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Sankey kept home in mind

G-Prep junior Bishop Sankey has eclipsed 2,500 yards rushing. (Jesse Tinsley)
G-Prep junior Bishop Sankey has eclipsed 2,500 yards rushing. (Jesse Tinsley)

G-Prep running back believes in Cougs’ future

Gonzaga Prep junior standout running back Bishop Sankey won’t begin college until fall 2011.

He didn’t think it was too soon to decide where he’s headed.

On Christmas Eve, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Sankey gave an oral commitment to Washington State University.

“It wasn’t planned to decide on Christmas Eve,” Sankey said. “It’s just something that happened.”

It was an early present to WSU – perhaps as much as a year early.

Sankey said WSU’s coaches told him he was the first in the 2011 recruiting class to commit.

“Every time I go down there I get a good feeling about the coaching staff and the school,” Sankey said. “I feel comfortable.”

Sankey said several schools had been in contact before his decision. Among those were Oregon, Washington, UCLA, Alabama, LSU, Georgia Tech and Boise State.

One of the major reasons he chose WSU was location. He lives in Airway Heights and his father is a staff sergeant based at Fairchild.

“My dad has had the biggest influence on me and I wanted to stay closer to home in Spokane,” said Sankey, whose family moved to Spokane from Ohio when he was in eighth grade.

Sankey is well aware of WSU’s recent struggles.

“They’re a young team, but I believe they’re on their way to the top,” Sankey said.

Sankey rushed for a little more than 2,000 yards last fall. He had a league-leading 1,460 yards on 157 carries. He has more than 2,500 as a two-year starter.

“I’m really happy for him,” G-Prep coach Dave McKenna said. “He has his mind squared away. One of the reasons I’m really excited for him is he could have impact there right away. It’s a great fit for him all the way around.”

Holiday break?

Most of the area boys and girls basketball teams were in action at some point during the holiday break.

Jumping into play this week doesn’t come as any shock.

Great Northern League boys and girls begin league play Tuesday and Inland Empire League boys commence as well.

For that matter, the IEL girls begin jumping into league action now that the calendar has turned.

First, a quick glance at what has transpired among Greater Spokane League boys and girls.

Shadle Park’s boys (8-2, 4-0 GSL) and girls (7-3, 4-0) are off to quick starts. In fact, they’ve clearly established they’re the teams to beat among GSL 3A teams.

The biggest win for the Highlanders girls, though, came at the tournament at North Idaho College when Shadle Park snapped 5A Idaho power Coeur d’Alene’s 41-game winning streak, 48-46.

Shadle’s boys and Mead came into the year as the only undefeated teams through three league games until Ferris handed the Panthers (5-4, 3-1) their first GSL defeat Tuesday. Gonzaga Prep (8-1, 3-1) and North Central (4-5, 2-1) are a game back of Shadle, and Ferris (4-5, 2-2), University (5-4, 2-2) and Lewis and Clark (4-5, 2-2) are within striking distance.

In the girls, Lewis and Clark (6-3, 4-0) is the only other undefeated team in league.

The Tigers lost two non-league games in the Seattle area, falling to Auburn Riverside (65-58) and Federal Way (75-72). Auburn Riverside (9-0) and Federal Way (7-2) are ranked 1-2 in the Seattle Times and Tacoma News Tribune rankings. LC is ranked third in the TNT’s poll and fourth in the Times’ rankings.

Following Shadle and LC in the GSL standings are Central Valley (6-3, 3-1) and North Central (5-4, 2-1). Another game back are G-Prep (6-3, 2-2) and Mead (6-3, 2-2).

•Perhaps the single best individual performance during the holidays came from G-Prep junior guard Tia Presley, who poured in a career-high 52 points in the Bullpups’ 83-73 win over Jesuit of Portland.

In the three-game stretch with the visiting Jesuit schools, Presley had 99 points.

•In Idaho, the annual Fight for the Fish spirit doubleheader between Lake City and CdA takes place Friday with the girls tipping things off at 5:45. The games this year count in the league standings since the teams are just playing twice.

Titans top state power

State 4A wrestling power Lake Stevens knocked off University at the Tri-State tournament just before Christmas.

Last week, the Titans got a measure of revenge. U-Hi tied Lake Stevens 29-29 in a dual, then knocked off the Vikings for first in their invitational the next day.

Lake Stevens was declared the winner in the dual when a victor was decided on the seventh criteria – most wrestlers who scored first in their matches.

A flaw, though, was discovered in that criteria. LS had to forfeit a weight so that individual match wasn’t used to determine the team winner.

U-Hi coach Don Owen said that criteria shouldn’t be used unless the team receiving the forfeit is given credit in that instance for scoring first.

“So they end up winning because that’s a flaw in the criteria,” Owen said.

The Titans bounced back the next day to claim the tournament title. Key in the win was Ryan Zumwalt, who lost to LS’s Josh Villani 3-2 in the title match at 152 at Tri-State and in the dual.

“He’s down one with 6 seconds left and scored a takedown,” Owen said. “That was the margin to win the tournament.”

The Titans, ranked third in the mid-December rankings behind No. 1 LS and second-rated Tahoma, also had two impressive dual wins at LS. U-Hi knocked off Oregon power Hermiston 32-30 and Tahoma 35-25.

U-Hi could leap to the top of the state heap when the next rankings come out.

“It was a good showing for our kids,” Owen said.