Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Garth Meyer
Gazette Reporter 

1B boys basketball:

League leaders Gar/Pal-Oakesdale meet Friday


January 16, 2020

Gar/Pal-Oakesdale 2020 begins Friday night at Oakesdale, the first meeting of the two teams which last year added a chapter to Whitman County basketball lore, in three games, the first two won by Gar/Pal and the third, for the district championship, taken by Oakesdale.

The two senior-laden teams then both advanced to state, Gar-Pal eliminated on the first night at Spokane Arena and Oakesdale making it to day four and a sixth-place finish.

This year, the teams are again at the top of the Southeast 1B league, with Garfield/Palouse at 5-0 and Oakesdale 4-1, with a loss at Prescott (a game which the Nighthawks were missing their head coach).

Gar/Pal is led again this year by the Jones boys; senior forward Blake and junior point guard Austin. Jacob Anderson, a junior post, is the third returning starter on the Vikings’ 2020 team.

For Oakesdale, senior guard Matt Hockett is the lone starter who returned, joined by experienced backups Kit Hockett, Simon Anderson, Tyler Bober and Ryan Henning.

Garfield/Palouse Coach Steve Swinney told the Gazette last week he thought Oakesdale was “as good, if not better, than last year.”

Carl Crider, Nighthawks coach, has not seen Gar/Pal yet in person, but has watched film.

“They’re a little different makeup this year, more height, long arms, they have a lot of nice pieces that have stepped into the spots left open,” he said. “Similar to us, all the pieces that graduated, you think, how can they not take a step back, but they’ve picked up where they left off.”

Oakesdale and Gar/Pal play each other twice during the regular season, to meet this year again in Palouse Feb. 8. just before the district playoffs.

Tip-off Friday in Oakesdale is 7:30 p.m.

“I don’t think either team needs to look very far or try very hard to get up for this game,” Crider said.

Current standings in the Southeast 1B league are: Garfield/Palouse 5-0, Prescott 4-1, Oakesdale 4-1, Pomeroy 3-3, Colton 1-3, St. John/Endicott/ LaCrosse 1-4, Touchet 0-5.

Odessa 63

Oakesdale 54

Tied at 44-44 with two and a half minutes left, Oakesdale playing at home Tuesday against Odessa – who beat them in the state fourth-sixth place game last March, and returned four starters – the game turned quickly as Odessa’s Ryan Moffett hit back-to-back three-pointers. The Tigers suddenly led by six again and kept up to win.

Moffett finished the game with 37 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter.

Kit Hockett led the Nighthawks with 19 points while Simon Anderson had 12 and Matt Hockett 10.

Oakesdale led the game by five points at the end of the third quarter.

“We played really solid,” said Coach Crider. “Overall, a very solid game. We got a little stagnant in the fourth. The game gave us a real taste of the level we need to play at for 32 minutes, in terms of intensity and focus.”

St. John/Endicott/ LaCrosse 58

Colton 44

In a makeup game Monday at Colton, St. John/Endicott/LaCrosse got their first league win of the season. Owen Swannack led with 10 points while Ty Harder had nine, Doug Stach eight, Pedro Molina eight and Wyatt Walker eight.

“We played very well, more like I think we can play,” said SJEL Coach Mike Stubbs. “I was very pleased with the overall team effort.”

Monday’s start time was moved up due to snow, and it took two hours to get back to St. John after the game. The Eagles’ record is now 2-8, 1-4 in league.

SJEL will play again on Friday at home against Touchet. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Oakesdale 56

Colton 23

Matt Hockett led the Nighthawks with 25 points and Simon Anderson scored 10 in a league win at home Jan. 11. Kian Ankerson had nine points for Colton as they dropped to 1-9 overall, 1-3 in league. Chris Wolf scored eight points.

Prescott 56

St. John/Endicott/ LaCrosse 49

Prescott held on at the end Jan. 11 at St. John for a league win over the Eagles.

SJEL led at halftime 28-25 and trailed by three points at the end of the third quarter.

“This is one we let get away,” said St. John/Endicott/LaCrosse Coach Mike Stubbs. “We played well in spots. Credit to Prescott, they hit their free throws at the end.”

Owen Swannack led SJEL with 19 points while Ty Harder scored 10.

Lakeside 78

Garfield/Palouse 57

The Vikings traveled to Plummer, Idaho, Saturday, Jan. 11, for a non-league loss.

Garfield/Palouse 65

Touchet 27

Gar/Pal met Touchet Jan. 9 on the road and took another league win, pushing their record to 5-0 in the Southeast 1B (8-4 overall).


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