TONASKET — After they went 9-1 in non-league play, it seemed like it would be only a matter of time before the Tonasket Tigers boys basketball team’s long Caribou Trail League losing streak would come to an end. But now the clock is ticking.
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.
LEAVENWORTH — After one turn through the league rotation, the Chelan boys basketball team is back in a familiar spot. The Goats bumped off Cascade 47-31 on Tuesday in a battle of Caribou Trail League unbeatens to take over sole possession of first place halfway through the league season.
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.
WENATCHEE — Four CTL teams posted top-four tournament finishes over the weekend. Chelan was second and Cashmere was fourth at the Sky Valley Invitational in Sultan, while Omak was also a runner-up, at the Ranger New Year Classic at Naches. Tonasket was fourth at the Jeremiah Schmunk Invitational in Warden, with Cascade taking 10th in that tournament.
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.
The wild and woolly Caribou Trail League is back, and with a vengeance. The first week of league play was capped off Saturday night, with three games decided by five points or less, and a surprise or two thrown into the mix.
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.
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.
CHELAN — The one thing that’s constant in high school basketball is change. Each new season brings with it a new set of questions that coaches have to try to answer. Sometimes, those questions are hard, like figuring out who’s going to replace a star player, or how veteran varsity players might react to a young star coming in and grabbing the limelight.
CASHMERE — There was not a lot of movement in the latest 1A wrestling individual rankings, but one move in particular points to what should be a huge showdown in the not-too-distant future. Last week, defending state champion Keegan McCormick of Tonasket was ranked No. 1 at 189 pounds.
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.
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.”
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.