When Central Valley and East Valley play a season-ending non-league football game tonight at EV, both coaches will be more interested in other results.
Bear coach Rick Giampietri will be following the outcome of the Gonzaga Prep-Lewis and Clark game. East Valley coach Jim Clements will be watching the Pullman-Clarkston and the West Valley-Cheney scores.
Conceivably, the lower the two teams finish, the better off they’ll be.
Should CV finish in a four-way tie for second place they’d miss the state playoffs entirely. If EV winds up in a three-way tie for first place, they would be sidelined as well.
Gonzaga needs to beat the Tigers for CV to finish fourth. That would qualify the Bears for the expanded state playoff format that pits the top four GSL teams against the top four from the Big Nine.
Should Pullman beat the Bantams, EV would finish second in the Frontier League and in the playoffs.
Clements, however, is hoping that Clarkston and Cheney both win their Thursday night finales and create a four-way championship tie.
“To me, I’d rather win the Frontier League and take our chances,” said Clements. “If Pullman wins, we’re No. 2 and going to Prosser for the first round.”
A four-way tie leaves open the possibility that the Knights could be the No. 1 seed and have home field advantage the first two rounds.
Last week the Knights’ league season ended the way it began, with a spate of turnovers. Three lost fumbles and two interceptions led to a 31-14 loss in Pullman. With it went East Valley’s chance for an outright title.
Ahead 14-6 with a touchdown near the end of the half and in possession of the ball after intermission, the Knights fumbled on the first snap. It led to the tying score.
“On the next possession we did ourselves in again,” said Clements.
An interception led to a short TD drive. “We had a couple of chances to get back into it and didn’t,” said Clements.
Statistically the two teams were even. On defense, EV’s Chuck VanNote and Trevor Eastman had 13 tackles each and Rusty Ruchert had 11.
“They had real good individual games,” said Clements. “But we had two interceptions, fumbled four times and lost three. Pullman was zero and zero.”
That pretty much tells the story of the game.
In Central Valley’s 20-9 win over Lewis and Clark that kept the Bears in playoff contention, a pair of sophomores were special.
Patrick Libey’s 35-yard blocked punt return tied the game at 6-6 before halftime.
Late in the game, with CV ahead 13-9, Justin Folkins returned a pass interception to the LC 3 yard line to seal the outcome.
When you’re hot, your hot
There’s no hotter Frontier League football team right now than West Valley.
The 2-6 Eagles have, in two successive wins, outscored league foes 75-26.
Included was Friday’s 44-14 decision over Riverside, in which the Eagles scored every point in the first half.
“I can never remember coaching a team that scored 44 points in a half,” said coach Steve Kent.
Included among the seven scores were punt returns of 60 and 45 yards for touchdowns by sophomore Chris Hilsabeck. He also scored one other time.
Ty Gregorak ran back an interception for one of his two TDs.
“I’ve got to believe we’re playing as well as anyone is,” said Kent. “I’ve got to take my hat off to these guys. It would have been easy to cash it in.”
Instead they’ve sizzled.
The Eagles finish the season at 7 p.m. today at Cheney against a team they haven’t beaten since 1987.
“That’s motivation enough to play our best,” said Kent. “We’ll see if that continues.”
Scotties in district playoffs
Freeman High School’s volleyball team outdid the pundits and is playing Saturday in the Northeast A district playoffs at Central Valley.
The Scotties placed third during regular season with a 9-5 record and open in a loser-out contest at 2 p.m. against sixth-place Chewelah.
“We were picked to finish lower and finished higher,” said coach Kenny Davis.
He credited to a team with no dominant hitter and a consistent setter.
“Everyone hits well and the setter delivers well,” he said. “Plus, it’s a group of kids who really like each other.”
Joanna Ramsey is the veteran setter. Sarah Pratt, Jen Wilkerson, Angela McCathern, Jamie Watkins and Helda Dahmen started.
“When we’ve struggled,” he said, “bench players have responded.”
Top two teams in the six-team district qualify for state.
“We’d like to get three wins,” said Davis, which would qualify the Scotties. “I’d really like that.”
U-Hi’s runners headed to state
University’s girls cross country team didn’t qualify for state, but Taraka Campbell did.
The Titan athlete placed seventh in regionals with a time of 18:23 for three miles and will be in competition Saturday in Pasco along with the boys.
University’s boys team, second in the GSL this year, finished second at regional with 19 points.
Seth Mott finished 10th in 15:28, James Berry was 12th in 15:31 and Jeff Rees 17th in 15:41 to lead the way.