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The Ferris Saxons turned back a challenge by two time defending champion North Central today at Audubon Park, 26-29 to finish unbeaten in league. What went on in the GSL today made things a tad interesting entering next week’s district meet, Wednesday at Plante’s Ferry Park.
Behind the Saxons, three teams, University, Mead and Lewis and Clark finished tied with 6-4 records. Two of those three will advance to 4A regional from next week’s race. NC and Mt. Spokane look formidable in 3A. Regionals is at Wandermere Golf Course on Oct. 30.
As my friends on this blog have pointed out, I haven’t kept close tabs on The Seattle Times prep athletes of the week. This week’s list was filled with local players.
Took a Friday away from the Greater Spokane League to watch a wild Great Northern League game in Cheney, the Blackhawks winning 39-28 featuring one of the more improbable endings to any high school game I’ve seen. Cheney, behind remarkable athletes DeAngelo Jones and Alex Adams scored 29 points in the game’s final 9 minutes after trailing Colville 21-10 through three quarters. After taking a lead with two touchdowns 30 seconds apart and having the ball, quarterback Jones was chased back to his 3-yard-line where a 2-yard snap on a punting situation, seemed to give Colville the upper hand. But, after regaining the lead, the Indians gave up a 63-yard touchdown run to Adams, his second long burst, and lost the game.
After that respite it’s back to the GSL and three weeks that will determine the league’s three 4A playoff teams. Six teams are still mathematically viable, even if Lewis and Clark is on the outside looking in.
A couple of area prep volleyball powers - Mead and Sandpoint - faced off in the Crossover Classic final Saturday with the Panthers prevailing in an entertaining match.
Click the tab below to read my unedited story.
Mt. Spokane enjoys living dangerously, for the second straight game they won 35-28, but this time Travis Ward, on the hands team, hauled in the on-side kick, so the victory over Lewis and Clark wasn’t quite as nail biting as last week at University.
With the win, the Wildcats beat their third 4A foe, doing a favor for playoff contenders Central Valley and Gonzaga Prep who don’t face them in the GSL. The Bullpups, easy winners tonight and welcoming the return of Bishop Sankey, who rushed for 323 yards and three long TDs, have Mead, Central Valley and LC left. The Bears face Ferris, Prep and Mead. The Panthers play Prep, University and CV. U-Hi plays LC, Mead and Ferris. LC (U-Hi, Ferris, Prep) must win out and hope.
Misery loves company and Mike Vlahovich stooped to Greg Lee’s bumbling, stumbling level last week as both went 2-3. This week we feature six games.
Lewis and Clark’s 4A playoff hopes go through a 3A team. This afternoon, 4:45 at Joe Albi Stadium, the Tigers take on Mt. Spokane and a win in this one would be huge. This is a prelude and the final three weeks the determinant for which three teams reach the post-season.
Future games include: Oct. 15/16 - LC-University; Gonzaga Prep-Mead; Ferris-CV (plus 3A Wildcats at East Valley). Oct. 22/23 - Mead-U-Hi; GP-CV; LC-Ferris. Oct. 29/30 - Mead-CV; Ferris-U-Hi; GP-LC.
No. 1 4A and 3A teams and No. 2 4A host Big Nine foes in state play-in games, Nov. 6. No. 3 4A and No. 2 3A travel.
Thursday’s Prep Page in The Spokesman-Review today includes a story on soccer scoring machine Kellie Zakrzewski of Cheney, my take on polls and Greg Lee’s preview of upcoming Idaho post-season events.
I was sitting on the Mercer Island side - and talked with Scott Poole about this earlier in the fall - when Shadle Park’s buzzer beater at state sent the ‘burb into a decades long funk. Even the Islanders fans in the stands disagreed among themselves whether the basket was good or not. The resultant drama came on the court, as John Blanchette’s well-crafted story on the death of Highlanders coach Dave Robertson noted.
After Friday night’s win at University, Wildcats coach Mike McLaughlin and quarterback Travis Ward agreed that the 35-28 nailbiter was reminiscent of last year’s wild and crazy playoff game against Hanford in the post-season. Mt. Spokane and the Titans traded points, the visitors rallied for a 35-21 lead on Ward’s runs, then it was pins and needles time.
Speaking of wild games, Ferris came back from a 28-7 deficit to win in overtime 41-35 in California, quarterback Connor Halliday with a passing clinic.
And in other GSL games, the 4A’s won with embarrasing easy over 3A foes setting the stage for showdowns over the next few weeks to determine which three of six worthy teams moves on to the playoffs.
There was quite a bit to read about in this week’s Spokesman-Review Prep Page. I got to see the film of Bishop Sankey’s “transgression” last Friday at Lake City. The penalty seemed excessive to me.
Greg Lee previewed the approaching post season in Idaho - time goes by fast.
And I had a feature on Colten Williams, Mt. Spokane’s multi-faceted football weapon.
What are your thoughts?
Click the tab to see the latest spanking of Greg Lee administered by Mike Vlahovich.
The Tacoma News-Tribune’s Doug Pacey wrote this story about the changing face of the Narrows League. Four teams are moving in, increasing the numbers to 15. But the story points to a larger issue, state re-classification as a whole.
