Mat Engstrom had a game high 24 points and 16 rebounds against the Okanogan Bulldogs on Saturday night.
Chelan boys defeat Okanogan 48-43
Australian team victorious Friday 62-28
By Richard Uhlhorn
It was quite a weekend of basketball for the Chelan Goats and Coach Joe Harris. On Friday night, the Goats hosted NewingtonCollege from Australia and then re-entered league play on Saturday night against the Okanogan Bulldogs.
The Goats struggled against the Bulldogs in this exciting match-up, finally putting the game away late in the fourth quarter on a few crucial fouls that put an injured Joe Harris at the line which gave the Goats a 48-43 victory.
It also marked Coach Harris’ 400th win as a basketball coach. “If I remember correctly,” said Coach Harris, “my 200th career win came against Okanogan and our 300th win came against Okanogan.
“Okanogan played a great game against us,” said Harris. “I think our pressure late in the game was the deciding factor.”
Chelan and Okanogan played it very close throughout the first three quarters with the Bulldogs entering the fourth quarter with a narrow two point lead 32-30.
Coach Joe Harris collected his 400th win as a head basketball coach on Saturday night against the Okanogan Bulldogs.
Joe Harris tied it in the opening minutes of the fourth with two free throws and then Okanogan turned the ball over giving Chelan a shot to go ahead, but the game was then tied at 34-all and 38-all on two free throws from Danny Campbell.
Okanogan went back out in front 39 to 38 missing on the back side of a two shot free throw attempt.
With only 1:23 remaining to play, Matt Engstrom (16 rebounds and 24 points) battled through the defense and put Chelan ahead 40-39 collecting a foul in the process which he promptly made putting Chelan up by two points, 41-39.
Okanogan called a time out, but Chelan added two more points before Okanogan put up two giving Chelan a narrow lead again, 43-41. With only 23 seconds remaining, Okanogan’s only hope was to foul a Chelan player and hope they missed, but Joe Harris is the wrong guy to be putting on the line. He gave Chelan a few insurance free throws before Okanogan took another time out. Chelan put up four more points to Okanogan’s two points to give Chelan a great victory over a tough team.
Mat Engstrom came up big during this game. “He’s a warrior under the basket,” said Coach Harris. Joe Harris, despite having a sore ankle and bruised knee, was able to help the team to the win with 10 points. “I don’t expect him to be fully recovered until the middle of next week,” said Coach Harris.
Chelan plays Brewster this coming Tuesday night in the Chelan gymnasium.
Newington CollegeUSA Basketball Tour
It was a short three years ago that Coach Rex Nottage brought his team back to the United States for a basketball tour through Oregon and Washington with Chelan on the ticket.
“I love bringing the boys to rural American,” said Coach Nottage. “I grew up in the bush and like to give them the experience of small towns and Chelan is a great one.”
Unfortunately, Chelan’s JV and varsity squads were not up to par on Friday night and the two squads from Australia defeated the JV team 52-24 and the varsity 62-28.
Joe Harris sat on the bench throughout the varsity game looking very frustrated. The rest of the team was just not able to stop the offensive and defensive onslaught by the very quick, very aggressive Aussies.
Under the basket, Newington had Steven Davis at 6’ 9” at center and Luke Develoin, a 6’7” forward to keep Mat Engstrom under control, stuffing his efforts time after time. “They were big,” said Mat.
Engstrom ended up with eight rebounds and 11 points on the night. Aaron McQuaid had four points and the other players came up with four or less points on the evening.
On the Australian side, there were three players in double figures, with a 5’7” guard Daniel Hill hitting 5 of 9 attempts from beyond the three point line and scoring a game high 16 points. He was followed by Luke Devlin and Steven Davis who both scored 13 and 11 respectively
Despite the romp, it was all great fun for the fans and players. Newington moved on the next day to play 4A Woodinville. “We’ll be back,” said Coach Nottage.