October 6, 2009 in Sports

Prep notebook: Crossover Classic has stellar field

By The Spokesman-Review

Volleyball is at its season midpoint and Mead travels to Lewis and Clark tonight for the renewal of their recent Greater Spokane League rivalry, then joins many of the best area – plus state-ranked – high school teams, this weekend in Spokane’s annual Crossover Classic Tournament.

Tourney director Stacey Ward was tearing her hair out filling the Crossover field after four teams dropped out.

“I tell you I was frustrated as the dickens an hour ago,” Ward said Monday morning, “when Bethel dropped out of the tournament.”

Coeur d’Alene, Kentlake earlier and Hanford also opted out. While that may cause some tinkering of brackets, the 16-pool, 64-team field will be a near capacity.

Ferris, LC, Shadle Park and Rogers are the sites. First matches are Friday at 7:30 p.m. The tournament continues through Saturday, beginning at 8 a.m.

Among the entrants are 15 state-ranked teams, including three No. 1s, the 4A Panthers – in a pool with ranked teams Richland and Pullman – 3A Bishop Blanchet and 1A Kings – in a pool with ranked teams Mt. Spokane and Eisenhower. Pool C includes 4A No. 2 Graham-Kapowsin and 2B No. 2 Colfax. And don’t forget defending Idaho 4A champion Sandpoint and 3A runner-up St. Maries.

“I think there are some really good teams in the field,” said Ward.

Championship 16-team bracket Saturday is at Ferris, with placing brackets at the other three schools.

•The Panthers are unbeaten in the GSL and the Tigers are 4-1 at the season’s midpoint. LC’s loss was to Mt. Spokane (4-1), a team Mead beat in five games earlier in the year.

Two weekends ago, Mead trekked to the La Jolla (Calif.) Beach City Invitational for the second time in three years and finished fourth after losing in the quarterfinals.

There were also some interesting non-league results last week among tourney entrants. Central Valley defeated Sandpoint and Northeast A contender Newport beat Colfax.

How’d they do it?

Ferris faced a forbidding 21-point halftime deficit against Esperanza High. But an amazing comeback buoyed by Peter Anderson’s 30-yard fumble return resulted in the 41-35 overtime fotball triumph on Friday.

His strip came right after a scoring drive and wiped away the bitter taste of a late second-quarter turnover that left the Saxons three touchdowns in arears.

“Peter, with one hand, takes the ball directly from the fullback and all of a sudden it’s 28-21,” said Ferris coach Jim Sharkey. “No doubt it was the turning point.”

Esperanza, said Sharkey, had huge offensive and defensive lines, and blitzed 80-90 percent of the time. Quarterback Connor Halliday, however, was not sacked once, his losses coming on bad center snaps.

“I’ve never called so many screen (passes) in my life,” said Sharkey. “I’d say we had probably 15 screens and should have run 25 of them.”

Football players raised funds for the trip to Southern California and the annual football team golf tournament helped provide scholarships for those who couldn’t afford the trip.

The players spent two days at Disneyland and at California Adventure Park with football sandwiched in.

He said it was a nice stadium, Esperanza was a good host and not a single thing went wrong on the trip. Other than the early three touchdown deficit, that is.

Colton in stunner

Colton has beaten LaCrosse-Washtucna in football three of the last four years, but few would have envisioned the margin of victory in Friday’s 60-22 win.

“Last year we got annihilated,” said coach Clark Vining. “If you’d have told me we’d 45 ’em, I’d say, ‘how long have you been in the bar, budd?’ ”

Sam Robertson carried 27 times for 262 yards and six touchdowns, but it was diversification – five different players caught passes – that made the difference.

“Last year we started 3-1, then injuries got us hard,” said Vining, who coached Colton to the girls 1B state title in basketball. “We only lost four seniors and a lot of those have been playing since their sophomore year. In 8-man, momentum is such a huge factor. It was one of those deals where we got on a roll.”

Netting food for needy

Two volleyball matches tonight will benefit the needy. Mead and Lewis and Clark are conducting a canned food collection challenge and spectators are asked to bring canned food along with the price of admission.

Mt. Spokane plays an alumnae team in the Peanut Butter and Jelly game. The match benefits the Mead Food Bank and peanut butter and jelly are popular items, but the goal is to fill up food boxes with any non-perishable food item.

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