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North Central’s boys, girls head to state battle-tested

Wed., March 2, 2011

North Central boys basketball coach Jay Webber didn’t like how his team played in the regular season.

The Indians have picked the opportune time to peak, though.

“To tell you the truth, it was a disappointing regular season in my eyes,” said Webber, who is taking his team to Tacoma for a second straight year and fourth time in six years. “I thought we’d do better than what we did.”

For the last couple of weeks, the NC boys have been overshadowed by the NC girls, who qualified for state for the first time in the 37-year history of state girls basketball.

Both teams benefitted from playing battle-tested competition in the Greater Spokane League. Now they’ll see if they can continue the magic.

The NC girls (17-8) open Thursday against Auburn Mountainview (22-7) at 2 p.m., while the NC boys (12-12) take on Glacier Peak (22-6) in the nightcap at 9.

The NC boys earned a trip to the quarterfinals by shocking third-ranked Kamiakin 44-43 on a last-second layup by Gunnar Swager. The NC girls advanced by topping Kamiakin 45-32 with their usual tenacious defense.

Webber hopes the improved play continues at Tacoma.

“We just didn’t do a lot of great things in the regular season,” Webber said. “We had chances, but we ended up turning the ball over too much and didn’t rebound the ball well. It was multiple things. Give the kids credit for sticking with it.”

Webber praised his team for stepping up against Kamiakin.

“Whoever we had to beat was going to be a good team,” Webber said. “To get it done on the first night and the way it happened was really dramatic.”

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