to the Crusaders, 51-42, in a battle of unbeatens, but didn't fail the test; rather, they earned an incomplete score, with the hardest part out of the way.
The final part will come sometime in February, during the district tournament.
For now, Lyle can go on with the rest of its GCB schedule knowing it can match up with Riverside.
In the first quarter of last weekend's only regular-season meeting, Riverside took a 13-12 lead. By halftime, the Crusaders were up 11 (32-21).
Riverside's Erin Shively scored 20 points in the half. Lindsey Blaine paced Lyle with 13, including the Cougars' only 3-pointer of the game.
Cougars Coach Verlyn noted Lyle made some defensive adjustments at halfime that took virtually shut Shively down in the second half.
The Crusaders' standout scored just four after the break while Blaine hit for the remaining 15 of her game-high 28 points to keep the Cougars on the prowl.
Smith said strong team rebounding allowed Lyle to stay close, though Riverside led 44-31 after three quarters.
In the fourth, the Cougars made a run at the Crusaders that came up short.
"We got ourselves in a hole that we couldn't dig ourselves out of," Smith said. "Turnovers and poor shooting were our undoing."
For Lyle, Dawn Ullom finished with eight points and six rebounds. Tara Rappe added nine boards and two steals, and Sarah Billette had eight rebounds, six assists and four steals.
At Klickitat 46, Yakama Tribal 27 --
Naomi Vitale filled in for absent starting center Jordan Graeme last Saturday, and came through with a game-high 14 points.
Eight players scored in the game as Vandals Coach Lee Bittinger played everybody who dressed down and substituted liberally throughout.
Klickitat opened a 7-0 lead in the first quarter and stretched it to 19-7 at the break. Five points each by Vitale and Jaecee Ramsay gave the Vandals a 32-14 after three quarters.
Ramsay finished with nine points, and Kaeley Schultz had eight, with three coming on Klickitat's lone 3-point field goal.
At Mabton 51, Glenwood 15 --
The winless Eagles fell behind 20-1 in the first quarter and played catch-up the rest of Saturday night's GCB game.
Leading scorers for Glenwood were Berndatte Campbell, Jodi Holly and Candi Kuhnhausen. Each scored four points.
Amanda Kuhnhausen added two points, and Hannah Page chipped in one.
Klickitat 48, at Glenwood 6 --
Jordan Graeme scored a game-high 16 points in just three quarters of play last Friday as the Vandals rolled.
All told, 10 of Klickitat's 11 players scored. Jaecee Ramsay, Naomi Vitale and Shana Watlemat netted six points apiece, and Sherri Brewer put in four off the bench.
The Vandals led 14-2 after one quarter, 19-2 at the half and 39-2 at the end of three.
Glenwood, which had difficulty penetrating Klickitat's defensive scheme, got two points each from Jodi Holly, Amanda Kuhnhausen and Hannah Page. Moreover, the Eagles were 0 for 16 from the line on the night.
At Bickleton 47, Trout Lake 26 --
The Pirates' twin towers of Annie Hess and Erica Jensen dominated the Mustangs last Friday with their post play and rebounding.
Hess tallied 16 points, 10 rebounds and five steals, and Jensen had 10 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists to lead Bickleton to victory.
Angie Duke's 12 points took team scoring honors for Trout Lake, which kept falling farther behind at the end of each quarter: 10-4, 21-14, 30-17, 47-26.
At Lyle 59, Liberty Christian 48 -- The Cougars took control of the Jan. 7 non-league contest in the third quarter en route to their 27th consecutive victory at home.
Lyle led 25-21 at the half. That four-point lead grew to 12, however, as Lindsey Blaine scored eight of her game-high 34 points in the third panel.
A high-scoring fourth saw Liberty Christian outscore Lyle, 21-20.
In victory, Lyle also got 11 rebounds and five assists from Blaine; eight points and eight rebounds from Dawn Ullom; and 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals from Sarah Billette.
At Cascade Locks, Ore. 40, Glenwood 13 --
The Eagles' final non-league game Jan. 7 ended in defeat.
Jodi Holly had a season-high eight points for Glenwood, which also got two points each from Bernadette Campbell and Hannah Page, and one from Ashley Woodward.