A GRIP ON SPORTS
Sunday mornings are for a lot of things, but worrying about the Zags or the Cougars or the Eagles or even the Mariners probably isn't one of them. Read on.
• Relax. Enjoy your day. That's my advice. So what if the M's still haven't been able to sign another big bat. No big deal. Or that Gonzaga lost its second consecutive conference game. Or Washington State is facing another tough road game today. It will all work out. Heck, Eastern and Idaho won last night, a local girls team won an Idaho state title and numerous Washington schools moved toward the same goal. And North Central and Deer Park won wrestling crowns. So take it easy today. It's Sunday. A day to be lazy. And one more piece of advice. Want to get to sleep early tonight? Watch the Olympics' closing ceremony. That would send me to dreamland quickly.
• WSU: As we said, the Cougars are down in Oregon to face a suddenly resurgent Duck team. Jacob Thorpe has an advance as well as a morning post with links to other Pac-12 action. … It wasn't a really good day for the Oregon schools yesterday.
• Gonzaga: We wrote last week the Bulldogs probably needed to clinch the WCC regular season crown outright as quickly as possible in their four-game road trip. The longer they waited, the more the pressure built. Well, after two chances they are 0-2. San Diego handed them a second consecutive loss last night, 69-66 in a game the Zags were outscored by 17 at the line. Jim Meehan has the game story and a blog post. He'll be back this morning with another post on the game. … The win was a pretty big deal in San Diego. … Gonzaga's women clinched at least a tie for the WCC title yesterday with a hard-fought 72-61 win over Portland. Thomas Clouse has the story and Tyler Tjomsland adds the photos. … BYU stayed on the Zags' heels by easily handling Portland, 89-72. … St. Mary's blasted Santa Clara, 76-54. … USF also stayed in the WCC hunt with a 64-59 win over Pacific.
• EWU: Though Southern Utah had yet to win a Big Sky game, the Thunderbirds had played just about everyone tough. They were that way again Saturday night, but the Eagles were tougher, winning 85-74 behind Venky Jois' career-high 29 points. … League leader Weber State regrouped and defeated Montana State 86-68 in Bozeman. … Montana held off Idaho State 62-61.
• Community colleges: North Idaho College is about ready to make a sea change in its athletics programs, teaming up with the schools in Washington and Oregon. John Blanchette has all the particulars in this column.
• Preps: Let's start with the wrestling, where Deer Park (2A) and North Central (3A) won team state titles. Greg Lee was in Tacoma and has stories on both, along with a 4A story that focuses on individual winners. … Coeur d'Alene won another Idaho 5A state girls basketball title, riding a fourth-quarter surge to defeat Rocky Mountain 58-47. … Timberlake came up just a little short in the 3A final. … Jim Allen took care of the action in 3A, with stories on the girls and boys subregionals. I have the story of the 4A boys, with Gonzaga Prep moving on to state. … We also can pass along girls and boys roundups of other basketball action. … The state gymnastic meet finished up Saturday.
• Seahawks: The scouting combine is winding down, though there are still a couple of days left. … The Hawks future may just be addressed in this year's draft, though the results won't be clear for a few years.
• Mariners: There is basically one decent bat left on the free-agent market: Kendrys Morales. Whether he will return to Seattle is a question. … Nelson Cruz, the other remaining decent hitter, signed with Baltimore yesterday. … Such news probably will help you temper your usual spring training optimism.
• Again, enjoy your day. Stop and smell the wilting Valentine's Day roses. Maybe even throw them in the trash. We'll be back tomorrow. Until then …