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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


G-Prep, Mead boys win; U-Hi falls

UPDATED: Wednesday, 9:25 a.m.

The Gonzaga Prep and Mead boys won and University lost in 4A Eastern Regional games Tuesday.

Click the tab below to read Mike Vlahovich's unedited story.

Here's a link to our 4A and 3A regional girls basketball story/roundup.

Here's a link to our State 1B basketball tournament and a look at the Rosalia boys and Colton girls.

By Mike Vlahovich


A year ago, Gonzaga Prep lost in the first round of the ConAgra Foods-LambWeston 4A regional boys basketball tournament. Until the final 11 minutes of Tuesday night’s game against Walla Walla, the Bullpups faced the specter of a repeat performance.

Ryan Nicholas wouldn’t let it happen.

Trailing most of the game and 42-33 late in the third quarter, Nicholas – as he so often has – willed Prep to a 70-62 victory.

The double-elimination tournament shifts to Kennewick’s Toyota Center both Friday and Saturday and qualifies four teams to state. The Bullpups play Richland in Friday’s 9 p.m. semifinal on the main court. The Bombers (21-3) crushed Eisenhower (17-8) 91-69.

Mead, 60-50 victor over Davis, plays Kamiakin, 60-45 winner over University, in the other semifinal at 7 p.m. The Titans play Davis, 9 p.m. and Walla Walla plays Eisenhower at 7 in loser-out games.

Gonzaga Prep 70, Walla Walla 62: Prep scored 12 straight points in the final three minutes of the third quarter take its first lead since two minutes into the game.

Nicholas scored 23 second-half points and had 31 overall to lead the way. Sophomore TJ Bracey had his best game of the season, hitting two timely 3-pointers in the third quarter and 12 of his 15 points in the second half. And Chris Sarbaugh with defense and rebounding provided ignition.

“There’s no doubt,” said Nicholas when asked if he was worried about history repeating. “We didn’t want to have to go through that (winning) three games in a row again over the weekend. We knew we had to take care of business here at home when we had the chance.”

Gonzaga (21-2) was the Greater Spokane League No. 2 seed and visiting Walla Walla (20-4) No. 3, but they had two of the eastern region’s best three records. The Blue Devils also had 23-point-a-game Idaho recruit Gary Winston and 18-point scorer, 6-foot-7 Montana recruit Michael Weisner to deal with.

Neither factored early, but Colton Arias did, fueling the visitors’ 18-7 start. If Prep tried to rally, hot-shooting Wa-Hi held them at bay. The Blue Devils shot some 60-percent from the field as Winston and Weisner heated up. They would finish the night with 21 and 18 respectively.

“They were hitting shots, goodness gracious,” said coach Matty McIntyre. “Our whole game was (stopping) Winston and Weisner and, shoot the Arias kid hurt us a little too much. But we stuck to our guns and we said hopefully eventually they’re going to miss.” Sure enough things turned around. Walla Walla was just 2-for-11 over the game’s final 11 minutes.

Bracey hit his second 3-pointer with 3:06 left to play in the third quarter, fellow point guard Sarbaugh produced four points and Nicholas scored the final five of the rally to put Prep up 45-42. It was a lead the Bullpups stretched to eight points as Nicholas added seven more including two free throws after chasing down a missed free throw on the other side of the lane.

“If I go after every ball, I’m bound to get a couple,” he said.

Prep’s final points came on 16 of 18 free throw shooting, Bracey hitting his last six.

“We’ve never had a comeback from such a disaster of a first half,” said McIntyre. “I credit it to the mental toughness of the kids.”

Mead 60, Davis 50: The Panthers (18-5) are a win away from state after opening a comfortable lead in the third quarter against the Pirates (18-7). Mead missed first-half scoring opportunities, but held the visitors to six points in the third period to take a 42-31 lead. Aaron Dunn scored 18 points, Taylor Farnsworth 14.

Kamiakin 60, University 45: The host Braves (19-5), No. 2 in the Columbia Basin Big Nine jumped out to a big 30-12 halftime lead knocking off the Titans (11-13). Spencer Drury was most of U-Hi’s offense with 20 points.


Three of four remaining 3A teams are from the GSL. Saturday at the Toyota Center, North Central plays Sunnyside at 3 p.m., followed by Shadle Park versus Rogers at 5. The tourney moves to Rogers for its completion next week and qualifies two teams to state.

Rogers 63, West Valley-Yakima 46: The Pirates (12-11) took to the road and won convincingly on the strength of a 25-8 second-quarter burst. Four players finished in double figures led by Deavon Daniels’ 20.

North Central 52, East Valley 43: The host Indians (13-10) ended the Knights’ (3-20) season, pulling away after an early lead melted to one point. Ed Richardson scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half.

Greg Lee
Greg Lee joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a prep reporter covering Eastern Washington and North Idaho schools.

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