Cheney Free Press -

By Lee Hughes
Staff reporter 

Card boys take out Cashmere in overtime

Medical Lake offers competition a taste of potential post-season play against the Cards


Last updated 1/16/2020 at 12:10pm

CASHMERE — Like a tsunami, the Medical Lake boy’s basketball team continues to roll relentlessly over competitors, even if they take extra quarters to do it.

That was the case when the Cardinals traveled west to take on the Cashmere Bulldogs — who they may very well see again in the post-season — in a 55-50 overtime win.

“It was just a fun high school basketball game to be a part of,” head coach Jordan Starr said. “It was great basketball.”

He classified the game as one in which both teams knew the “magnitude” of the game. Medical Lake is currently ranked third — down from No. 2 last week — in the state 1A division by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association RPI index with an overall 9-1 record, and 3-0 in the Northeast A.

“This was a great opportunity to play a top team and kind of let them know that we’re ready to play people, to play them tough and competitively,” Starr said.

He called it a defensive game throughout, with the Cardinals leading at the end of the first quarter by three points, then each team sinking only eight points in the second for a narrow 20-17 Card lead at the half.

The battle continued in the second half with the Bulldogs edging the stingy Cardinals by a single point in the third, then by two more in the fourth to tie the game at 44 to take the game into overtime.

But Cardinal competitiveness kicked into gear in the fifth, and Medical Lake outshot Cashmere by five points, enough to close the deal so the team could get back on the bus and make the trip home with yet another victory on the record books.

It was Ashton Hamilton-Becker’s turn at offense in Cashmere, and he brought in 29 points for the team. Nick Mason “had a bunch of rebounds, 12 points and a bunch of blocks,” Starr said.

Jordan Petersen again ran interference for the Cardinals, defending the Bulldogs top player, and “had a lot of deflections and some good passes and played a great role,” Starr said.

Like any sport, basketball is a game of statistics. But as a coach, Starr is reluctant to spread too much praise or point to statistics to lift up any one player. When pressed about the exact number of deflections and rebounds he instead deflected the question and brought the interview back to the team.

“Our whole team had a lot of hands on the ball, deflections we were getting in the passing lanes, we were being disruptive,” he said of the game. “It just kind of helped us out.”

Asked about the difference between this year’s team and last year’s, and Starr replied the team knows who they are and their identity.

Which is exactly what he said was his goal during an interview in June after being named head coach.

“If we can create a great identity as a team we can find some success in the league,” Starr said at the time.

It’s exactly what he continues to preach today.

“I think it just helps in the game and towards the end of the game that we believe; that we have confidence and people know what they’re supposed to be doing,” he said.

The Cardinals have four tough road games this week that was scheduled to begin Tuesday, Jan. 14 against Newport (1-3, 7-5) followed the next day by a make-up game in Deer Park, who now lead the NEA with a 4-0 (9-2 overall) record. Then it’s off to face Freeman (2-1, 8-3) on Thursday.

“They’re all going to be competitive, tough league games,” Starr said.

On Saturday it’s off to Cheney for the annual non-league Spirit Games. The Blackhawks, who currently sit at the bottom of the Great Northern League standings at 2-7 overall, will be looking to gain some street cred by beating the upstart 1A team from the other side of the West Plains and keep the coveted Spirit Game Golden Feather they won last year for the first time since 2011.

Lee Hughes can be reached at


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