OMAK – It was the best kind of road trip for the Chelan High School varsity basketball teams last Friday, Dec. 15, when both teams came out on the winning end of their Caribou Trail League tip-offs against Omak.
In a game filled with lead changes and a margin that never got beyond seven points, the Chelan boys made the clutch plays when they counted to secure a 59-56 win, but the game went down to the wire before deciding the victor.
The Goats found themselves on the short end of a 30-28 halftime score despite balanced scoring from seven players. The Pioneers kept up the pressure with a 16-12 third quarter that gave Omak a two-point, 44-42 advantage going into the final period. Next, the Pioneers put together a 12-4 scoring surge and the Goats found themselves trailing, 54-48, with just three minutes to play.
Then it was Chelan that came up with the clutch plays that made the difference down the stretch.
Sparked by a Luca Faletto jump shot, an Isaac Wilson lay-in, and a Jacob Allen three pointer, Chelan went on an 11-2 scoring run to take the lead for good as the clock ran down.
Ryan Rainville led the Goats with 13 points, followed by Faletto with 11, and Wilson with nine.
Omak was paced by 18 points from smooth-shooting, 6’-3” lefty Taegen Mulin, and 19 points from Saige Boyd who connected on a trey of three-pointers.
Head coach Tony Callero said he was proud of the leadership and composure his team showed.
“We talk all the time about how player-led teams are much better than coach-led teams,” said Callero. “We reminded them of that during a fourth quarter time-out and it was great to see them pull together and come up with the big stops over and over again in those final few possessions.”
The win improves Chelan’s CTL record to 2-1 and 6-1 overall. The loss was Omak’s first of the season dropping the Pioneers to 2-1 in the CTL and 5-1 overall.
Girls win by 12, 43-31
The first quarter of the girls’ varsity game set the tone for the night. Chelan took an early four-point, 15-11 lead. They extended that to seven, 25-18, by halftime.
As the game progressed into the third quarter, Chelan maintained its momentum, adding another 10 points while limiting Omak to just five. In the fourth quarter the teams traded basket for basket with each side scoring eight.
Chelan's victory was a result of a collective team effort, but special recognition goes to the scoring leaders who played a pivotal role in securing the win. Brynn Hughbanks led the charge with 19 points, Lydia Petersen and Marley Williams contributed six points each, adding crucial support to Chelan's offensive arsenal.
“Our girls played a great second half. We challenged them at the end of the first quarter to not allow Omak another double-digit quarter after scoring 11 in the first,” said head coach Nick Longmire. “Defensively they responded well. As a team we are working through how and why we have quarters where we play flat and hesitant. The girls came out of the locker room at halftime with more of a chip on their shoulder. We just need to play like that all the time and take no team for granted.”
Mike Maltais: 360-333-8483 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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