Basketball teams get assignments
WIAA tries new approach for regional scheduling
After all the district, bi-district, subregional or whatever you want to call postseason games, Washington high school boys and girls basketball teams have played to this point: We’re down to 192 teams.
And after loser-out games in the regional rounds next weekend, that number will be cut in half with the winners advancing to the state championships in Spokane, Yakima and Tacoma.
Eastern Washington teams learned Sunday afternoon where they will go for their regional games. The 28 teams from this region have been assigned to 11 locations – spreading from Tacoma to Spokane Valley and several stops in between.
Stops just off Interstate 90, for example, are a popular location with games at Ellensburg, Moses Lake, Cheney, Mt. Spokane and Central Valley.
The WIAA’s purpose in assigning sites Sunday was to prevent teams from playing on their home courts, to eliminate long-distance travel as much as possible and, where possible, pair up boys and girls teams from the same school.
Gonzaga Prep’s boys and girls were placed at Central Valley and Northwest Christian’s boys and girls landed in Ellensburg. The University, St. George’s, Colton and Wilbur-Creston boys and girls, though, were placed at different sites, but at least they don’t play on the same day.
Gonzaga Prep girls coach Mike Arte liked where his 21-1 team was placed. The Bullpups face Davis of Yakima on Saturday, tipping off at 2. The G-Prep boys follow at 4 against South Kitsap.
“It’s a nice situation,” Arte said. “It’s great for our school community to have both our boys and girls at the same site. It should be a great atmosphere.”
The St. George’s boys (26-0) begin defense of their State 2B championship Friday at CV. They take on Tri-Cities Prep at 8.
The Dragons have won 46 straight since an early one-point loss to eventual State 2A champ Pullman last year.
St. George’s coach Ryan Peplinski has one number on his mind this week – win one more and they’ll make the short trip to the Spokane Arena, site of the State 2B and 1B boys and girls tournaments.
“We like where we’re at Friday,” Peplinski said. “It seems like we’ve hit our stride. We had some injuries in January and made it through that. We’re rounding back into form. I thought we played one of our best games (Saturday), especially on the defensive end.”
The Dragons defeated NWC 58-36 in the 2B subregional title game.
All the games and sites involving area teams can be found in the Scoreboard, page B4.