Midseason report card for NCW prep basketball
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Who still has a shot
Here is The World’s handicapping of the league and division title races around NCW, with listings of which teams still have a realistic shot of finishing first:
Big Nine 4A — Davis, Chiawana
Big Nine 3A — Kamiakin, Southridge
CWAC — Grandview, Ellensburg
Caribou Trail League — Chelan, Cascade, Cashmere
CWL North — Lake Roosevelt, Pateros
CWL South — White Swan, Riverside Christian, Kittitas
CW 1B — Mansfield, MLCA
Big Nine 4A — Richland, Moses Lake, Chiawana
Big Nine 3A — Kamiakin, Eastmont
CWAC — Prosser, East Valley
Caribou Trail League — Okanogan, Cashmere
CWL North — Brewster, Lake Roosevelt
CWL South — White Swan, Entiat
CW 1B — MLCA
— Brian Adamowsky, World staff
Three Cs: Cascade, Cashmere and Chelan
Top scorers for the CTL teams from Chelan County:
Cascade — Tyler Harrod, 16.0 ppg.
Cashmere — Trenton Johnson, 11.8 ppg.
Chelan — Aaron McQuaid, 12.9 ppg.
Cascade — Jordan McGregor, 12.0 ppg.
Cashmere — Gaby Gonzalez, 16.1 ppg.
Chelan — Courtney Dietrich, 8.1 ppg.
Top high school scorers in Wenatchee area
Trea Thomas, Eastmont, 16.6 ppg., (third in Big Nine 3A)
Darren Spaeth, Eastmont, 12.6 ppg., (10th in Big Nine 3A)
Jared Jaeger, Wenatchee, 11.8 ppg., (seventh in Big Nine 4A)
Kendra Scott, Eastmont, 16.1 ppg., (second in Big Nine 3A)
Michaela George, Wenatchee, 14.5 ppg., (fourth in Big Nine 4A)
Source: Tri-City Herald, Big Nine website, Wenatchee World
The big guns are gone, several leagues are dominated by one or two teams, and even the number of ranked teams has dwinded to a couple.
High school basketball in North Central Washington is lacking in firepower this season.
A year ago, there was no shortage of superstar players among the 44 NCW teams with Chelan’s Joe Harris, Ephrata’s Pat Simon, and Wenatchee’s Dani Hallberg on the court.
But this season no bigtime college recruits roam the hardwood.
“It seems like teams are having to rely on three or four guys at crunch time to have to execute,” said Chelan coach Joe Harris, whose son moved on to the University of Virginia this season.
Furthermore, every area league besides the Central Washington 1B League still has an undefeated team at the top of the standings, proof that parity is short in 2010-11. Among those leaders, only the Chelan boys (CTL), Okanogan girls (CTL), Lake Roosevelt boys (CWL North), and Brewster girls (CWL North) hail from NCW.
“I think our league is a little bit thin,” said Brewster girls coach Randy Phillips, whose seven-team league is made up entirely of NCW schools.
“It’s definitely true in the CTL, no doubt about it,” Cascade boys coach Paul Fraker said about talent being down.
Three NCW teams are still winless (Ephrata boys, Waterville boys, and Soap Lake girls), and seven more have just one or two victories.
Overall, the 43 teams this season (Mansfield girls didn’t field a squad) have a .446 winning percentage.
Perhaps most telling is the amount of NCW teams ranked in the Associated Press poll — only the Brewster, Okanogan and Entiat girls, and the Lake Roosevelt boys, are ranked in the Top 10.
Still, despite the dearth of big-time players, there have been plenty of high points on the hardwood this winter.
The Brewster girls team has put up an average of 79.6 points in its last five games, all wins.
Mandy Southard, Entiat’s star point guard, has flourished under coach Bill Edwardson. Southard is averaging nearly 20 points per game for the 12-2 Tigers.
The Eastmont girls have carved a swath through the Big Nine 3A division, standing a 6-1 in league play and 9-4 overall. A win against Kamiakin at home on Jan. 28 would put them in position to capture a league title.
Chelan boys have surprised some by posting a 5-0 Caribou Trail League record to date.
On the girls side in the CTL, it’s squarely a battle between Okanogan (5-0 league) and Cashmere (4-1). Okanogan won the first matchup between the two. They play again Jan. 29 up north.
Despite its No. 9 ranking, Lake Roosevelt boys, with 6-foot-7 Ty Egbert leading the way, appear a serious Class 2B title contender.
All and all, it should make for an interesting stretch run.
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