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A GRIP ON SPORTS

Not a lot happened yesterday. And nothing big is happening today. Ya, right. Read on.

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• You a high school sports fan? Yesterday was for you. How about a college basketball fan? Ditto. Love football, college variety? Today's the day. And then there is Sunday, the day of the NFL. In other words, it's a great weekend to be a sports fan. Last night was the last weekend of the high school regular season in Washington (the playoffs are underway in Idaho) and though Spokane's big schools didn't fare too well, others did. And if you didn't want to venture too far from the TV last night, there was no way you missed college basketball. It was everywhere, from ESPN to Root and everywhere in between. Today, Eastern Washington hosts Montana State in a game that will go a long way in deciding the Big Sky title – and which of the two should be considered the conference's national title contender. In Spokane, Gonzaga begins its 2013-14 basketball season, another one filled with hope. All in all, the weekend is jammed. We don't want to ruin it, so let's just say hallelujah and get to the links.

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• WSU: The Cougars opened their season last night with something that's become all too familiar the past few years: a struggle. In front of a crowd of just more than 3,000, WSU held off Cal State Bakersfield, 62-56. Looking at the box score, there are a lot of things that stand out, like the 55 fouls called (and the ensuing 71 free throws, 43 by the Cougars). WSU actually won the game at the line, with 17 more made free throws than the Roadrunners. Jacob Thorpe was in Beasley and has a game story along with videos of Ken Bone and his players' postgame media availability. ... Jacob also has some football news, though it's about an arrest. Linebacker Chester Su'a, who has not played this season, is the subject of Jacob's story and blog post. ... Then there is this morning's post with links. ... We gathered a few basketball links Jacob didn't, including Oregon's win in South Korea over Georgetown, USC's season-opening loss to Utah State, UCLA's win over Drexel, Stanford's victory against Bucknell and Cal's rout of Coppin State. ... It's Saturday, so we can pass along ESPN.com's Pac-12 mailbag and things to know about today's games. ... The WSU women finished second in the Pac-12 soccer race after a 1-0 win over rival Washington.

• Gonzaga: The Zag men tip off for the first time this afternoon – we'll be there covering for the Associated Press – but that doesn't mean the Kennel was empty last night. The women opened their season with a WNIT first round game with Idaho. The Vandals took a lead early in the second half but the 25th-ranked GU women rallied and prevailed 64-56. Thomas Clouse was there and has this story. ... Both St. Mary's and Portland opened their seasons with wins last night as did USD. BYU had a tough opener, hosting Big Sky favorite Weber State, but, behind Tyler Haws and Matt Carlino's combined 40 points, the Cougars won 81-72.

• EWU: Yes, today features the biggest of the Big Sky's big games this season. Jim Allen treats it like such, with an advance, a story on this year's attendance and summary of today's game with Montana State and DeNarius McGhee (pictured). Jim also has links this morning to get you ready for the Big Sky's football Saturday. ... Those links don't include last night's basketball action, so we'll pass along Eastern's women losing their opener as did Portland State's men. The Eastern men will open the season Sunday.

• Chiefs: Mitch Holmberg's third hat trick of the season led Spokane to a 6-2 road win at Lethbridge.

• Preps: OK, it wasn't a good night for the GSL's 4A schools. Ferris, the league champion, turned the ball over seven times and was routed by Richland, 35-7. Greg Lee has the story on the Saxons' season ending. Jesse Tinsley adds a photo story. G-Prep didn't fare any better, losing 42-14 on the road to Chiawana. ... In the 3A ranks, Shadle Park routed Kennewick 48-7 (Jesse has photos from the game) and Mt. Spokane rallied for a 34-30 win at Southridge. U-Hi lost 28-21 at Kamiakin. ... Over in Idaho, Jim Meehan was at Coeur d'Alene, where the Viks won and lost. The win was 52-9 over Timberline, the loss was quarterback Gunnar Amos to a suspected broken leg. ... Jim Allen covered Freeman's 35-14 win over Cascade. ... East Valley won the GNL title. That game is just part of this roundup. ... We also have a soccer roundup along with a football scorelist and box scores.

• Seahawks: Of the five guys who were expected to anchor the offensive line when the season began, three of them will not be playing Sunday against the Falcons due to injuries. That's not good. ... Pete Carroll was not as upbeat as usual after practice Friday (with all the injuries, who can blame him?) when he talked with the media. ... Dan Quinn had a few things to say about the run defense.

• Sounders: The season is over. It wasn't supposed to end this way. But that's the way it has been ending for Seattle lately. So who will be back? ... Brad Evans has another job offer.

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• That's it for this morning. I hope you enjoy your Saturday. I intend to. Until later ...




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Vince Grippi





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