East Valley swept weekend boys basketball games, including a victory over fellow 3A school Mt. Spokane, moving to within two games of the Wildcats for the fourth playoff berth with three Greater Spokane League games remaining.
If the Knights (4-13) fail to make it by one game, they’ll look back with regret on a Jan. 6 overtime loss at Central Valley. EV scored the apparent winning basket at the buzzer in regulation, but it was disallowed and the team lost by two points in the OT.
“Our tape shows that when the buzzer sounds the ball was on the backboard,” said EV coach Drew Vanderpool.
His assertion was corroborated by another coach who had been scouting and also filmed the game.
“Not one of the officials had the clock and when the basket went in they all stared at each other and (had a conference),” said Vanderpool. “I went, ‘uh, oh.’ ”
The shot was ultimately ruled too late.
“It was frustrating,” said Vanderpool. “It was the first time something like that has ever happened to me and it could potentially cost us an opportunity to be in the playoffs.”
Vanderpool is in his second stint as East Valley coach. He coached the Knights for six years, earning two regional appearances. He returned this year after a four-year hiatus and the Knights, after losing their first nine games, have broken even in their last eight.
Among the wins have been the school’s first-ever victory over Ferris, 63-61 in overtime, and last weekend’s sweep of University and Mt. Spokane.
“Before when I coached, we knocked off every other team along the way,” said Vanderpool. “Ferris was the only one we had not defeated. It was awesome.”
East Valley starts two juniors and a sophomore and has another sophomore and junior who contribute.
EV has a tough finish, with games against Lewis and Clark, at Shadle Park and a season-ender with CV. Mt. Spokane plays Rogers twice, Mead and North Central.
“The way the league has gone,” said Vanderpool, “someone plays well at a certain time and can knock off anybody.”
Teams with the best three GSL gymnastics records compete tomorrow, 6 p.m. at Mead Middle School to determine the league champion.
The four-way meet includes defending champion University and Mead (both 6-0) and Central Valley (5-1), along with Ferris (2-4).
Mead has a season-high score of 166.2 and U-Hi of 164.45, but the Titans are without a key performer, Cortney Gilbert, who once again has undergone knee surgery.
The rest of the league completed its schedule with Shadle Park going 7-2 and Lewis and Clark 5-4, equaling its league win totals for the previous five years combined.
The regional is at Mead Middle School on Feb. 14.
District 9 format
Seeding for District 9 basketball playoffs this year is a two-fold process.
The leagues are divided into North and South divisions combining 1B and 2B teams and a team from either classification can be the champion.
But while the 2B district playoffs will be determined by division standings with crossover games used to break ties, the 1B playoffs will be determined strictly from results of all 1B encounters.
Currently, Tri-Cities Prep (13-4 overall, 4-2 in division), from the South, is unbeaten in games among six 1B boys teams, followed by Rosalia (12-6, 6-3), St. John-Endicott (9-5, 6-2) and Colton in the North.
Colton has a game lead over St. John-Endicott in girls games, followed by LaCrosse-Washtucna and Rosalia, all from the North.
Current divisional 2B boys leaders are Garfield-Palouse (14-1, 8-0) and Tekoa-Oakesdale (12-4, 5-2) in the North, Liberty Christian (14-3, 7-1) and Waitsburg-Prescott (12-4, 6-1) in the South.
Girls leaders are Pomeroy (12-5, 4-4) in the North, Dayton (13-2, 8-0) and DeSales (7-5, 5-1) in the South.
More from WIAA
Among the discussions at last week’s January WIAA executive board meeting was a review of the state basketball tournament format.
Doug Pacy of the News-Tribune in Tacoma wrote that among the changes being explored is combining two classifications at one site by reducing the number of qualifying teams. Such changes, if implemented, would be for the 2010-11 school year.
Also approved at the WIAA meeting was this year’s three-day, 2A-3A-4A State Track and Field Championships May 28-30 at Mt. Tahoma High in Tacoma and the 1B-2B-1A meet May 29-30 at Eastern Washington University.
Dates for next year’s 2A-3A-4A volleyball tournament in Kennewick and 1B-2B-1A tourney in Yakima are Nov. 12-14.
Among the many amendments sent before the WIAA were two relative to classification. One proposal would return to five classifications by combining Class B and eliminating the 2B and 1B designations. The other would do the same, but add a private school classification.
There is also a move to add lacrosse as a sanctioned girls sport, and allow a student to transfer from a private to a public school within his or her residence district without losing eligibility.
Standouts decide match
When Deer Park and Riverside locked horns last week in their thrilling Great Northern League wrestling match, it was left to a pair of returning state finalists to decide the outcome.
State 2A 152-pound champion Cody Miller moved up and nipped 160-pound state runner-up Jacob DesRoches 4-3 during the 28-22 triumph that gave the Stags the league title.
Also last week, University, which lost its season finale to East Valley, and Mead tied for the Greater Spokane League championship. It was the Titans’ third championship in five years. The share by the Panthers was their first since 1994, but a fourth for coach Phil McLean, who is in eighth year at Mead. His previous three were at Gonzaga Prep.
Teams begin the road to state with district competitions in all classifications this weekend.
Bob Schrack scored seven of his game-high 13 points in the fourth quarter Monday and Ben Leifheit came off the bench to get half his 10 in the final period as Coeur d’Alene Charter came from behind for a 48-41 non-league win over the visiting Kootenai Warriors.
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