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February 26, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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February 26, 2015

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Thursday, Februa 26,2015 Free Press Section 2 Page 1 in irl m Photo by Brittani Montecucco Medical Lake's Glori Cheevers (left) battles a Chewelah player for the ball in last Friday's district playoff game won by the Cardinals 40-36. Maleeka Wegner (20) waits for the outcome. By PAUL DELANEY S taff Reporter Four more wins and a berth in the district playoffs have first-year Medical Lake girls' basketball head coach Kyle Lundberg pumped and wishing the 2015-16 season started tomorrow. A 58-41 loss to Colville in District 7 play, Saturday, Feb. 21, ended the season for Medical Lake with a 9-15 record. Earlier in the week the Cardi- nals were hammered by regular sea- son champ Lakeside, 61-19 Tuesday, Feb. 17 but then rallied past Chewelah 40-36 Feb. 20 in an elimination game. All tournament games were played at West Valley High School in Spo- kane. Lakeside, the regular season champ of the Northeast A League Scored its third one-sided victory of the season over Medicai Lake, largely with the help of the Eagles forcing the Cardinals into 26 turnovers. Jocelyn Cook-Cox's 15 points topped all scor- ers in the game. Cassidy Hagel had 10 for ML. Medical Lake got off to a slow start, trailing 31-13 at halftime and things didn't get any better in the second half where Lakeside outscored the Cards 30-6 to advance to the dis- trict championship. Facing Chewelah in a loser-out contest and trailing 28-25 heading into the fourth quarter, Medical Lake had a 15-8 edge in the final eight minutes. A 35-35 tie was snapped in the final 1 minute 40 seconds on a basket, a 3-pointer by Hagel with 58 Seconds remaining. That provided the final margin. Hagel had 17 points to lead all scorers in the game. "We played great team defense and we were able to get the ball out and run," Lundberg said of Friday's victory. No Statistics were available from the Colville game, but Lundberg had some thoughts on how the season came to an end. "Our girls played very well in the first halL" he said. After being tied at halftime foul trouble set in in the third quarter, which allowed Colville to make a big run. The season was a step up for Medi- cal Lake after they failed to qualify for the playoffs in the 2013-14 campaign and finished 5-14. After a slow start this season, Medical Lake found some consistency to close out January and won six of their final 10 contests. For Lundberg, who retired from military service two years ago, his first venture into coaching was both a success in his estimation, and re- warding. "I learned a lot this year," he See ML girls page 3 Cardinal boys fall to Riverside, Freeman; see their season end By PAUL DELANEY Staff Reporter One of the hottest teams in the 1A basket- ball ranks had its flame quickly snuffed. The Medical Lake boys, winners of eight of their last nine games exited the District 7 tour- nament Friday, Jan. 20 at West Valley High School in Spokane following fheir.~b~6Yitt Ioss of the week, 51-48 to Freeman. Medical Lake finished the season 16-7. .Last Tuesday, River- side held off a second half surge to beat the Cardi- nals 61-55, their first loss in the double elimination event. "We didn't shoot well for one thing," head coach Arnold Brown said. One of the crucial areas was their 3-point shooting where the Cardinals went a combined 12-52 for just 23 percent. "Teams were just packing it in and in- viting you to shoot the thing," Brown said. "It was like that week where we lost to Lakeside and Riverside (and) beat Cheney between those," Brown said. "We had a bad, horrible shooting experience." Friday night, Medical Photo by Brittani Montecucco Medical Lake's Cory Wagner launches a jump shot in last Friday's district playoff loss to Freeman at West Valley High School. Lake fell behind 32-21 at the half and trailed by 14 gomg into the final quarter before they staged a huge rally, outscoring the Scot- ties 19-8. Medical Lake cut the gap to three with three minutes to go. The difference came at the free throw line where Freeman was perfect in the final couple of min- That's what I tell our guys, this time of the year a lot of good teams go down." Medical Lake head coach Arnold Brown utes with Jack Paukert sinking four foul shots that gave him a game- high 19 points. Tellas Johnson concluded his high school career with 17 points to lead Medical Lake. On Tuesday as they faced Riverside for the third time in a week, Medical Lake again came out cold and trailed 38-20 at halftime. While they shot 12 of 24 from the field, they were just 7 for 27 from 3-point range. But the Cardinals again staged another fu- rious rally that started with a huge 15-4 edge in the third quarter that trimmed it to a 42-35 game heading into the final