Cheney Free Press -

By John McCallum

Lady Hawks blitz Stags 60-19 for first league win

Cheney gets rolled over by Pullman in 64-39 loss


John McCallum

Cheney sophomore post Coreen Labish tries to thread her way to the basket past Deer Park’s Ciera Sitton (24) and Abbea St. Mars (22).

The Cheney High School girls’ basketball team’s first two forays into the 2013 Great Northern League season turned out to be polar opposites of each other. The Lady Hawks were dominant Thursday night in the league opener at home against Deer Park, overwhelming the visiting Stags for a 60-19 win, but two days later were overwhelmed themselves on the road, falling 64-39 at Pullman.

Chae Brown scored six straight points, with Sami Sheffels’ two jumpers on either end of the run to put Cheney up 10-0 Thursday night before Deer Park (0-2, 0-10) even knew what hit them. The Lady Hawks eventually stretched that to 36-6 by halftime and cruised from there to the win.

Sophomore Coreen Labish led a trio of Cheney players in double digit scoring with a game-high 14 points, followed by Brown with 12 and Sheffels at 10.

Saturday night the Lady Hawks got off to a 4-0 lead, but a pair of Greyhounds 3-pointers and a couple lay-ins quickly turned things around for the home team, helping Pullman (1-1, 5-5) to a 24-11 first quarter lead they eventually stretched 49-24 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Greyhounds had three players in double-digit scoring, led by senior Dakota Wickard’s game-high 18, while Sheffels was the only Lady Hawk in double digits with 10. Compounding things for Cheney was the loss of Brown, who went out in the second quarter with a shoulder injury.

“Deer Park game was a total team effort, great hustle and play from all the girls,” Lady Hawks head coach Jennifer Harmer said in an email Tuesday morning. “It was good to see everyone step up and contribute. Pullman game was the opposite. We didn’t play as a united group (and) it was tough once Chae went out. We depend on her for a lot.”

Brown is the only returning starter from last season and is a key element in what makes the Lady Hawks go on both sides of the ball. How long she may be sidelined was unknown at press time, but for Harmer there is a bright side to the Pullman loss.

“I don’t feel we played to our potential and am looking forward to another shot at them,” she said.

Cheney wrapped up its preseason, non-league schedule on Dec. 28 with a 56-46 win over Northeast A Riverside, getting 19 points from Brown, 14 from senior Darien Brophy and 13 from Labish.

The Lady Hawks (1-1, 3-5) resume GNL play this week with three big games. Cheney hosts league leader East Valley (2-0, 8-2) Tuesday, results next week, and area rival West Valley (1-0, 5-4) Friday, before hitting the road to face 2A newcomer Colville (0-0, 4-4) Saturday.

John McCallum can be reached at


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