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Cheney snaps streak with win at North Central

Tylin Hertel free throws propel Lady Blackhawks to non-league win


Last updated 1/9/2020 at 11:55am

Roger Harnack

Junior guard Lexi Deatherage dribbles past West Valley's Nevaeh Sherwood during last Friday's game.

CHENEY – The Lady Blackhawks shot just six free throws and made five last Saturday night at 3A Greater Spokane League North Central, but none bigger than the final two by Tylin Hertel.

After leading most of the game, Cheney suddenly found itself down by one, 39-38, thanks to an Indian basket with 12 seconds remaining in the game. After a timeout to draw up a play, the Lady Blackhawks missed an easy lay-in, only to have Hertel haul down the rebound and get fouled on the put-back shot attempt.

The junior made them both with six seconds to play, and Cheney held on for a 40-39 win, snapping a six-game losing streak.

The win also applied a positive spin on the week which began with a tough 52-39 Great Northern League loss to West Valley that saw Cheney play the sixth-ranked Eagles pretty evenly with the exception of the second quarter. In that frame the Lady Blackhawks were outscored 15-4, whereas they were outscored just 37-35 the other 24 minutes.

"It's been our nemesis all season," head coach Roxie Smith said of the eight minutes leading up to halftime. "We've been thinking about it, watching film on it and we just can't figure it out."

Like their male counterparts, the Lady Blackhawks have been playing good defense all season, but struggle at times to find points. Against West Valley it was 3-point shooting, a portion of their game where the Lady Blackhawks typically shoot in the 30 percent range but hit only 17 percent against the Eagles.

Cheney was 34 percent from 2-point range while West Valley (2-0 GNL, 8-1) shot 42 percent and 36 percent from beyond the arc. The Eagles doubled Cheney on points in the paint, 28 – 14, and points off turnovers, 9 – 4. Cheney committee just 14 turnovers to West Valley's 11, and had five steals to the Eagles two.

Emma Evans led Cheney in scoring with 17 points, with Maggie Smith adding 12. Smith was the only Lady Blackhawk in double figures against NC with 14 points.

"We're executing defensively," Roxie Smith said. "We struggle to get offensive production, especially when our main scorers (Maggie Smith and Evans) are taken away."

Roger Harnack

Senior post player Shelby Draper goes up for a shot against West Valley last Friday.

Cheney (0-2, 2-6) had a tough non-league schedule, and getting into league play won't make the season any easier. The Lady Blackhawks traveled to 2A eighth-ranked East Valley (2-1, 9-2) on Tuesday, Jan. 7, and return home to face Pullman (0-2, 3-7) Friday.

Smith said that where West Valley has fast, strong guards but is not very tall under the basket, East Valley is exactly the opposite - tall and strong underneath, not so fast out front. Pullman is somewhat similar to Cheney in they are also struggling to find scoring.

Smith thinks both games present opportunities for success for Cheney, if they can get the ball in the hoop more.

"We just have to figure out how to generate enough offensive production to keep us in games," she said.

John McCallum can be reached at


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