quarter. Medical Lake would take a lead in the game in the final minute but the Rams' Brandon Mor- ris was perfect at the free throw line allowing his team to regain the lead. After Medical Lake missed the front end of a one-and-one, Tyler Ax- tell, who led Riverside with 21 points, iced it with a foul shot. "We had our opportu- nity there and we missed free throws at the end that would have tied it," Brown said. "That was kind of the story of both our losses." Brown said the sud- den end of the season hit his team a little hard. "That was tough for the kids because you play some teams you've beaten a couple of times and all of a sudden you're struggling against them," Brown said. Once again, Johnson led the Cardinals, and all scorers in the game with 25 points. Overall Medical Lake shot just 37 percent. "We dug that big hole against Riverside," Brown said. "But we kept fight- ing and clawing and got us back in there." Along with Johnson, other seniors who played their final game for the Cardinals included Dylan Rushfeldt, Zach Elder, Ar- mondo Gomez and Elijah Farmen. Among Start- ers who return for 2015- 16 will be Cory Wagner who averaged 12 points per game, Jaelon Stith (11 ppg.) and Donte Brown (5.6). "We advanced further than last year," Brown said. "We lost to good teams. That's what I tell our guys, this time of the year a lot of good teams go down." Paul Delaney can be reached at pdelaney@cheneyfreepress. com. women win SIX Eagles clinch playoff berth with sweep of Southern Utah, NAU By PAUL DELANEY StaffReporter Getting back to some basics has been the fuel that has propelled the Eastern Washington women's basketball team back into conten- tion for a Big Sky Con- ference regular season title. The Eagles won for the sixth straight time this past week at Re- ese Court, collecting dominating wins, 88-67 over Southern Utah last Thursday, Feb. 19 and 73-42 over Northern Ari- zona Saturday. "We use three simple words to try to define our- selves, tough, smart, un- selfish," head coach Wen- dy Schuller said. "l think more than anything it was getting back to basics." With the sweep Eastern improved to 10-4 in con- ference play, 17-8 overall. They trail Montana (12-3) by 1 1/2 games going into a weekend meeting with the Grizzlies in Missoula, Saturday in the second game of a two-game road trip that begins tonight at Montana State. Hayley Hodgins scored 19 points with fellow, se- nior Melissa Williams at 17 points and 10 rebounds See EWU women page 3 By PAUL DELANEY Iead with g es rugged for theEastern finish Feb; 19 in eel- team in:their : SouthernUtahatCedar journey to :the south-City, w the game west part Of tl4e Big Sky wi :solid work at the Conference. :, throw line. the stumble theTwo days iater Eagles took ,tumbled .... them out Of the league nien ge3 Mayweather vs. Pacquiao superfight bring culture together By AL STOVER Staff Reporter As soon as I read that Floyd Mayweather signed a contract to fight Manny Pacquiao, I pinched my- self to make sure I wasn't dreaming. After the part of my arm started to turn a shade of purple, I realized I was still at home and the an- nouncement was real. Mayweather will take on Pacquiao in a welterweight champi- {i onship : unifica- {:' tion bout, # May 2 in Las Vegas. This fight is something fans have been asking for the last several years. I had friends, who I never knew were boxing fans, tell me how excited they are for this fight. Even the people who say this fight should have happened years ago will add, "at least it's fi- nally happening." I'll admit that boxing isn't as popular as it used to be. Mixed martial arts has taken the world by storm and every once in a while my old roommates will nag at me for watching boxing. They don't under- stand how I could watch a sport where "all they do is punch each other." In the case of May- weather vs. Pacquaio there are several reasons why I, anda number of folks, are intrigued. First, you have May- weather and Pacquiao, two of the most well known figures in sports who are polar opposites. In one corner, you have Mayweather, a second- generation athlete who fol- lowed in his father's foot- steps and became involved in boxing at a young age. He grew out of his father's shadow and became a star, winning a plethora of world championships. Over the years his exploits in and out of the ring have made him loved and hated by fans all over the world. Then there's Pacquiao, a native of the Philippines who came from humble beginnings and entered the sport at 14 years old while he was living on the streets of Manilla. Uhke Mayweather he too rose to the top and has established himself as a great fighter. Unlike Mayweather, Pac- quiao wears many hats and is seen as a hero to his countrymen. Another reason why fans are interested in this fight is the story leading up to it. Mayweather plans to retire for the second time in his career at the end of 2015. He's faced ev- See Crunch Time page 2