Cheney Free Press -

Managing Editor 

Cold-shooting Blackhawks boys fall to Bantams


January 31, 2019

Poor shooting and allowing their opponents too many easy points sent the Cheney High boys basketball team to a Great Northern League loss last Tuesday night against visiting Clarkston. The formula led to an early seven-point Blackhawks deficit after one quarter and they never found their way back in the 60-48 setback to the league-leading, visiting Bantams.

Cheney head coach Gregg Smith said the Blackhawks shot 33 percent overall from the field, with just nine assists. The Bantams on the other hand pulled down 12 offensive rebounds, resulting in 12 second-chance points.

“Defensively we allowed them too many shots in the lane and will need to do a better job on the boards moving forward.”

Cheney head coach Gregg Smith

“(We were) not able to break out of our poor shooting night,” Smith said in an email. “(The) guys worked hard to get each other good looks, we had a hard time finishing.”

Thomas Baycroft led Cheney with 11 points, the only Blackhawk in double-figure scoring. Devin Cook added nine while Nick Berman and Camden VerStrate each added eight.

The Bantams Brandton Chatfield led all scorers with 23, while Tru Allen added 15 and Gus Hagestad 14. Clarkston scored 32 points in the paint — easy buckets if you can get them.

“Defensively we allowed them too many shots in the lane and will need to do a better job on the boards moving forward,” Smith said.

Moving forward is what the Blackhawks intend to do, and they have plenty of room in the league standings with which to do it. With three games remaining — Jan. 29 at home against East Valley, Friday (Feb. 1) at Pullman, and next Tuesday’s (Feb. 5) regular-season finale at home with West Valley — Cheney can finish anywhere from second to fourth, depending on the games outcomes.

At 5-4 in the GNL, 10-7 overall, Cheney is fourth in the standings but tied with West Valley (5-4, 12-5). The Blackhawks have split with both the Eagles and second-place Pullman (6-4, 14-4) and are 2-0 against the Knights (0-10, 2-16).

The first two rounds of the District 7 tournament will be played Feb. 8-9 at University High School in Spokane Valley. The winner of Saturday’s semifinal game will travel to the GNL regular-season winner’s site on Tuesday for a seeding game to regionals with the Central Washington Athletic Conference.

John McCallum can be reached at


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