Chewelah Finishes Strong, Takes Fifth
2A boys consolation
Winning four consecutive games is the hardest task at the state basketball tournament, but two other chores come a close second.
One is winning three straight after dropping the tourney opener. Chewelah’s boys accomplished that feat on Saturday.
The other tester is shaking off a Friday semifinal loss and placing third with a final-day win. Medical Lake couldn’t reach that goal against Foster, the same team that started Chewelah down its difficult road.
Chewelah (20-8) placed fifth by defeating Cascade (Leavenworth) 49-38 in the day’s first game at the State 2A tournament at the Tacoma Dome. Chewelah, which placed fourth in the State A tourney in 1995, completed a three-day comeback that began Wednesday with a loss to the Bulldogs of Tukwila.
Foster (25-4) made it 2-0 against Great Northern League teams by tripping up Medical Lake 63-50 Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals (17-10) placed sixth, their fourth state trophy during the ‘90s. Cascade, better known as a football school, took home eighth place. Cleveland of Seattle edged Steilacoom 75-72 in the game for fourth and seventh places.
Chewelah 49, Cascade 38
The 2A is considered the new state tournament since the WIAA added a fifth classification this year, but that won’t diminish the records Chewelah set during its four-day run.
The Cougars allowed 42.3 points per game, including 26 in Friday’s win over Castle Rock. Cascade (18-10) received a harsh dose of Chewelah’s medicine Saturday, as the Kodiaks went scoreless for the final 4:25, excluding an unchallenged layup at the buzzer.
“Those defensive records will hold up a long time,” said Cougars coach Drew Landram. “It won’t be heard of, and it’s their legacy.”
“I think we were the second-best defense in the state, behind Rochester, during the year,” said senior Jason Landram, the final son Drew will coach. “That’s what we based our game on.”
That plus two major factors, the offensive work of senior guard Travis Meserve and junior plug-the-middle center Josh Parrish.
Meserve totaled 21 points, 5-of-6 free-throw shooting, and five assists Saturday. He scored nine in the final 3:35, when the Cougars scored 12 straight for a 13-point lead. He finished the tourney with 68 points, 18 assists and 18-of-22 free-throw shooting.
Parrish had nine rebounds and six blocked shots against the Kodiaks, completing the tourney with 33 rebounds and 11 blocked shots.
Jason Landram led the tourney with eight 3-pointers after three days. He added two more in his final game, including one to open the second quarter and put the Cougars ahead to stay.
Chewelah was one of the topshooting teams at the tourney, hitting 50 percent from the floor and 44 percent from 3-point range. The Cougars hit 7 of 11 from long range in their final, 3 of 4 by senior Andy Nitschke.
“I don’t think we’re the best team here, but I do think we were one of the top five,” Drew Landram said. “We would have been disappointed with eighth.”
Chewelah 15 11 8 15 - 49
Cascade 16 7 9 6 - 38
CHEWELAH - Landram 8, Forsberg 0, Carpenter 0, Meserve 21, Miller 0, Puthoff 0, Nitschke 12, Grubb 0, Churape 2, Kinley 0, Sunday 0, Parrish 6.
CASCADE - Armstrong 0, C.West 11, McCauley 6, Rieke 12, M.West 3, B.Klump 1, Plute 2, Anderson 0, Lang 2, Pete 0, D.Klump 1, Darlington 0.
Foster 63, Medical Lake 50
Cardinals coach Dave Olzendam attempted a 2-3 zone defense in the early going. The Bulldogs ate it up, to the tune of an 18-5 lead. Although ML closed within one point at the start of the second half, and trailed just 47-44 midway through the final quarter, the early edge held up.
Senior Keith Wheeler had averaged 17 points per tourney game for Foster, but ML held him scoreless until the fourth quarter.
Filling in for the Bulldogs, Yusef Aziz scored nine of his 14 in the third quarter, and Brandon Lyons hit five 3-pointers. Two of Lyons’ 3s came after Cards sophomore Emery Meeks hit a 3-pointer for the 47-44 score.
“We weren’t expecting that from Lyons,” Olzendam said. “He knocked down a couple at critical times, and kind of put the dagger in us.”
Foster concentrated on ML seniors Andre Jackson and Brandon Moore, who had combined to average 30 ppg at the tourney. The Bulldogs cut their averages in half, but senior Freddie Miller and junior Jeff Nichols stepped forward to combine for 25 points and 20 rebounds.
ML had been a rebounding force all four days. The Cards won the boards, 40-35, which impressed Foster coach Grant Cussac.
“I think their forwards are as athletic as we’ve faced this year,” Cussac said. “(ML) wouldn’t go away. It took us a while to pull away.” Foster totaled 13 steals, continuing a negative ML trend. The Cards led tourney teams with 81 turnovers.
“The seniors from this group get to take home a sixth, and we have a lot of kids coming back,” Olzendam said. “We played three out of four good games here.
“I’m awfully proud of our league because there’s a lot of hardware going over the mountains back east.”
Foster 18 5 20 20 - 63
Medical Lake 10 8 15 17 - 50
FOSTER - Hicks 2, Chesak 0, Terrance 0, Aziz 14, B.Lyons 15, Gary 5, Clay 9, Wheeler 10, Jones 2, D.Lyons 6, Mitchell 0.
MEDICAL LAKE - Jackson 6, Brown 0, Headlee 0, Shirley 0, Meeks 9, Mitchell 0, Miller 13, Chappell 0, Mace 0, Nichols 12, Bellamy 0, Moore 10.
Cleveland 75, Steilacoom 72
With 31 points and eight assists, Barry Willis sparked the Eagles (16-13) to a victory over the Sentinels (21-7) and a fourth-place trophy. Steilacoom finished seventh.
Cleveland 25 12 15 23 - 75
Steilacoom 17 16 26 13 - 72
CLEVELAND - Willis 31, Armstrong 4, Simpson 10, Dickerson 20, Jordan 2, Jones 2, Chow 4, Magee 2.
STEILACOOM - Nelson 4, Ford 16, Hinton 15, Cardwell 15, Wilson 18, Kelley 2, Salas, Bass 2.