Offensively and defensively, Joe Harris was Eastmont’s toughest assignment on Friday night as Harris pumped in 24 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead the Chelan Goats to an exciting win over the Wildcats.
Goats provide thrilling win over Eastmont
By Richard Uhlhorn
It was classic Goat basketball down the stretch. Disrupt the opponents offense, force a
mistake or two, recover a loose ball and get fouled for some crucial time at the free throw line. That’s what the Goats did down the stretch against a well coached Wildcat team and it paid off with a 48-45 victory. “Anytime you can win against a team like Eastmont this early in the year is going to pay off in the long run,” said Coach Joe Harris.
“It’s hard to simulate that situation in practice,” said Harris. Over the years, however, that very scenario has been played with success by the Goats over and over and over in tight games.
Eastmont held the Goats to only 19 points in the first half and went to the locker room leading the contest 23-19. The Goats and Wildcats were tied at 17 with remaining to play in the second period, but some excellent outside shooting gave Eastmont two 3-pointers to give them the lead.
In the third period of play, Chelan scored 16 to Eastmont’s 11 to take the lead 34-26 with two minutes remaining but Eastmont made a short run and tied the game at 34. Chelan was able to put in a free throw for the go ahead point 35-34 to end the quarter.
The fourth quarter of play was crucial for both teams and Chelan was down 41-45 with only remaining in the game. They grabbed a bucket with remaining to get within two points and Harris called a timeout.
With on the clock Eastmont missed two free throw attempts and Joe Harris came down with the rebound. With remaining, he was fouled and hit both of his shots to take tie the game at 45-all.
As the clock wound down, the Chelan’s Chase Anderson and Mat Engstrom were able to wrest a loose ball from Eastmont with Joe Harris ending up getting fouled one more time with only 30 seconds remaining. He quickly put those two points on the board to give Chelan a 47-45 edge. Harris was fouled again with 5.3 seconds on the clock and he missed his first shot, but sank the final free throw to give his team a three point advantage, 48-45.
Overall, the game was well played by both teams. Eastmont’s Malachi Roberts got into foul trouble early in the game and sat on the bench most of the first half. Julio Juarez took on the job of guarding Roberts and did an excellent job. “He didn’t score at all off Julio,” stated Harris. “He’s a lot more physical than he looks.”
Aaron McQuaid had some quality time on the court as did Chase Anderson, Mat Engstrom and Danny Campbell. “They made tons of good things happen out there,” said Harris. “We got some big buckets in the third quarter.”
Harris was particularly happy with the crowd and students at the game. “They were fantastic. It’s great to see students, the cheer squad and crowd get the excitement built up.”
As for the team…”We played hard from the opening tip off,” said Harris. “We put out a tremendous effort with every possession of the ball.”
Chelan travels to Ephrata on Tuesday to take on the Tigers. “Our schedule is pretty daunting, but playing these teams will help us out down the road,” stated Harris.