To a trip outside the Greater Spokane League to watch West Valley against Clarkston. The Eagles hadn’t beaten the Bantams since 1998 in the second of two games between them that season, coaches said. So the 24-6 WV win keeping them undefeated and 2-0 in the GNL was huge.
Gonzaga Prep rolled to a 42-12 win over Lake City in which talented running back Bishop Sankey rushed for 243 yards before being ejected early in the third quarter for allegedly throwing a punch.
Click the tab below to read my unedited story.
Ferris’ victory over Mt. Spokane wasn’t unexpected, but the 31-14 differential, in all likelihood, wasn’t quite what fans envisioned either. May force me to rethink things for post-season. Let’s just put it this way, Central Valley could be undefeated (will be in league) heading into its season-ending gantlet with Gonzaga Prep, Ferris and Mead. And all six 4A teams are playoff viable, in control of their destinies from here on out.
Here are the Washington prep column and the Idaho prep column. Here’s a feature on seniors Christina Johnson, Koko James, Piper Wahlin and Kaiti Lunde (left to right, picture above) on the tradition-rich Sandpoint volleyball team.
Greater Spokane League football approaches the mid-point of the season (for some teams) which led me to project out the remainder of the season and predict an outcome. Several key games remain that will determine the fortunes of league teams - for Lewis and Clark, Mead and University in particular.
Three weeks into the season and Greater Spokane League football is a horse race with seven teams very much in the title race. Even Mead (1-2) and Lewis and Clark (0-2) are not out of the playoff picture, although the Tigers face a difficult road.
The latest high school football predictions from Mike and Greg.
Last week bloggers complained about teams running up the score and and Al Loysius took me to task for not being critical enough on the former. Here are my thoughts in my weekly Prep Page column.
The trouble with having your pre-season preview and predicted standings come out after the first game, meet or match, you don’t have the advantage of passing time allowing people to forget before you prove yourself the fool.
It appears I gave up too early on Mead boys cross country, failing to take into consideration the power of tradition. Behind freshman phenom Andrew Gardner, the Panthers look to be in the Greater Spokane League hunt after all, behind Ferris and North Central and can contend for a state team berth as usual.
The Panthers lost 21-34 to Ferris in Wednesday’s season opener but won the others, including over Lewis and Clark who I picked ahead of them, and Gardner finished third overall at Shadle in 15:58.8, just 9.4 and .4 seconds behind state placers Adam Thorne of Ferris and Nathan Weitz of Shadle Park.
“Andrew is showing he’s going to be a great one already,” said coach Steve Kiesel following the season-opening biggie. ”He has to learn how to race over three miles and what better way than trial under fire.”
Gardner did fine.
Girls proved truer to form. Shadle Park beat Mead and LC doing nothing to diminish their favored status.
The Mead and Mt. Spokane volleyball teams waged an entertaining five-game battle as the Greater Spokane League opened play Tuesday. Click here to see our game story.
- Washington preps
When football teams are of relatively equal talent, it takes a little luck sometimes and certainly key breaks to decide the outcome of a game. Central Valley got breaks that ultimately took them to the state’s “elite eight” and cost Gonzaga Prep a playoff berth - remember the fumbled punt and late intercepted pass in that game against CV? Or the six turnovers by Mead in its game at the Bears despite running up and down the field? Lewis and Clark came up with untimely injury that may have denied them a return to the post-season. Think about the overtime outcomes that settled the Great Northern League state qualifiers. That’s simply the reality of sport. A bleeder beats you as often as a home run. As someone once said, “I’d rather be lucky than good.”
Don’t know what it was at Albi Stadium, but anything that could go wrong did so for the South Hill Greater Spokane League football schools.
Maybe it simply was that things went right for Mead and Gonzaga Prep.
The Bullpups parlayed a steamroller running game coupled with Ferris mistakes into a 38-35 thriller to the delight of SWX’s high school football scheduling. There was nearly 900 yards of offense in that game, which made up for a dearth of offense in the opener when the Panthers’ defense scored three touchdowns capitalizing on Lewis and Clark penalties and turnovers for a 28-13 victory.
Two weeks in Prep and Central Valley, which survived rival University, are 2-0 atop the league. Mt. Spokane is 1-0 (2-0 overall) and Mead, University, Rogers and East Valley are 1-1. My story is below.
After a third-place finish in state last year and with all but three players returned, Mead is the logical favorite in Greater Spokane League girls soccer. Cheney and Pullman will duel in the Great Northern League. Here is my pre-season preview for area teams.
Ferris is ranked No. 1 and North Central 14th nationally among boys cross country teams. They meet early season Saturday at Audubon Park in the annual Tracy Walters Invite. It will be a good preview of things to come.
Volleyball teams are back in action, although league play for some, the Greater Spokane League included, won’t begin until next week. My pre-season feature focused on East Valley star Allie Riggin, who is rehabbing an anterior cruciate ligament tear.
In my years of following high school girls sports the injury has struck down more than its share of athletes. Some of it is the result of year-around play without the same strength training of their boys. Some of it is physical differences, but slowly but surely training techniques are beginning to help.
Riggin, whose dad, uncle and aunt were all EV athletes, is one of the GSL’s top individuals. Herewith is my preview and predictions for area teams. After seeing some early results, the GSL could finish entirely differently - behind Mead - than my guesses.