The Shadle Park Highlanders - boys and girls - are regional 3A basketball champions and headed to state in Tacoma. That gives the school a sweep of all four regional winter titles, a first in all likelihood said principal Herb Rotchford. Earlier Shadle won regional gymnastics and wrestling titles. Let the bagpipes peal.
The boys escaped North Central on a 3-point basket by Robby Douglas with 9 seconds left. The girls won easily 54-41 over East Valley in all-GSL finals. Unfortunately, the girls game was inconsistently officiated and led to a flagrant technical foul call and ejection of players who must sit out their next games as a result. EV will be without Amber Swyers in Saturday’s winner to state, loser out game against Hanford. Shadle will be without Aleisha Hathaway, in the state opener. She is the team’s season scoring leader.
NC and Rogers boys play at 2 p.m. for the second state berth as well. Both games are at Rogers.
Attached are my unedited game stories:
By Mike Vlahovich
By any measure, the 3A regional final between North Central and
Robby Douglas, who struggled game-long, drilled the winner with 9 seconds remaining for a 53-52 lead that held up under NC’s final attempts. Victory sends several Shadle seniors to an unprecedented third straight state appearance beginning and ending in
NC comes back again at 2 p.m. against
“Hat’s off to NC,” said Shadle coach Tim Gaebe. “They played well, hit big shots and brought out the best in us. Beating a very good team (like that) four times is an accomplishment. We talk about finishes and just hanging in there is a great testament to these kids.”
A nearly flawless second half had propelled the Indians from a seven-point deficit, particularly in the fourth quarter where they took a six-point lead with just under three minutes remaining.
But Brett Boese, who carried a struggling Shadle offense, hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 2:28 remaining and Scott Andersen tied the game with another with 1:00 to go sending the game to its dramatic conclusion.
With 29 seconds remaining Isaiah Antoine put the Indians ahead. Following a timeout, Shadle worked the ball to Douglas, who was just 5-for-23 from the field at that point, and he proved golden from beyond the arc.
“He didn’t have a great game,” said Gaebe, “but he always wants the next shot.”
“I know everyone’s down,” he said. “I don’t think miss.”
Shadle couldn’t have been more out of sorts, particularly Douglas, in the first quarter. Players hoisted shots with abandon, forsaking fundamentals, and missed countless layins. The Highlanders were 3-for-15 from the field after eight minutes and not much better at the line where they made 3-of-8.
But the Indians caught whatever afflicted Shadle in the second period and Boese got hot. He scored eight successive points turning a 16-9 deficit into a 23-16 lead. He finished the game with 18.
In the third quarter, however, NC stormed back behind with contributions from many. Brandon Olsen, Gunnar Swager, Dylan Harris and Lucas Evans all made clutch shots.
Harris hit two 3-pointers midway through the second half after Shadle went up by six points. Swager scored twice for a 39-38 lead. And it was 50-44 before the Highlanders made their dramatic charge.
“NC played great, but our seniors always find a way to win,” said guard Taylor Pettersen, making his third state trip. “Robby never loses his confidence.”
Rogers 62, Sunnyside 59: Trailing by 12 points after three quarters, the Pirates (13-12) cranked up the heat with a 31-point fourth quarter that positioned them for a second straight state trip try.
A pair of state veterans, Dillon Franklin and Deavon Daniels did the heavy lifting in this game combining for 44 points, half of those in the fourth quarter, 13 by Daniels.
“We went after it finally,” said coach Tim Wood. “Sunnyside went out of its zone and we started attacking and making shots.”
Some were at the rim, some kick out threes and the Pirates live to play another day.
By Mike Vlahovich
Second in state a year ago,
Sparked by Jenna Humphrey’s career night, the Highlanders got the better of a physical up-and-down game against
There was little in the way of finesse in this game, bodies clanging with little called except the trivial, and both teams on the run.
After an early Shadle advantage the lead went back and forth before Humphrey put on a first-half show. She scored 14 of her career high 19 points and closed out the second quarter with three made free throws, a basket and two half-ending 3-pointers, the last with 2 seconds remaining for a 34-22 lead that was too much to overcome.
“I usually don’t shoot that much,” said the Highlander senior. “I usually get the other people to score. But I knew we had to win.”
She then hit her fourth 3-pointer of the game and scored another basket to hold the Knights at bay in the third quarter while most other Shadle starters were sitting in foul trouble.
The banging came to a head in the fourth quarter when EV’s Amber Swyers and Shadle’s Aleisha Hathaway were assessed a double flagrant technical foul and ejected. Both schools protested the severity of the call in hopes that Swyers won’t have to sit out today’s game and Hathaway on Wednesday.
EV had made a late third-quarter run to cut a once-15 point deficit to eight, but Chelsea Chandler’s 3-pointer followed by a Kendra Knutson score made it 52-36 with 4 minutes 40 seconds remaining and the game was well in hand.
“I can’t say enough about the kids,” said Shadle coach Chad Dezellem. “We have good underclass talent, but the seniors have been solid all year long.”
He said the Humphrey, in emulating her older brother Zack, a Community Colleges of Spokane player, has had that potential to score.
“She said she was going to land ready,” he said.
EV had beaten Shadle the last time the two teams played. This time, however, Shadle tried to push the tempo, leading to the fast and sometimes out-of-control pace.
“It’s nice to go to state again,” Dezellem said. “We’ve got a great group of kids and they deserve the opportunity to go over and see what they can do.”