OKANOGAN — It was like coach Mike Carlquist flipped a switch in the fourth quarter. “We stopped screwing around and started taking the ball to the basket,” Carlquist said of his team’s change in attitude in the fourth quarter.
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.
WILBUR — Playing with five guys all game, the Mansfield Kernels steamed out to a nine-point lead after three quarters and hung on for a 55-52 road victory at Wilbur-Creston on Tuesday night in Central Washington 1B play. “We just aren’t very deep, and by the fourth quarter those five were getting pretty pooped,” Mansfield coach Ric Bayless said. “We were able to outlast their press. We kept our composure and finished it.”
COULEE DAM — A talented 6-foot-7 post, a number of stifling defenses, and a quality supporting cast. It’s all added up to the Lake Roosevelt boys basketball team emerging as the class of the Central Washington 2B League’s North Division. Led by lanky junior Ty Egbert, the Raiders are 10-2 overall and 5-0 in league play, and figure to challenge for a state title when March rolls around.
ENTIAT — Riverside Christian roared back in the fourth quarter Friday, outscoring Entiat 21-7. Fortunately for the Tigers, they’d built an enormous lead over the first three quarters and held on for the 63-49 victory. The Tigers were able to pull ahead by clamping down on Kendra Stamates in the first half.
BREWSTER — Earlier in the season, Brewster girls basketball coach Randy Phillips experimented with lineups and player rotations, eager to find the team’s best combination. It’s becoming apparent that he might have found what he’s been looking for, as the Bears are playing at a high level right now.
The Pateros Billygoats raced out to an early lead, then shut down Brewster star Stockton Taylor, on the way to a surprising 57-41 win over the Bears in an early-season matchup between two of the top Central Washington 2B League North Division boys basketball teams. “You gotta come out of the gates ready to play, and tonight we were hot,” said Pateros coach Mike Hull, whose team led 23-4 after the first. “We hit some shots, cleaned some boards early and were able to capitalize on the other end.”
COULEE CITY — Almira/Coulee-Hartline put a damper on Mike Carlquist’s homecoming Friday night, outworking and outhustling his Okanogan boys team for a 62-48 victory. The Warriors, who Carlquist guided to a seventh-place finish in the Class 1B state tournament last season, used a strong second half to beat their old mentor.
The Eastmont football team turned itself around this season, going from a perennial middle-of-the-pack finisher to one win away from a league title and a state tournament berth. As a result, two of the biggest reasons for the turnaround have some hardware to show for it.
MANSON — Manson locked up the No. 3 spot in the CWL North with its win over the Billygoats. Javier Guillen rushed for 180 yards and four touchdowns on just nine carries for the Trojans, who will play Warden in the crossover playoffs next Friday night.
KAMIAKIN — The Eastmont girls soccer season came to a close Thursday in a 5-2 first-round playoff loss to Kamiakin. The Wildcats and the Braves split during the regular season, but Eastmont was plagued by injuries down the stretch and was short-handed for the game.
LEAVENWORTH — The Chelan High School volleyball team clinched the Caribou Trail League championship on Tuesday with a convincing victory over Cashmere. Now the Goats can turn their focus to bigger goals.
LEAVENWORTH — The Cashmere High School girls soccer team knew the importance of its match against Cascade on Tuesday. A Bulldogs win over the second-place Kodiaks would solidify their top standing in the Caribou Trail League and get them one step closer to a Caribou Trail League championship. A Cascade win would have created a virtual tie for first place between the two squads.
WENATCHEE — It was a sea of pink Saturday at the Wenatchee Invitational, as 16 volleyball teams from around the state battled it out, with nearly $500 in proceeds going to the Wellness Place to support breast cancer victims. Pink balls were used, every player wore bright pink socks and many teams wore pink uniforms at the event.
EAST WENATCHEE — With the regular season winding down, the Eastmont and Wenatchee girls swim and dive teams are right where they want to be. The Wildcats and Panthers, who shared the Eastmont YMCA Aquatic Center for their dual meets Thursday, cruised to wins over Kamiakin and Walla Walla, respectively.