Greasy Pig battle will be Friday
It may be Greasy Pig week, but there’s more at stake than district bragging rights and a trophy when University travels to Central Valley on Friday for football.
The Titans (3-3 overall) and Bears (4-2) have identical 3-2 records in the Greater Spokane League. The winner will be in position to challenge for a top-three 4A league finish.
Defenses will be at the forefront of Friday’s game between teams that have won their last three GSL games.
University ranks sixth overall, giving up 226.4 yards per game. It’s allowed 165 and 125 total yards the last two weeks in 42-6 and 36-0 wins over Rogers and West Valley.
CV is eighth in yardage allowed with a 265.2 average, but has been on fire of late with three successive shutouts, over Shadle Park and previously unbeatens Lewis and Clark and Gonzaga Prep.
In those three, the Bears allowed an average of 190 yards.
While U-Hi’s season is mirroring last year’s playoff effort, CV is having a turnaround year while putting itself in playoff position.
Last Friday the Bears beat the Bullpups 3-0 on Zach Evans‘ 42-yard overtime field goal. It was another example of their economy-of-scale offense that has been run-oriented, gaining 640 yards mainly behind Evans and Tyler Demars, but has produced only 98 total passing yards in the three wins.
The difference has been a plus-9 turnover ratio defensively. CV recovered four fumbles and intercepted a pass against Gonzaga and has had eight interceptions and another fumble recovery, while only giving away the ball four times during the three wins. Demars with three interceptions and Anthony Bucknam are team leaders.
By contrast, U-Hi has piled up 1,010 yards of offense during its three wins, 602 on the ground, with Billy Sweetser averaging 133 per game. He is sixth in the league in rushing while Mike Conrad leads the league in receiving with 321 yards on 25 catches and four touchdowns. He also has three interceptions.
He and Sweetser both scored twice against WV last week. The Eagles lost leading rusher and receiver and middle linebacker Phillip Gannon to injury in the game.
East Valley (4-2, 4-1) won its fourth straight and third in a row over a 3A foe, beating North Central 46-14.
Ryan Campbell, the league’s second-leading rusher with 650 yards, scored twice for a league-high 16 touchdowns and 98 points. Jye Lanphere rushed for 48 yards and passed for 132 more and two more TDs.
Another key game this Friday is Freeman at Colfax. The Scotties (4-1, 2-0) lead the Northeast A League and a win would be a big step toward another title.
Titans host Crossover
Amanda Velasquez has taken on added responsibility.
University’s volleyball coach, who has also been head girls track and assistant girls basketball coach, has added administration of the annual Crossover Classic volleyball tournament to her résumé.
What with coaching and dealing with teams dropping out and others wanting in, Velasquez said, “Taking over the tournament, it’s been chaos.”
The Crossover, which has been hosted by Lewis and Clark and Shadle Park since 1994, will be conducted at the same four sites as last year. There are 52 teams, down 10 from last year.
For the first time, the 16-team championship bracket moves to University from LC, beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday upon conclusion of pool play.
U-Hi is site of four pools including 14 teams and begins play Friday night and continues Saturday morning. The Titans are in a pool with Kent-Meridian, Hanford and Southridge.
Central Valley is the site of four pools, two with three teams and two with four, and the Bears are in the pool with Kentlake, State 1A defending champion Colfax and will open against Kamiakin.
East Valley is the site of four three-team pools, and the Knights are in with Big Nine third-place team Wenatchee and Liberty. It also plays Moses Lake.
West Valley and Freeman play at Lewis and Clark and are in a pool with Pasco. The Eagles also play Davis, and the Scottlies play Lakeside.
Pool champions of the 52-team tournament all convene at U-Hi. Second-place finishers will vie for 17th through 32nd places at CV and the remaining 20 teams will play for positioning in 10-team tourneys at EV and LC.
Cross country invites
East Valley’s Nick Atwood added to his cross country resume with victory last weekend in the Richland Invitational cross country meet.
He timed 15:27 to beat a horde of Mead runners and fifth-place teammate Tyler Thatcher who clocked 15:47. Older brother Andrew Thatcher was 29th for the fourth-place Knights.
EV’s girls finished sixth, led by Elise Thatcher‘s 13th place finish.
Meanwhile, Central Valley’s girls finished first and the Bears boys were second during the Bullpup Invitational at Finch Arboretum.
Sean Coyle placed third in 16:41 during the 5 kilometer race to lead CV’s boys, who scored 77 points to North Central’s 50. Tris Cline was ninth for the girls team, which scored 84 points to Post Falls’ 95.