Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Garth Meyer
Gazette Reporter 

Colfax wins at Oakesdale, 68-61


January 9, 2020

Ryan Henning

Oakesdale's Ryan Henning rebounds Jan. 2 in a week of two losses.

On a quiet Christmas break evening Jan. 2 at the Oakesdale gym, Colfax held off the previously unbeaten Nighthawks in a 1B/2B county showdown.

John Lustig, sophomore guard for Colfax, led all scorers with 27 points while Cole Baerlocher had 15 and Hunter Claassen 12. Kit Hockett led Oakesdale with 20 points in the loss.

Colfax led almost the entire game, extending leads with buzzer-beater shots to end the second and third quarter, the latter a three-pointer by Claassen to keep Colfax up seven going into the fourth.

Colfax kept at it, a corner three-pointer from Baerlocher keeping the lead at eight points with less than four minutes to go.

Oakesdale (9-2, 3-1) cut it back to five and, following a traveling call on Lustig on an inbound, Oakesdale senior guard Matt Hockett backed in to the Colfax basket on the dribble, put up a shot, off the front of the rim, got his own rebound, back up, off the front of the rim, got his own rebound, back up, off the far side of the rim.

Lustig then went to the free throw line after a reach-in foul by Tyler Bober.

He made both to put Colfax back up seven, 61-54.

With 1:14 left, still time, Oakesdale's Simon Anderson drove and scored – and got fouled – after an assist from Matt Hockett. Anderson made the free throw to cut the Colfax lead back to four.

Baerlocher missed a free throw and Oakesdale had another chance. Bober shot from the wing; off the downside of the front of the rim.

Colfax (7-3, 2-1) then sealed the game with free throws from Claassen, who also stole the ball at mid-court from Hockett at the end.

The game started tight, tied 16-16 at the end of the first quarter. After a 5 p.m. tip-off, with no school in session, a fan could hear Colfax Coach Reese Jenkin's direction in the huddle.

The Bulldogs pressed in the second quarter, going up by six at halftime, though Kit Hockett kept scoring in the lane for Oakesdale.

"Talk blue!" yelled Jenkin. "John, you need to talk!"

The Bulldogs kept finding lanes to the basket.

Lustig hit a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer for a 38-32 lead.

In the second half, Baerlocher hit two quick corner three-pointers.

Colfax held the lead and, right at the end of the third quarter, Oakesdale's Gavin Shrope scored on a two-footer underneath off a pass from Ryan Henning to make it a three-point game.

"Talk blue! You're too quiet!" called Jenkin.

Claassen then erased Henning's shot with a buzzer-three pointer.

Further Oakesdale scorers for the evening included Anderson with 16 points and Matt Hockett nine.

"I think it was a good, competitive game," said Oakesdale Coach Carl Crider. "The main difference was Colfax had a slight edge on both ends of the floor that they were the aggressor, they had us on our heels. Any little thing in a game like that can be the difference."

Oakesdale shot 3-for-11 from past the three-point line while Colfax was 10-for-20.

Garfield/Palouse 74

St. John/Endicott/ LaCrosse 43

Blake Jones delivered a spread of 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals as Gar/Pal beat the Eagles in Palouse Jan. 4.

"He's just the complete basketball player," said Gar/Pal Coach Steve Swinney. "The biggest problem I have with Blake is getting him to shoot enough."

Jacob Anderson scored 12 points with eight rebounds and Dawson Dugger added 10 points.

"They are as advertised," said SJEL coach Mike Stubbs.

Ty Harder led St. John/Endicott/LaCrosse in the loss with 16 points while Owen Swannack scored 14.

"So far I'm happy," said Swinney, of the season. "We're seeing improvement in kids and gaining ground, becoming a better team."

The Vikings are also getting contributions from backups Jaxson Orr, Kyle Bankus and Cameron Merrill.

Did Swinney think the team would be this deep?

"I was hoping so," he said. "I saw sparks of it in summer league."

Gar/Pal played Potlatch Tuesday night, losing a second time to the Loggers this year, to be followed by a league game Friday at Touchet and a non-league trip to Lakeside Saturday.

Then it is on to a pending showdown with Oakesdale Jan. 17.

"I think Oakesdale is almost better than they were last year," Swinney said. "As good, if not better."

Potlatch 47

Garfield/Palouse 31

The Loggers hounded Gar/Pal to a non-league loss at Palouse Tuesday. Jacob Anderson led the Vikings with eight points.

Prescott 43

Oakesdale 37

While Coach Crider remained in Oakesdale with the flu Jan. 4, assistant Kevin Young took the team to Prescott (4-4, 2-1) where the Nighthawks lost – Prescott's reputation growing as the toughest place to play in the Southeast 1B league.

Oakesdale (9-2, 3-1) trailed by 10 at halftime before cutting it to a one-possession game, but could never make enough shots.

"When you don't put the ball in the hole, it makes it tough," said Crider.

Oakesdale scored just 17 points in the first half, on a night which they shot 37 percent from the field, including 3-for-21 past the three-point line.

Kit Hockett led with 12 points in the loss while Matt Hockett had 11 points and 13 rebounds.

"It's kind of an eye-opener," Crider said. "You start 9-0 and can get comfortable."

The team has no injuries.

"The players are staying healthy," said Crider. "Even if the coaches aren't."

The Nighthawks will play next on Saturday, Jan. 11, at home against Colton (1-7, 1-2), followed by a non-league matchup with Odessa, also at home, Jan. 14. The two teams last met at Spokane Arena in March in the state 1B fourth-place game. Odessa won 63-45, and returned four starters for this year's team (6-0, 3-0). Oakesdale lost four starters.

Pomeroy 62

Colton 53

At Pomeroy Jan. 4, Colton got out-rebounded 51-17 but stayed in the game against the Pirates.

Chris Wolf scored 19 points in the loss while Kian Ankerson had 15 and Jackson Meyer 14.

Trent Gwinn led Pomeroy with 27 points while Evan Bartels had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Bryon Stallcop added 13 points and 16 rebounds for the Pirates.

St. John/Endicott/ LaCrosse update

Just after Christmas, St. John/Endicott/LaCrosse played two games at the Reardan tournament and first lost 46-39 to Inchellium.

"That's one we let slip away. That's one we should've had," said Mike Stubbs, Eagles coach.

The other loss was to Reardan 67-15.

"A really, really bad day for anybody that was an Eagle," Stubbs said.

SJEL is now 1-8. They were set to play next Friday at Colton (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday at home against Prescott (5:30 p.m.).

Orofino 37

Colton 36

At Orofino Tuesday night, Colton lost close as Chris Wolf led with 12 points and Jackson Meyer added 11. Colton outscored the Maniacs by seven points in the fourth quarter, but could not close it out on a final possession.


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