Get out the foot spray. It’s Stinky Sneaker time again in close surroundings.
This year’s spirit basketball game between University and Central Valley is in the smaller U-Hi gymnasium, meaning that seating will be a tight squeeze and getting there early a must.
And the game will be intense.
“It’s a big game for both teams, not just because its CV and U-Hi,” said Titan coach Jay Humphrey. “It’s important for the standings.”
Both teams are virtually tied for third place. Following Tuesday’s win, the Bears are 6-4. The Titans, who were idle, are 5-4.
University has exhibited a Jekyll and Hyde personality recently. The Titans lost at home to last-place North Central, before beating Mead at the Arena in a game between third-place aspirants.
“My biggest concern was respecting NC. They always play us tough,” said Humphrey. “We came out flat.” But he decided that the upset loss could ultimately be a plus.
“It helped us re-focus and get ready for the second round,” he said. “I was really pleased with the way we were mentally and physically into the game Friday.”
He was particularly gratified that his team beat a taller Panther team without starter Zaq Flanary. In his absence, Marc Heimbigner scored six points.
Aaron Fryer had four 3-point baskets and 18 points during the win.
CV lost for the second time this year to Ferris, 42-37.
The three-point shooting of Ryan Smith, who had gone scoreless in an earlier 41-40 defeat to Ferris, kept the Bears in the game.
“He did a good job, considering he didn’t score in the first game,” said CV coach Rick Sloan.
He converted five long-range shots and CV trailed 32-30 with 5 minutes left in the game.
But the Bears also died by the three late in the game, when three 3-point shot attempts went awry.
Ferris made six free throws following several misses in the game’s final 38 seconds to remain unbeaten in league.
“It was a frustrating game, but the kids played so hard that it’s hard to be upset,” said Sloan.
He wasn’t focusing on the Stinky Sneaker game because there’s still a lot of GSL basketball to be played. But a win by either would mean a playoff edge.
“Anything goes in that game,” said Sloan.
‘Who’s number one?’
Cheney’s girls basketball team had been ranked first in the State AA poll.
But West Valley beat the Blackhawks in Cheney Saturday night and now is number one in the Frontier.
“I guess if you look at the state ranking, it would be classified as an upset,” said WV coach Mark Kuipers. “But I think deep down our girls really believed they could beat them on a given night. And they did.”
Both the Eagles (10-2 overall) and two-time defending champion Blackhawks (now 12-1) were unbeaten in league.
Last year, even though WV was 4-8 in league, they had lost by just two and three points to the team. So the outcome may not have been as big a surprise as was the 58-46 score on the road.
“We had no special game plan. We were focusing on Colville (the night before),” said Kuipers.
Deep down he knew that the minds of his team, and student body, were thinking about Cheney.
WV forced Cheney into horrendous shooting, rebounded the misses and executed well offensively.
Angela Kallas had 18 points, hitting four 3-point baskets.
“It wasn’t just her scoring, but how she handled pressure,” said Kuipers. “They put the best defensive player this side of the mountains on her and she went through and around her.”
Gabby McClintock scored only five points, but had 16 rebounds.
“The other girls all at one time or another took turns putting up a run of baskets,” said Kuipers. “Every night there’s a different hero. That’s what you want. What Angie did with the ball was pretty good.”
Friday, WV completes the first half of the season in Clarkston. Keeping the Eagles’ feet on the ground is a coaching priority.
“The kids right now are very high. Now it’s a matter of keeping them in one direction,” said Kuipers. “I have to remind the girls if they don’t get better everyone else will and we won’t be as successful.”
Knights weathered out
Friday night’s basketball games between Clarkston and East Valley’s boys and girls teams were snowed out. They are scheduled to be made up Feb. 14.
For the girls, the game is pivotal in their quest for a playoff berth.
Wrestlers show off
Spokane-area wrestlers proved what pundits and polls have said all season: They are as good as it gets around the state.
Gonzaga Prep and University finished one-two in the AAA portion of the Washington Dream Duals at Auburn and Central Valley won three of four matches during the Big Nine Quad Duals at Moses Lake.
U-Hi whipped defending state champion Auburn 44-27 and Evergreen 50-18 to cruise into the wrestling finals. Prep routed Kentwood 52-17 and Snohomish 45-6.
In their championship match, the Titans led by four points when Bullpup Don Wieber won a disputed overtime decision against Sam Butler.
Near the end of regulation, Butler was awarded an escape point, which was rescinded, helping the Bullpups to a 32-26 decision.
In a pivotal match for Prep, Pat Rusca edged Ben Peterson 3-1 at 141 pounds.
CV beat Davis 41-24, Kamiakin 34-30 and Walla Walla 60-15, losing 40-15.
They did so with Joe Theifault out of the lineup and John Reese unable to compete after losing by injury default in the opening match with Moses Lake.
The Central Valley wrestler in Saturday’s Valley Voice picture was incorrectly identified. It was Reggie Oakes going against U-Hi’s Andy Roberts.
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