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Topsy-Turvy Season Defied Expectations

Pre-season predictions of league standings make great conversation and are often uncannily correct.

But coaches are fond of saying that results come on the playing field, not on paper.

Greater Spokane League boys basketball has been a perfect example of why the games are played.

Coaches’ pre-season assertions that the league would be more competitive from top to bottom have proved accurate.

But even they couldn’t have envisioned what has transpired this year.

How else do you explain eight overtime games, four of them involving Central Valley and three involving Ferris?

“I’ve never seen a year like this,” said CV coach Terry Irwin.

Irwin’s team could have still finished as high as second place with two games remaining. Until Tuesday’s win over runnerup Ferris, he worried that the Bears might miss the playoffs entirely.

It’s been the kind of season where in the space of three days Rogers (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 Terry Irwin.

It is a year when Shadle Park (4-10), seemingly destined to finish in the league cellar, beat the Bears (8-6) and Lewis and Clark (8-5) by a point apiece in successive games.

It is a year where North Central (4-9) beat Gonzaga Prep (8-5), a team which subsequently won four straight games, including over LC and likely league champion Mead (11-2).

Among the Bullpup wins were a one-pointer over the Highlanders and a two-pointer over the Titans.

Going into the final week of the GSL season, all nine teams were still eligible for the six-team District 8 playoffs.

Five are in with two games left, four of them still hoping to finish second to earn an automatic regional tournament berth. The other four, including University, are scrambling for the final spot.

That’s why they don’t decide league standings on paper.