Saturday, July 02, 2022

‘Attitude and effort’ stars of the show as Warden hosts basketball exhibition

| June 17, 2022 1:00 AM

WARDEN - Only a few days after classes finished, summer basketball has already arrived in the Basin. Warden was host to an exhibition for three local high schools’ summer teams.

Moses Lake Christian Academy/Christian Covenant School, Wahluke and Warden went head to head to head Wednesday evening at Warden High School in one of the first exhibitions of the summer.

The three teams, all in different classifications, had only a handful of practices prior to Wednesday’s games. MLCA/CCS had three practices, Wahluke eight, and Warden four.

For the exhibition, things were a little bit different. Each game was comprised of two 20-minute halves with a running clock, fouls resulted in one free throw worth two points and each coach only got three time outs.

Game One: MLCA/CCS vs. Wahluke.

MLCA/CCS, despite being the smallest school there, got an early jump on Wahluke of 8-2 only five minutes into the game. Pretty quickly though, Wahluke bounced back to trail MLCA/CCS by one by the 7-minute mark.

Throughout the rest of the half, the Lions and Wahluke fought back and forth for the lead but the first half ended with MLCA/CCS ahead 21-17 over Wahluke.

Both teams came back swinging and by three minutes into the game, it was tied at 23-all. The Warriors stole the lead, MLCA/CCS falling behind by about seven points by halfway through the second half. MLCA/CCS wasn’t going down that easy though and came back to tie at 37 points with seven minutes left. The two teams tied again at 42 points with two minutes left in the game. Wahluke was able to pull through and win the game 49-44.

A few times in the game you could hear the crowd yell “same team” because two Wahluke players were fighting for the ball with each other.

Warriors coach Clayton Buck said he thought this showed effort by his players and would rather them go after the ball and fight for it than sit back and watch.

MLCA/CCS coach Emerson Ferguson said he was really proud of his boys because not only had they only had three practices, but they were not at a full squad and a number of players were new.

Game two: Wahluke vs. Warden

Wahluke started the game with the possession from the tip off but the ball was quickly turned over to Warden. However, Wahluke was first on the clock and took a quick 6-0 lead over the Cougars.

The Cougars fought back, trailing 9-10 against the Warriors. It was neck and neck for a short while but Warden couldn’t seem to nab the lead. Wahluke wasn’t going to let Warden get the best of them and made quick work to keep the lead. Wahluke was ahead 37-23 by halftime.

In the second half, the Cougars worked to close the gap but couldn’t manage to catch up. Wahluke won 49-39 over Warden.

Warden coach Brent Erdmann said he sees the advantage of exhibition games like this where not all calls may be made.

“That's why I’m such a big fan of summer ball. They have to play through contact, they have to play through adversity even more, I mean, only two officials, everything’s faster, more in your face and no one’s really in shape, so I love it,” Erdmann said. “If I can get their brains to work, their bodies might not, but if their brains are working we’re teaching IQ and I think that's huge.”

Game three: MLCA/CCA vs. Warden

Similar to the game against Wahluke, MLCA/CCS got a quick 7-0 lead over Warden by five minutes in. Within the next five minutes, Warden gets on the board and gains speed on the Lions.

With it being an exhibition, there were more fast breaks than setting up a play, but Warden seemed to attempt them much of the time. This may be why Warden was able to come back to tie the score at 19-all at the end of the first half.

In the second half, Warden came out refreshed and ready to fight. They took the lead from the Lions and never gave it back. Warden won 52-34.

Emerson said his only expectation was that his team goes out and plays. He knew it would be difficult without a full team, the team not being in shape yet, and with so few practices to get their teamwork more in sync.

Both Buck and Erdmann agreed that school sizes, especially during the summer league, don’t make much difference because there can be talented players on any team.

“You might see a different size in school but you don't see a different size in the kids,” said Buck. “The only thing you see is attitude and effort.”

Rebecca Pettingill can be reached at


Rebecca Pettingill/Columbia Basin Herald

Some athletes participating in the summer league for their high schools are returning varsity players, such as Jonah Robertson for MLCA/CCS, while others are new and fresh faces.


Rebecca Pettingill/Columbia Basin Herald

Despite their best efforts, Warden fell to Wahluke 39-49.


Rebecca Pettingill/Columbia Basin Herald

Warden took on Wahluke in game two.


Rebecca Pettingill/Columbia Basin Herald

Wahluke beat both MLCA/CSS and Warden in the exhibition on Wednesday.


Rebecca Pettingill/Columbia Basin Herald

MLCA/CCS fell to Wahluke during game one in the exhibition at Warden High School.

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