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December 17, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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Section 2 December 17, 2015 Cheney Free Press Jamiel Worthem elevates scorers with 15 points. for ,~ :i;~..~l two points during the first half of Cheney's 55-39 win over visiting Photo by John McCallum Timberlake. Worthem led all Cheney downs Deer Park, Timberlake loses to West Valley By JOHN McCALLUM Editor Whether or not the Cheney High School boys' basketball team enjoys success on the court this season will depend on a lot of factors, some out- side of the Blackhawks control. But one thing might have been evident to fans attending last week's three-game home stand - and that is new head coach Gregg Smith's squad should be exciting to watch. The Blackhawks flew to a two- game winning streak, routing Deer Park 69-42, Dec. 8, and Idaho's Tim- berlake 55-39, Dec. 11 before being grounded the next night in a Great Northern League opening loss to West Valley, 60-50. Cheney took control early in their game with the Northeast A League Stags and never relinquished it, posting a 21-10 first-quarter lead and playing add-on from there, es- pecially in the second half. Cheney's defense forced 20 total Deer Park turnovers, while the offense con- trolled the area in the paint, outscor- ing the visitors 42-6. Drake Johnson led all scorers with 15 points, with Justace Reiter adding 12 and both Riley Jones and Gaige Felix chipping in 11. Morgan See Blackhawks page 4 hold off F Jaelon Stith's double-double leads team in win over Scotties Photo by Paul Delaney Medical Lake's Oaelon Stith drives for two of his team-lead- ing 19 points in the Cardinals' 46-41 Northeast A League win over Freeman last Friday. Earlier in the week ML scored a nonleague win over Lind-Ritzville-Sprague By PAUL DELANEY Lake head coach Arnold Staft Reporter Brown said of LRS. "They The idea behind ended up making nine 3s scheduling preseason against us." games in any sport is to After a back-and- help improve skills when fourth first quarter where the games really count, previously undefeated That strategy paid big Freeman (0-1 NEA, 3-1 dividends for Medical overall) led only briefly, Lake last Friday night, 9-8 with 2 minutes, 25 Dec. 11 in their Northeast seconds to play, Medical AL~agueboy'sbasketball Lake got back-to-back season opener. The Cardi- buckets from Jaelon Stith nals won twice at home, i to take a 10-9 lead; one Dec. 8 in nonleague play they would never relin- versus Lind-Ritzville- quish but was tested nu- Sprague 63-49, but more merous times until the importantly, 4641 against final 75 seconds. Freeman. "We had some spurts "What helped us where we got on our the most was they had break a little bit and fin- shooters, too," Medical ished," Brownsaid. Stith, a senior, would lead the Cards (1-0, 2-1) with a double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Cory Wagner added 11 and was the only other Medical Lake player in double figures. "He was able to go inside and finish some things," Brown said of Stith. "He got some offen- sive rebounds," and a dose of confidence successfully battling a physical inside presence from the Scotties while playing 30 of the 32 minutes Friday. Trailing 28-22 at the half, Freeman closed to 36-35 entering the fourth quarter. A Wagner free throw put the Cardinals up 42-38 with 1:35 to play but Ryan Maine's 3-point- er20 seconds later set the stage for some late heroics from Joey Jasmer. Maine, s 12 points led Freeman. Jasmer's put-back bas- ket with 29.7 seconds to play gave the Cards a little breathing room, and then the junior forward's two free throws with 3.6 sec- onds remaining sealed it. "The free throws and the bucket were nice for him, he works really hard," Brown said of Jasmer. "It was nice to see him close it out like that." Defense played a big part in the win Brown said, and the strategy seemed to force Freeman into numerous missed shots. "We switch up our See ML boys page 3 in. In By AL STOVER seconds), University's Clay- Lakeland's Larry Johnson Staff Reporter ton Fincher (2:25), and Cgeur in the semifinals via pin, Cheney's Michael Fergu- d'Alene's Alex Marshall (3:40) Nguyenwas pinned by Moses son added another title to in the finals. Lake's CooperMcCulloughin his trophy case after he Won Ferguson wasn't the onlythe third-place match. the 220-pound division at Blackhawk to reach the medal "Ferguson faced some the Inland Empire Classic, podium as Zack Nguyen (132) competition but he was still Dec. 12. finished fourth in his weight dominant," head coach Brad In his bracket Ferguson class. Rasmussensaid."Zackwres- pinned University's Caleb After a first-round byG tied so good." Thomas (1 minute, 31 sec- Nguyen defeated Coeur Devon Waterman (195) onds),Eisenhower'sGerardo d'Alene's Chase Baca, 4-2,scored a 19-2 technical fall Pimente (15 seconds), East and Bonney Lake's Mason over Richland's Isaac Lovato Valley's Jacob Martinez (15 Sabin, 12-7. After losing to in his first match though he p, did not finish the tournament at Central Valley. According to Rasmussen, Waterman was taking his ACT test. Cameron Wiseman (145) lost his first round match to Sandpoint's Hyrum Mun- sucker via pin. He received a bye in the consolation brack- et's first round, then pinned both Eisenhower's Emilio Torres and Hanford's Boyd Lorz. He was eliminated from the tournament after Lewis IC and Clark's Eli Malm pinned him in their match. Boedy Taylor (170) and Gar- rett Pederson (285) went 1-2 before being eliminated in the consolation round. As a team, Cheney finished 12th out of 20 with 77.5 points. "I was really pleased with how we did, our kids brawled" Rasmussen said. "We took only eight kids but we scored twice See Wrestling page 4 Recl ification time has schools, leagues By PAUL DELANEY secretary as leagues and athletic we in jeopardy of going Staff Reporter directors we can sit here up?'" Spring said. "Ev- For a change when ler will and we can speculate all ery year I just hold my the every two year pro- moni- we want," Spring saidbreath." cess of reclassification of i n g with a laugh. It's not an issue that the state's high schools t h i n g s But until the opt-ups at this point or in the circles back into view, over at the Washingtonare real and the counts foreseeable future. Medi- Medical Lake athleticsInterscholastic Athletic are determined it's really cal Lake, with present director Chris Spring is Association until Jan.irrelevant conversation enrollment in the low breathing pretty easy.13, 2016 the last day for other than seeing where 400s is safe in its place The same might not movement of schools the lines are going to for another cycle, now be said for the Northeast before classifications for fall. expanded to four years, A League where the Car- the next four years are "Really what it is,but with the ability to ap- dinalsnow play and have announced the follow- more than anything for peal every two. Cheney done so since 2012. ing day. us, is looking at the num- is also staying put in 2A, For the next month "It's kind of an inter- bers the best we can and Bickler said. both Spring and NEA esting process becausesay, 'Are we safe? Are Deer Park and on edge once again Colville, both onetimeSomething that could 2A schools who dropped change, however, is the down in the last cycle in complexion of the NEA. 2014, remain some of the It could become a nine- biggest schools in both team league. the classification and the "If we don't have any NEA. opt-ups from the Bs to "We're pretty set in, the 1As, it's possible we not countingthe opt-ups, could pick up a ninth at 441 (enrollment), Deer school with Northwest Park is the top of the As," Christian," Bickler said. Bickler, a retired athletic Currently hovering director from Freeman, within the A classifica- said. The As currently tion with enrollment of bottom out at 192, but 206, it would take four the number is subject to change in the final tally. See Crunch Time page 4