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2/6/2013 3:14:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Photo by Kacie Thrift
Junior Connor Badgley (45) and sophomore Mason Elliott (15) fight against the Chelan Goats for the rebound. Cashmere beat Chelan 67-59.
Photo by Kacie Thrift
An aggressive junior, Casey Ruether, has no problem driving the ball into the tall Chelan defense. Last week, Ruether helped the Bulldogs with two important wins. On Jan. 31, he scored 21 points in the game against Brewster.
Bulldogs head to postseason as CTL second seed
After two hard fought wins against Chelan (11-3) and Brewster (8-6) last week, the Cashmere boys basketball team finished the regular season second place in the Caribou Trail League.

Earlier in the season, the Bulldogs lost to the Chelan Goats on the road, 58-56, by a banked buzzer shot. This time around Cashmere hosted the game on Jan. 29 and it was senior night. After recognizing the teams four seniors, Coleman McElroy, Adam Ross, Jordan Christensen, and Dawson Taylor, the boys were ready to play for the win.

"Our seniors did great. Jordan and Coleman were rock solid. We challenged them to play big time defense for us and that's exactly what they did," said Cashmere Head Coach Keith Boyd. "Adam and Dawson, those kids have great attitudes we're lucky to have them on the team."

This win would be a big deciding factor for league standings and both teams came out playing aggressive. Chelan got an early start taking a six-point lead in the first two and half minutes.

McElroy responded by taking the ball to the hoop twice, but Cashemre still trailed 8-4. Junior Dylan Boyd hit a 3-pointer and Christensen banked a jump shot, and made his foul shot for the Bulldogs to take the lead 10-8.

"We never have an issue of putting points on the board," Boyd said. "It was senior night and we were playing Chelan so the team was amped. Once we settled into the game everything was good."

With four minutes to go in the first quarter the Bulldogs went on the offensive attack and finished the first quarter with a 10-point lead, 25-15.

For the next three quarters, Cashmere continued to pull away with their lead and Chelan was unable to respond.

Both teams had a high number of fouls and kept putting each other on the free throw line. Boyd, the CTL's leading scorer, shot 17-of-18 from the free-throw line and scored 24 points for the Bulldogs.

After a technical on each team, a higher than normal amount of foul shots, and aggressive defensive performances from both teams, the Bulldogs took the win 67-59.

Seniors Christensen and McElroy ended on a good note for their last home game of their high school basketball careers. Christensen scored 16 points and McElroy scored 14.

On Jan. 31, the Bulldogs finished the regular season on the road in Brewster. Cashmere needed to beat Brewster to have the chance to tie with Chelan for second place.

The Bulldogs came out to a good start with an 18-8 lead. Cashmere's guards continued to drive the ball into the paint to draw a foul. The team scored 21 points just from free-throws. They shot over 80 percent from the free throw line.

Boyd said both teams were in foul trouble. Dylan Boyd and McElroy had to spend more time on the bench than usual due to fouls. Boyd said junior Casey Ruether really picked it up for the team.

"Casey stepped up big time for us," Boyd said. "Hey played the point and really controlled the tempo of the game for us."

The game ended with the Bulldogs having a nine point lead, 66-57. Ruether scored a season-high of 21 points for the Bulldogs.

"This was a big game for us. We always say if you can go into Okanogan County and get a 'W' that's a big win," Boyd said.

On Friday, Chelan lost to Okanogan to tie with Cashmere for second place. Since Cashmere was the only team in the league to beat Okanogan, they won the tie breaker and finished the season in second place in the league.

The Bulldogs got a first-round bye and will play in Spokane at West Valley High School on Friday at 6:45 to start off the Bi-District tournament. The top three teams of the double-elimination Regional Tournament will move on to State.

"It's that time of year where you're going to start facing some tough opponents. Every game is going to be a battle," Boyd said. "We know what we're in for and we feel really good about where we are at and what we have to do to move on."

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