Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Garth Meyer
Gazette Reporter 

Vikings beat Oakesdale, lose to Prescott


January 17, 2019

Steve Swinney

Garfield/Palouse coach Steve Swinney addresses his team before the second half of the 46-34 win over Oakesdale Jan. 11.

For two years in a row, Garfield/Palouse went to Prescott and got a record scratch.

Last year, after beating undefeated Pomeroy on a Friday night in January, they went to Prescott and lost on Saturday.

This year, on Friday, Jan. 11, Gar/Pal beat Oakesdale to lift themselves out of a tie for the top spot in the Southeast 1B league and played at Prescott the next night, losing 73-64.

The 24 hour-sequence put the Vikings back into a tie with Oakesdale for first in league, since Oakesdale beat Prescott (11-3, 5-2) earlier.

"They played really well, they shot hot," said Gar/Pal coach Steve Swinney. "Prescott's good. They'll be in the mix. They've got some scorers."

Jose Gonzales led the Tigers with 26 points.

"A lot of those were with a hand in his face. He still buried them," Swinney said.

Ely Hawkins and Blake Jones both scored 13 points in the loss and Tanner Anderson had 12.

Gar/Pal beat Prescott by 20 at Palouse in December (64-44), on a night in which the Tigers were missing two starters.

Vikings win, take over first

Bob's Big Boy is a restaurant chain started in Glendale, Calif. in 1936.

Steve's big boys is a Southeast 1B league basketball squad founded in 2018 with hopes to expand toward Spokane in March.

Prospects went up last Friday as Coach Steve Swinney and Garfield/Palouse beat Oakesdale – who were also undefeated in league going into the game.

"A nice win for our kids. Oakesdale's the team to beat," said Swinney. "We did a pretty good job defending and rebounding, our energy level was high."

Steve's big boys are not a rounded child holding up a hamburger but thick young men, an athletic front line of seniors Ely Hawkins and Tanner Anderson, sophomore Jacob Anderson and Caden Sanderson, another senior. Serving too are forwards and guards Blake Jones, Austin Jones and in a new twist, Jordan Paddock and Austin Stockert got extended minutes against Oakesdale.

"With Oakedale's speed and quickness, we went with a smaller lineup," Swinney said. "Oakesdale's kind of a matchup nightmare."

Nighthawks' junior point guard Matt Hockett watched from the bench in slacks as his team never led, trailing 9-2 and 16-9 before Oakesdale cut it to a four-point game on a three-pointer from Tyler Bober.

Nearing halftime, Gar/Pal point guard Austin Jones hit a three-pointer from the top of the key to put it back to 21-14 and the big boys looked in command.

Oakesdale's Bober threw a pass away on offense and on the other end of the floor, a rebound by Kieron Anderson preceded an errant pass that gave the ball back to Garfield/Palouse.

With just under 30 seconds left to halftime, Oakesdale took possession, dribbling, holding as the clock wound down. They engaged at the 10-second mark and never got a shot off.

It was 21-14 at halftime.

The second half opened and Hawkins downed a three-pointer for a 10-point lead. Blake Jones scored on a two-footer and Tanner Anderson scored again from the inside for 30-19 into the fourth quarter.

Oakesdale's Simon Anderson drove through the center of the key for 30-23.

Would the Nighthawks make a push, make this a game?

No, Austin Jones rifled a pass to open Tanner Anderson for another one-foot shot.

Then Hawkins bowled over a defender in a short-yardage situation near the basket and got called for traveling. Oakesdale had the ball back, down by seven again.

No points followed, Anderson got open again under the basket for Gar/Pal and hit another two-footer with a foul. His free throw made it 35-25.

Steve's big boys had it in hand.

Blake Jones led the Vikings with 14 points and 12 rebounds while Tanner Anderson had 10 points and Hawkins 8. Evan Henning led Oakesdale with nine points in the loss.


The Nighthawks shot 17 percent from the floor.

"I don't remember a 17-percent night before," said Oakesdale coach Carl Crider. "Some of that was us and a fair amount of it was Gar/Pal."

The Vikings led in rebounding 35-25.

"That's 10 possessions they could've had," Swinney said.

Aside from Hockett still out with a healing ankle, Oakesdale senior starting guard Wesley Castanon also did not play due to a wrist injury.

Paddock, a 5'8" Gar/Pal senior guard/forward, joined the team after not playing last year – instead electing to concentrate on another sport: bullriding. First he had to recover from a knee injured getting caught in a chute gate in September. Last July, he competed at the National High School Finals in Rock Springs, Wyo. as a member of the Washington state team.

"He's a sparkplug," Swinney said. "Always the hardest working kid in practice. Since he got going with us, our practices have improved. That fire. He's intense all the time. You love kids like that."

Prescott remains in third-place in the league with Colton in fourth at 7-7, 3-3.

"(The Gar/Pal loss) is kind of a reality check for us," said Crider. "We're not gonna just walk through league, walk through regionals. You gotta go in with a tough mindset. We've got to toughen up mentally. To prepare every practice to give a great mental and physical effort."

After a home win over Touchet the next night, Jan. 12, Oakesdale was set to play again Tuesday night at non-league, undefeated Odessa (13-0, 10-0 Northeast 1B league) followed by a Friday home game against Pomeroy – for which Hockett is expected to be in the lineup – and Saturday at Prescott.

Crider, like Swinney, also thinks it is a tough place to play.

"They're uptempo, the more chaotic the game, they more they like it," Crider said.

Potlatch 59, Garfield/Palouse 58

Playing non-league Potlatch for the second time this season, Gar/Pal lost at home Tuesday night on a one second-left free throw by the Loggers' Jarrod Nicholson. The one-point loss compared to a score of 59-29 when the two teams met Nov. 29, the Vikings losing in their first game of the year.

Prescott 64, Colton 43

Kieron Anderson

Oakesdale senior center and leading scorer Kieron Anderson dribbles for an opening at Palouse.

Playing at Prescott Jan. 12, Colton trailed by 17 points at the end of the first quarter and could not get back in the game. Parker Druffel led with 16 points for the Wildcats and Chris Wolf had nine. Jonathan Cardenas led Prescott with 26 points.

Eagles win one, lose two

The St. John/Endicott boys lost to Tekoa/Rosalia 72-59 Jan. 8 at Rosalia. Sophomore guard Jaden Danielson led the Eagles with 23 points while Kameron Greenhalgh scored 21.

The team then went to Touchet Jan. 11 and picked up a league win, 47-42. Greenhalgh scored 12 points and Owen Swannack got 11.

S.J.E.L. played next at LaCrosse Jan. 12 for a 47-41 home loss to Pomeroy. Greenhalgh scored 17 in the game and Danielson 12.

St. John/Endicott/ LaCrosse has a bye Friday followed by a game at Garfield/Palouse (Palouse) Saturday night.

Tanner AndersonSteve SwinneyKieron Anderson


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