YAKIMA – The only thing bigger than the zero in the loss column for the Rosalia Spartans is the target on the back of the unbeaten, top-ranked team in the boys State 1B basketball tournament.
That weight was no bother for Rosalia (23-0) on Wednesday night as the Spartans breezed past Lopez Island 44-23 to advance to tonight’s 7:30 quarterfinal against Wellpinit.
The Spartans’ win was part of a sweep by the Spokane-area teams on the boys side.
St. John-Endicott will play Cusick in the 4 p.m. quarterfinal followed by Rosalia and Wellpinit at 7:30 p.m. Almira/Coulee-Hartline will play Sunnyside Christian at 9 p.m.
Rosalia advanced with defense and the scoring of Jim Maley. The Spartans shrugged off a sluggish start with a 26-6 burst in the middle two periods. Maley, the only player on either team in double figures, led Rosalia with 13 points.
“We had a little bit of jitters tonight and they surprised us there in the beginning,” Rosalia coach Rob Hudkins said. “I was really proud of our kids. When you hold a team to 23 points, you’re playing defense.”
Hudkins singled out the defensive effort of Scott Eberle. Eberle held Lopez’s leading scorer Alex Buffum to seven points – half his season average – and four turnovers.
Hudkins also noted the performance of Nathan Richards, who had 11 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Almira/Coulee-Hartline 69, Neah Bay 40: The Red Devils were determined to not let high-scoring Warriors’ sophomore Derek Issak (22 ppg) beat them. He didn’t.
The Warriors’ depth did.
Cody Jess scored 18 first-half points and Kody Dillon added eight to go with Issak’s 13 in the first 16 minutes. The Warriors (17-8) also hit all four of their 3-point attempts during that time.
Wellpinit 73, Oakville 62: Cody Flett scored 26 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, leading four players in double figures and the Redskins set the stage for a rematch with top-ranked Rosalia.
Wellpinit (22-3) opened the season with a 61-58 loss to Rosalia.
Greg Wynecoop added 16 points, Drake Wynne chipped in 12 with 11 rebounds and Kennedy Seyler had 11 and a like number of rebounds.
St. John-Endicott 59, Tulalip Heritage 43: Warren Miller’s 19 point, 10-rebound performance helped the Eagles (14-11) advance to the quarterfinals.
Dylan Schmick had 14 points and Cole McKenna 11 for the Eagles.
Cusick 54, Lake Quinault 32: The Panthers jumped to an 8-0 lead and rolled into the quarters behind the 18 points and 15 rebounds of Louie Bluff.
Tyler Edwards and Spencer Shanholzer added 13 points and seven rebounds each.
The Whitman County schools again dominated with Almira/Coulee-Hartline, Colton and Hunters all advancing to the quarterfinals.
Colton will play Bickleton at 4 p.m., Hunters will play Wilson Creek at 5:30 and ACH will play Sunnyside Christian at 7:30. Cusick will play in the last consolation game at 2 p.m. vs. Wishkah Valley.
St.John-Endicott is scheduled to play Northwest Yeshiva in a consolation game at 12:20 but NWY is expected to forfeit due to religious grounds.
Almira/Coule-Hartline 64, St. John-Endicott 48: After waiting a year for a shot at the Eagles, the Warriors (21-3) avenged a first-round loss to SJE (20-4) in the 2009 tournament and advanced to the quarterfinals.
The pressure defense of ACH guards Kelsey Streeter, Madeline Issak and Karlee Martin turned a close game into a rout in the final 3 minutes. After Gretchen Van Lith hit a lay-in to tie the game at 44 with 3:31 left, the Warriors closed with a 20-4 run.
Colton 79, King’s Way-Seton 15: The defending champion Wildcats rolled to a 33-0 halftime lead against the outmatched Knights.
Colton (22-1) set a record for largest margin of victory, eclipsing Curlew’s 56-point mark set in 2007.
Columbia Hunters 57, Neah Bay 26: The Lions (22-4) handed the Red Devils their first loss, racing to a 36-10 halftime lead and cruising from there.
Pateros 32, Cusick 22: The Panthers managed just six first-half points and after falling behind by 12 points early in the second half could never recover.