Local basketball teams begin push for state
The final push for boys and girls state basketball berths occurs Friday and Saturday at various sites throughout the state, including Spokane.
Win and a team advances to the quarterfinals next week. Lose and it’s pack up the gear until next year. Unlike last year, there’s no second chance at regionals for top-seeded teams. All teams are on equal footing this year.
In all classifications except the eastern 2A regional, all boys games are Friday and all girls games are Saturday.
Here’s a look at each classification and games involving area teams.
The Central Valley boys and girls head into their regional games as favorites – the girls perhaps as prohibitive favorites.
It’s not the route the No. 1-ranked CV girls wanted to go to get to Tacoma, but at least they’re still alive. Their state tourney hopes nearly faded last week at district.
On Friday, the CV boys (19-3) face Richland (15-9) at Spokane Falls Community College. Tipoff is at 6.
On Saturday, the CV girls (22-2) meet Chiawana (17-3) at 4.
Richland and CV met in late December at Richland. The Bears pulled out a 57-55 decision.
CV’s win started what has grown into a 16-game winning streak.
Bears coach Rick Sloan understands what the significance was of his team’s win over Richland.
“It was the start of the run,” he said.
CV is seeking its first state berth since 2006 – when the Bears finished second.
“I think we’re playing our best basketball right now,” Sloan said. “Richland is also playing well. It’s a good matchup for us and them. It’s two teams that are pretty even.”
The CV girls, meanwhile, thumped Chiawana 63-43 in a game in Pasco in early December.
After dodging elimination in a narrow win over Mead on Saturday, the Bears handled Wenatchee in a regional play-in game Tuesday.
“It’s not the same team,” CV coach Freddie Rehkow said of Chiawana. “They’ve got some young kids playing well now. They’re going to be a tough matchup.”
For a fourth time, the University (15-7) and Shadle Park (16-7) girls face off. They meet Saturday at Richland High School. Tipoff is at 4.
Shadle coach Chad Dezellem said it’s a shame the teams have to play for a state berth.
“We’re two very good teams,” Dezellem said. “We’re two of the best teams in the state. It’s unfortunate that we both don’t have a chance to go. If the WIAA did things right we wouldn’t be playing each other. But the WIAA rarely does anything right.”
U-Hi swept Shadle in league, but the Highlanders avenged those losses in the district final.
“We’re both good defensive teams,” Dezellem said. “They’re awfully talented, but we’re talented, too.”
On Friday, U-Hi’s boys (18-4) take on Kennewick (19-4) at Richland. Tipoff is at 6.
Kennewick is a talented team that went 1-2 against No. 1-ranked Kamiakin. Two of the games went down to the last shot.
The Great Northern and Central Washington leagues got a special exemption from the WIAA to play a two-day regional for boys and girls so more teams could have a chance to advance to state.
That means a team like the Medical Lake boys (9-14) can earn a state trip. The Cardinals take on Wapato on Friday at Eastern Washington University at 6. In another boys game, West Valley (19-3) faces Toppenish at 6 at Cheney High School.
The Medical Lake/Wapato winner meets Pullman (20-2) on Saturday at 8 at EWU while the WV/Toppenish winner faces Ellensburg, at 6, at Cheney.
In the girls, Cheney (11-11) goes against Ephrata on Friday at 7:45 at EWU and Pullman (10-12) faces Wapato, at 7:45, at Cheney.
The Cheney/Ephrata winner takes on East Valley of Yakima on Saturday at 7:45 and the Pullman/Wapato winner takes on Clarkston (21-1), also on Saturday. The sites won’t be determined until Friday.
Freeman’s girls (24-1) and Colville’s boys (16-11) will be seeking state berths.
Colville takes on No. 2-ranked Naches Valley on Friday at West Valley of Yakima. Tipoff is at 8.
Freeman faces Cedar Park Christian on Saturday at Wenatchee at 6.
Area teams will be at Mt. Spokane.
On Friday in boys games, Northwest Christian (23-1) faces White Swan at 6 and Oroville goes against Colfax (18-5) at 8.
On Saturday in girls games, Northwest Christian (20-5) meets White Swan at 4 and Entiat goes against No. 1-ranked Reardan (23-0) at 6.
Games will be played at two Spokane sites – Shadle Park and University.
In boys games Friday, Wellpinit (19-6) faces Moses Lake Christian at 6 at Shadle while Rosalia (15-10) goes against Sunnyside Christian at 6 and Almira/Coulee-Hartline (18-6) takes on Colton (19-2) at 8 at University. In a boys game Saturday, Valley Christian (20-2) goes against Cascade Christian at 8 at Shadle. The game was scheduled for Friday but switched to Saturday because Cascade Christian is a Seventh-day Adventist school.
In girls games Saturday, ACH (19-4) takes on Moses Lake Christian at 4 and Columbia (24-1) goes against Wilson Creek at 6 at Shadle while St. John-Endicott (14-8) meets Sunnyside Christian at 4 and Cusick (16-8) takes on defending state champ and top-ranked Colton (22-0) at 6 at University.