BREWSTER — Friday’s contest between the Pateros and Brewster boys basketball teams had a playoff-type atmosphere, according to Bears coach Dwight Plugrath. That’s not surprising, considering the Billygoats entered the game in second place in the Central Washington League North, and the Bears were in third.
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.
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.”
CHELAN — The first meeting of the season between Chelan and Lake Roosevelt was delayed more than three weeks, but was worth the wait. Ty Egbert’s two-handed dunk with less than 10 seconds left proved to be the difference in a 47-45 Lake Roosevelt victory.
The Tonasket boys basketball team lost for the first time this season on Tuesday, while the Waterville girls posted a victory for the first time in two years. Brewster came up big from outside in the third quarter to pull away for a 69-53 victory over Tonasket on the first day of play in the Brewster Christmas Tournament.
WENATCHEE — The Eastmont Wildcats can rest easy on their holiday break. The Wildcats came back from a six-point deficit with a big third-quarter run and then exhibited poise down the stretch to beat Moses Lake 60-57 at Town Toyota Center on Tuesday night, giving them wins on back-to-back nights before taking a 16-day break from competition.
MANSON — Saying he accomplished what he set out to do, Manson football coach Brad Barnes resigned on Thursday. “Having met my personal goal of developing a winning program and creating a positive experience for all players and coaches, I’m quite comfortable stepping back,” Barnes wrote in his resignation letter.
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.