GSL teams like places in Washington State 3A brackets
The Greater Spokane League sent two boys and two girls basketball teams to the State 4A tournaments.
The season isn’t over for the GSL just yet. The conference will send two more boys and girls teams to Tacoma when the 3A state tournaments begin Wednesday.
The 16 teams in the boys and girls fields discovered their placement in the state tourney brackets Sunday, and area teams were satisfied where they landed.
In the boys, regional runner-up North Central (15-11) meets Union at 2 p.m. and regional champ Shadle Park (20-4) faces Renton at 7.
In the girls, regional champ Shadle Park (16-8) goes against Capital at noon and regional runner-up East Valley (9-17) meets defending champ Kennedy Catholic (21-3) at 5.
“We got about as good a draw that we could have hoped for as a (runner-up) seed,” NC boys coach Jay Webber said. “It beats playing somebody like Enumclaw.”
Undefeated and No. 1-ranked Enumclaw (24-0) ended up on Shadle Park’s half of the bracket along with traditional powers O’Dea and Bellevue. Defending state champ Franklin – which opened against Shadle Park last year – is on NC’s side.
“We like our opener, but our side of the bracket is tougher than the other side,” Shadle Park boys coach Tim Gaebe said.
Gaebe didn’t mean it as a complaint as much as he did an observation. He pointed out opponents only get stronger as teams advance in the tournament.
The Highlanders are making a third straight trip to state – only the second time in school history that a team has qualified three consecutive years.
“I think our conference and our playoff situation have weathered us for where we’re going,” Gaebe said.
The Shadle girls, runners-up last year, take experience back to state. But Highlanders will have to get by the first game without leading scorer Aleisha Hathaway, who was given a flagrant technical foul and ejected in the regional title game Friday.
EV returns to state for the first time since 2007 and the last time in 3A. The Knights drop to 2A next year.
They face a formidable task against the defending champ.
“It’s a tough one,” EV coach Rob Collins said. “They have a couple of solid players, a couple of (NCAA) Division I kids. They’ve just lost two games and one of them was to (4A state champ) Auburn Riverside. We knew we’d be vulnerable to getting a tough matchup. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”