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By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Goldendale boys pick up first league win at Cle Elum, fall to La Salle at home


December 20, 2017

Jaryd Cline

Goldendale's Cameron Mains, left, jumps to try and alter the shot of La Salle's Kieran Kershaw while William Finn, center, and Justin Wells look on during Saturday's game in Goldendale.

After a tough, close loss at home to the Highland Scotties to open the South Central Athletic Conference slate, the Goldendale Timberwolves boys basketball team bounced back and "grew a lot" with Friday's 52-51 road win over Cle Elum.

The Timberwolves looked to continue its winning ways a day later at home against the La Salle Lightning, but fell 69-48 after pairing together two great quarters of basketball with two poor quarters.

Heading north for about a three hour bus ride, head coach David Stelljes' first SCAC road contest came down to the wire after the Timberwolves held a late fourth quarter lead.

Clinging to a six point lead in the final minutes, Cle Elum forced a few turnovers down the stretch, and shortly later tied the game at 50.

"I was trying to get the guys to stay calm because the game's been going pretty intense," Stelljes said.

With the shot clock turned off and time running low in the fourth, junior Lane Siebert drove to the basket and was fouled before putting up a shot. Goldendale was in the bonus and he went to the line to shoot a one-and-one, knocking down both to give the Wolves a 52-50 advantage.

Cle Elum threw the ball away on the ensuing possession, giving it back to Goldendale, who talked over an out-of-bounds play after a Warrior timeout.

Goldendale struggled to get the ball inbounded though, and a scuffle for the loose ball began after a low pass couldn't be handled. Nobody was able to gain possession of the ball and call a quick timeout, but it didn't matter. A foul on Goldendale with .7 seconds left in the game sent a Cle Elum shooter to the line for two shots and a chance to tie. He knocked down the first shot, but the second bounced off the rim and the clock expired to give Goldendale its first league win.

"We really grew a lot in that game," Stelljes said. "We took care of the ball more and were more patient on the offensive end."

The Timberwolves weren't as rushed as they had been offensively in recent games, using more of the shot clock to set up plays and controlling the tempo better than they had in their first few games.

They also were able to control the boards, helping create extra scoring opportunities on offense and taking away second chances on defense.

"Defensively we rebounded great. Boxed out. Got on the boards," Stelljes said.

"It was a really big step in the right direction," he added.

Goldendale looked to build on its first league win on Saturday at home against the Lightning, last year's No. 3 seed out of the league's west side, but a big-time second half rally blew the game open for a 21 point La Salle win.

Despite losing a pair of first-team all-leaguers to graduation (Jordan Martin and Bridger Parrish) from last year's team, the Lightning returned an even better player in sophomore Kieran Kershaw.

As a freshman last year against the Timberwolves in Goldendale, Kershaw sparked a late third quarter run with a couple of 3-pointers that turned a one-point Goldendale lead into a nine-point La Salle advantage that the home team couldn't recover from.

Kershaw again sparked the Lightning to a win over the Timberwolves, scoring 33 points and affecting the game with his passing and defense. Stelljes tried sticking a few different defenders on him to just focus on denying him the ball, but he either got free on off-ball screens, or was able to steal the ball on defense, which he did seven times.

The Timberwolves didn't make it easy on themselves though, pairing good second and third quarters with tough performances in the first and fourth.

Falling behind by double figures (16-6) to start the second quarter, Goldendale scored the first six points in the quarter with two baskets from senior Jacob Bischoff and one from senior Conner Doubravsky. They cut the deficit to three multiple times, but trailed 32-27 at the half.

Three-pointers from Bischoff and senior William Finn and a layin from senior Justin Wells and Finn brought the Wolves within one at 38-37 with 4:00 left in the quarter, but a series of fouls against the Timberwolves, including a technical, led to an 11-1 La Salle run that put them on top 49-38 going into the fourth. Goldendale couldn't recover from the setback as the Lightning offense got rolling.

The Lightning confused the Timberwolves with their half-court trap defense that continually forced turnovers in the second half.

"We had a bunch of turnovers and they took those the other way for two and it just got away from us quick," Stelljes said.

The Timberwolves also were without senior Alex Mains, who's nursing a banged up shoulder he suffered against Highland last Tuesday.

Stelljes knows that if the Timberwolves are able to put together a full game effort and play like they did in the second and most of the third quarters against La Salle, then they will be a much more dangerous team.

"Saturday we played two good quarters," Stelljes said. "If we get a full four quarters playing this kind of ball we're supposed to, we're going to be more successful, more competitive."

Box scores

Last Tuesday

Goldendale 21 10 13 12 - 56

Highland 10 19 15 16 - 60

Goldendale scoring: Bischoff 24, Finn 11, Cameron Mains 7, Doubravsky 4, Alex Mains 4, Curtis Kayser 2, Corbin Bland 2, Siebert 1, Wells 1.


Goldendale 10 13 13 16 - 52

Cle Elum 13 5 17 16 - 51

Goldendale scoring: Doubravsky 12, Wells 10, Kayser 8, Bland 7, Bischoff 5, Siebert 4, Finn 4, Cameron Mains 2.


Goldendale 6 21 11 10 - 48

La Salle 16 16 17 20 - 69

Goldendale scoring: Doubravsky 11, Bischoff 10, Wells 8, Finn 8, Siebert 6, Cameron Mains 3, Kayser 2.

Up next

Stelljes and the Wolves talked about their goals against the Leopards, who entered Tuesday's game as the No. 4 team among Class 1A schools according to the WIAA RPI rankings, which takes winning percentage, opponents winning percentage, opponents opponents win percentage, and strength of schedule. All 1A boys rankings can be seen at

The top thing that Stelljes and the Timberwolves want to clean up are the turnovers, especially against the quick and aggressive Leopards.

Jaryd Cline

Junior Lane Siebert finishes inside on Saturday. Siebert hit the go ahead free throws on Friday in Cle Elum.

The Timberwolves don't have a day to rest after Tuesday's game, and are set for a 7:30 p.m. meeting with the Lyle-Wishram Cougars.

Stelljes said he is excited for the showdown between the two, young head coaches. Cougars' coach Josh Padgett is in his second year at the helm in Lyle and was a former teacher in Goldendale and assistant football coach.

Stelljes knows the Cougars like to run the floor, and wants to limit the Cougars transition opportunities.

"We have to make sure that we, after every made basket, get back (on defense) because they'll inbound it and be gone before we even know what hit us," Stelljes said.


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