EPHRATA — The Ephrata boys basketball team’s bid for its first win of the season in its last game of the year fell inches short on Friday. Zach Allen’s three-quarters-court shot hit the rim and bounced away at the final buzzer, giving Othello a 59-57 victory over the Tigers. Ephrata finished the season with an 0-20 record a year after advancing to the Class 2A state tournament.
OMAK — Tonasket’s long wait for a Caribou Trail League boys basketball victory nearly came to an end Thursday. Instead the Omak Pioneers were able to hold off the Tigers at crunch time for a 58-56 victory.
WINTHROP — Lake Roosevelt continued its quest for Central Washington League North titles Thursday with a sweep of Liberty Bell. The Raiders boys beat the Mountain Lions 72-35 to remain unbeaten in league play, while the girls defeated Liberty Bell 64-33 to keep the pressure on league-leading Brewster.
MANSON — Manson boys basketball coach Jeremy Crollard constantly reminds his team of his three keys to winning games: not turning the ball over, making free throws, and rebounding. The Trojans didn’t fare well in any of those categories during their 62-57 loss to Oroville on Tuesday in CWL North action.
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.”
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.
CHELAN — Chelan outscored Cashmere 9-0 in the final two minutes of the first quarter, part of an 11-0 run from which the Bulldogs could never recover in a 66-50 Chelan win. With the victory the Goats move into a first-place tie with Cascade at 3-0 in Caribou Trail League play.
Chelan coach Jay McGuffin called it one of the toughest tournaments his team wrestles in, and based on the results it’s hard to argue. Four Caribou Trail League teams competed in the Royal Christmas Tournament last week, and none of them were able to crack the top five.
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.”
WENATCHEE — Desperate for a win, the 0-6 Ephrata boys team knocked arch-rival Quincy on its heels early on Monday night, but the Jacks’ experience saw them through to a 54-45 victory. Ephrata led 17-11 after eight minutes in the headliner of the NCW Prep Showcase’s opening night at the Town Toyota Center, but Quincy got a putback in the waning seconds of the first half to take the lead and pulled away for good in the second half.
SULTAN — Even on the bus ride home, Cashmere coach Keith Boyd was not 100 percent sure his team’s game was actually over. “It seems like it’s still in the air,” Boyd said, exaggerating how long Sultan’s high-arcing, potential-game-winning shot took to hit the rim and bounce out. “It hung in the air a long time, but we got the last rebound and time ran out.”
WENATCHEE — The NCW High School Basketball Showcase is back, and it’s bigger than ever. The Showcase at the Wenatchee’s Town Toyota Center will feature 18 games over three days starting Monday, expanding from its previous format of 12 games.
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.
YAKIMA — They may have been on the same course as some of the best runners in the state on Saturday, but Wenatchee juniors Jacob Smith and Nicholas Boersma were still mostly running against themselves. “It’s a lot about you, how hard you push yourself,” Boersma said following Saturday’s Class 4A state championship race. “I think we pushed ourselves pretty hard today.”