Medical Lake’s boys and Chewelah’s girls are going to the State 2A basketball tournament in Yakima next week, and it was defense that got them there.
In District 7 championship games at Mead High School Friday night, the Cardinals defeated Great Northern League regular-season champion Pullman 43-32 after Chewelah overwhelmed Lakeside 62-43.
Both losing teams will have another chance to get to state. Pullman meets Chewelah’s boys, who eliminated Riverside 70-58, in a 7:30 contest after Lakeside faces the Riverside girls, 67-40 winners over Medical Lake, in a 6 p.m. game at Mead.
Pullman won the GNL title handily with a patient, balanced offense and stifling defense, but it was Medical Lake that brought the “D” Friday and spread the scoring around.
GNL Most Valuable Player Steven Wesley came in averaging 18 points per game, but was happy with nine to go with 10 rebounds and four blocked shots. He did most of his damage in the second half as the Cardinals broke from an 18-all halftime tie to seize a nine-point lead late in the third quarter.
Pullman cut it to five on the first basket of the fourth period, but ML scored eight of the next 10 points for a 12-point edge. After the Hounds cut the lead to eight, the Cardinals made 4 of 5 free throws down the stretch.
Pullman took a 5-0 lead at the start, but the Greyhounds needed a putback and a 3-point basket by junior Justin Cooper to tie it at halftime.
With the Hounds’ zone collapsing around Wesley, senior guard Tanner Tareski got plenty of good looks and scored 10 of his game-high 16 points in the first half. Kevin Broadnax added 11 for the Cardinals, while Ben Hein led Pullman with 14.
In the boys’ loser-out game, Chewelah (14-9) was strong in the first and third quarters and knocked off Riverside (13-10). The Cougars had four scorers in double figures led by A.J. Proszek and Cameron Stroyan with 14 points each, and Riverside’s Buddy Wood had a game-high 22.
Chewelah’s defense also paved the way to the state tournament as the Cougars harassed Lakeside into 27 turnovers and trailed for only the first minute of the contest.
The two teams split their two regular-season meetings, but after the first period, Chewelah’s lead never dropped below double figures. The Eagles put together more than four consecutive points only once, late in the fourth quarter.
After Kelsey Stillar’s 3-point basket to open the game, Chewelah scored the next 13 points, including three straight buckets in the paint by 5-foot-8 post Sarah Scates.
The Cougars (18-4) led 15-5 after the first period, then scored 12 of the first 16 points of the second, building a 27-9 lead as they forced 12 first-half turnovers. By halftime, eight Cougars had played and all of them had scored.
Chewelah expanded its lead to 20 points early in the third. Later in the period, after Lakeside had cut it to 14, the Cougars ran off 10 straight, building their advantage to 24.
Sophomore guard Nikki Nelson led Chewelah with 14 points, Jochelle Schatz added 13 and Scates had 10, all in the first half, to go with seven rebounds. For Lakeside, Stillar scored 18.
In the earlier loser-out game, Riverside (17-5) opened a 14-point halftime lead and won going away to eliminate the Cardinals (7-17). Riverside’s 6-2 post, GNL MVP Angela Hartill, led the Rams with 23 points and Terri Dalnes had 11. Miranda Spilker led Medical Lake with 13.
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