CASHMERE – The Tonasket boys basketball team didn’t come home from Cashmere with a victory, but their 50-39 loss to the Bulldogs may well have been their best performance of the season.
“We executed our game plan by taking care of the ball and handling the press much better (than at Okanogan on Tuesday),” said Tonasket coach Glenn Braman. “Twelve turnovers is about average for us this year and with the amount of pressure that they put on the ball, I thought it was an acceptable number.”
Playing in perhaps the CTL’s toughest venue, the Tigers took an 11-10 lead after the first quarter. Unfortunately shooting well ran dry in the middle quarters as Cashmere outscored the Tigers 33-13, but Braman said that overall the execution he was looking for was there.
“Outside of some cold shooting in the middle two quarters this was one of the best games we have played, start to finish,” he said.
Damon Halvorsen hit five 3-pointers and finished with 19 points, with John Stedtfeld adding 11 points and eight rebounds. Trevor Terris had seven rebounds and Lazaro Ortega had four assists.
“Damon has really been shooting the ball well of late,” Braman said. “When we can get a night that everyone is hitting open shots it will make for some good basketball.
“I have seen increased focus on the defensive end of the floor for us, and our blocking out and overall rebounding ahs been getting better.”
The Tigers (7-7, 0-4 CTL) played at Omak on Tuesday and host Chelan on Friday night, and Braman hopes to see the same effort he saw during Saturday’s game.
“Cashmere (11-2, 4-1) is always a tough place to play,” he said. “We battle for the whole game and I was really proud of our effort.”
Okanogan 77, Tonasket 42
OKANOGAN – Okanogan’s pressure defense forced the Tigers into 25 turnovers and propelled the Bulldogs to a 77-42 victory on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
“Okanogan is a very good team,” Braman said. “They will do well this year as they have experience, as well as all the pieces. They are big, they have a couple of slashing guards and a couple of quick, defensive-minded guards that put a ton of pressure on the ball.”
For the third straight game, the third quarter proved to be a big problem for the Tigers, who were outscored 23-5 in the period. Trailing 43-25 at the half, Okanogan extended the lead to 66-30 with that big run.
Braman noted that the turnovers forced by Okanogan’s defense allowed the Bulldogs to take 20 more shots than the Tigers managed.
“And theirs were more like lay-in and close shots to our 3-pointers,” he said. “We have to find a way to take care of the ball better to stay in games against teams that have the type of weapons that Okanogan has.”
Halvorsen hit 5-of-9 3-pointers for all of his 15 points, while John Stedtfeld added 12 points and five rebounds, Zac Davis had nine points and Laz Ortega had three assists.
Joe Townsend paced the Bulldogs with 15 points, Justin Vanderweide had 13 and Marty Staggs tallied 11.