Pacing the Sidelines

Pacing the Sidelines

Staff Reports

In two days, the student section affectionately known as the Jungle, will raise the decibel level inside the confines of Marty O’Brien Court.  Named after the legendary Ephrata High School boys basketball coach, the court serves as the main gymnasium for the high school basketball program that O’Brien once led.  On Friday, there will be two new names pacing up and down that same sideline.

Following the 2021-2022 season, the Ephrata athletic department saw both girls head coach Dale Hagy and boys head coach Brandon Evenson leave their respective posts.  This opened new opportunities within the coaching ranks at Ephrata High School.  In April, the Ephrata School Board named replacements to the vacant positions.

Alain Black, a volunteer assistant last year under Hagy, was hired swiftly to lead the girls program.

Michael Poe, III

Black, a 2001 graduate from Ephrata, was a part of the Tigers program that brought a state title to Ephrata back in 2000.  Black is not new to coaching at the high school level having served as an Ephrata assistant from 2003 to 2013 before returning in a volunteer capacity the last four seasons.

“Basketball has its own culture and my goal is to create passion for the game and an expectation of success,” Black stated following her hiring.


Parsons Photography

The boys program didn’t have to look very far to fill its vacancy either.  Rick Walter, a seven-year  Ephrata School District employee, will replace Evenson for the upcoming season.  Walter takes over the reins following a seven-season stint as the assistant basketball coach at nearby Almira Coulee Hartline.

“I’m excited to take on this new position and continue the success of Ephrata’s program,” said Walter in April.

Black and Walter have been hard at work preparing their teams for the upcoming season.  Basketball practices began on November 14th.  Both coaches will get their first taste at the helm of Tiger basketball Friday when the Chelan Goats come to Marty O’Brien Court.  The girls tip off at 6 pm followed by the boys at 7:30 pm.  The games can be seen live on TigerVision either right here at or