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High School Basketball

Soap Lake arrives with clean slate

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John Blanchette
The Spokesman-Review

If some citizens of Soap Lake are a little chapped about the 50-foot lava lamp that never came to be, at least it diverted attention from the other civic foible:

The basketball team that never came to state.

Until today.

It was a mildly mad scene last Saturday night at the district tournament in Wenatchee, where the Soap Lake Eagles blew away Manson 61-38 and snagged a spot in the State 2B tournament – which tips off, fittingly enough, with the Eagles meeting White Swan at 9 a.m. Sixty-seven years of B tournaments of some sort dating back to 1931 have gone on without any male participation from Soap Lake, so you can imagine the general dither in the coulee.

"It's life-changing," marveled junior David Coreas.

If not that, then certainly it's as restorative as the sudsy, mineral-rich waters from which the town takes its name.

The tiny towns of rural Washington don't measure themselves with a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses yardstick, but by mere survival. Few have been immune to the economic and social pressures that have siphoned off population and prosperity. Soap Lake's spas boomed with the coming of the railroad and the building of Grand Coulee Dam but eventually withered, though the citizens continue to fight mightily for the tourist dollar that is their lifeblood – hence the existence of a jewel like the town's Masquers Theatre mixed in among empty storefronts still advertising 1980s hamburgers for 79 cents.....


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