Preseason predictions of league standings make great conversation and are often uncannily correct.
But coaches are fond of saying that results are produced on the playing field, not on paper.
Greater Spokane League boys basketball is a perfect example of why the games are played.
Coaches’ preseason assertions that the league would be more competitive than ever from top to bottom have proved accurate.
But even they couldn’t have envisioned what has transpired this year.
How else do you explain seven overtime games or the fact that in the space of three days Rogers High (5-9) lost by 25 points to University (4-9) then turned around and beat second-place Ferris (8-5)?
“Rogers played the best game I’ve seen any team have all year,” said Central Valley Coach Terry Irwin.
Irwin’s team could finish as high as second place yet he worried earlier about missing the playoffs entirely.
Going into the final two weeks of the GSL season, all nine teams were still eligible for the six-team District 8 playoffs.
Included is Shadle Park (4-10), which seemed destined to finish in the league cellar.
Then in successive outings the Highlanders beat the Bears and Lewis and Clark, teams entertaining title thoughts not too long ago, by a point apiece. It put them back in the hunt.
North Central Coach Don VanLierop told sportswriter Dave Trimmer that nearly every team has improved as the season has progressed. Included are his 4-9 Indians.
One of the most improved is Gonzaga Prep (8-5), which last week also knocked off LC and ended league-leader Mead’s five-game win streak to share third place with the Tigers.
The Panthers (10-2) are assured a playoff and are two wins away from a league title.
The remainder of the North Side’s schools must scramble and still play five games among themselves.
That’s why they don’t decide league standings on paper.