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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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State 4A feature, notebook

UPDATED: Wednesday morning

Click the tab below to read an unedited State 4A feature and a state notebook.

I'm headed to the Tacoma Dome for the Gonzaga Prep boys' breakfast opener. Here are some links:

Seattle Times: 4A boys capsules.

Seattle Times: 4A girls capsules.

Tacoma News Tribune: 4A girls capsules.

Tacoma News Tribune: 4A boys capsules.

McIntyre grateful table set

By Greg Lee

Staff writer

First-year Gonzaga Prep boys basketball coach Matty McIntyre doesn’t flinch when he starts to talk about his Greater Spokane League and regional champion Bullpups.

He’s quick to give credit where credit is due.

“Mike Haugen set the table for me,” McIntyre, a Prep graduate, said of the coach he replaced.

Then after heaping much praise on the coach he assisted, McIntyre smoothly switches gears and talks about his players.

“We’ve come a long way,” said McIntyre, who had to replace four talented starters off a league championship team that took fourth at state. “The kids had to figure me out and I had to figure some of those kids out. It was a learning process. I give the kids a ton of credit because they came in and were very trustful of me and willing to accept new things. All the credit goes to them.”

Judging by the results, it’s been nothing but a smooth transition. The Bullpups sailed through league at 14-1. Then Mead, which accounted for the one loss, knocked off G-Prep in the District 8 title game.

G-Prep avenged the district loss with a 67-63 win over Mead in the regional final. Both teams find themselves on the opposite ends of the State 4A tournament bracket. G-Prep (23-2) goes against Auburn (16-9) at 9 a.m. and Mead (19-6) faces Kentwood (16-10) at 8:30 p.m. when the tourney begins today at the Tacoma Dome.

The Bullpups were ranked second in the final poll released two weeks ago. Defending state champ Federal Way (23-2) was ranked first. If both teams win their openers, they’d meet in the quarterfinals Thursday.

You won’t catch the Bullpups looking past their opener, though.

“We’ve got to start with defense and continue to play as a team,” G-Prep’s 6-foot-7 senior post Ryan Nicholas said.

Nicholas was the lone returning starter. He averaged 24.6 points in the Bullpups’ three regional wins.

“It’s definitely a different team, a lot younger team,” Nicholas said when asked to compare the Bullpups of last year and this season. “The sky’s the limit for us, just like it was last year. If we step it up this last week of the season, we can do whatever we want.”

Nicholas’ teammates have matured and developed into their roles.

“The boys are in a nice mental state,” McIntyre said. “We have high expectations. We’ve proven we can beat some of the best teams in the state. They want nothing less than to be the best. That’s real. It’s a heartfelt thing. We talked about it at the beginning of the season and to tell you the truth there hasn’t been a great deal of talk about it through the course of the year. But that’s always been kind of in the back of everybody’s mind, that we’re going to try to bring (a state title) home.”

G-Prep lost 48-44 in overtime to eventual state runner-up Garfield in the quarterfinals last year. The Bullpups won their next two to take fourth.

“We were so close last year,” Nicholas said. “The overtime loss to Garfield changed everything. We got a good taste of it last year and we’re ready to go get it this year.”

Some might argue that G-Prep got a tougher draw than regional runner-up Mead. It doesn’t matter to McIntyre.

“At this time of the year you’ve got to beat good teams,” he said. “Look at the regional tournament. Mead should have been ranked in the top 10 all season like Walla Walla and Richland. We beat all of those teams. We withstood that test and look forward to one more.”


LC banking on experience

     By Greg Lee

     Staff writer

Jim Redmon hopes state experience means something.

The Lewis and Clark girls basketball coach is taking a team to state for an eighth straight year. The Tigers have captured trophies five consecutive seasons including the state championship threepeat in the middle.

“Seven of our 11 kids have been there numerous times,” Redmon said. “The seniors have been there four times. We hope the experience factor helps us.”

LC (16-9) opens against Issaquah (21-4) this morning at 10:30 when the tournament begins at the Tacoma Dome. Eastern Regional champ Mead (21-5) takes on Puyallup (18-8) at 5 p.m.

The Tigers head to state playing the best they’ve played all season.

“I’m extremely proud of how we played defensively (at regional),” Redmon said. “I truly believe you have to stop teams at state. You have to get stops. Virtually every team in the tournament knows how to score.

“(At regional) they really showed some things that we believe in and have done for years at LC.”

More of the same?

Mead’s girls have won six straight since losing to Central Valley in the last regular-season game that decided the league championship.

It started with a loser-out game to get into the district tournament.

“I don’t think anyone expected them to do that at the beginning of the year,” Mead coach Regan Drew said of winning the regional title. “We’ve had some hard lessons to learn. We got thumped at the beginning of the year and lost some games we felt we got outhustled in. But they’ve focused and worked hard to see the big picture. We have so many kids who are unselfish and maximize their roles.”

Panthers senior Jazmine Redmon, who was named the regional most valuable player, can’t wait to show the rest of the state what her team can do.

“We’re going to prove a point that we’re a strong team and we can hang with anyone and win,” Redmon said.

Ready to go

The loss to Gonzaga Prep in the regional final aside, Mead boys coach Glenn Williams likes his team’s frame of mind going into state.

“I think we’ve played our best basketball the last couple of weeks,” Williams said.

He knows the Panthers will have their hands full trying to contain Kentwood’s 6-foot-9 post Josh Smith, who is headed to UCLA.

Smith missed the first half of the season recovering from a football injury. That explains why Kentwood (16-10) has double-digit losses.

“They were one of the favorites for state going into the season,” Williams said. “(Smith) takes up a large part of the basketball floor.”

Williams said he would have to study film on Kentwood before deciding specifically how to defend Smith.

“We plan to be us,” Williams said. “We’d like a fast pace and make him run up and down the floor.”

Notes

The sixth-ranked Lincoln boys upset No. 1 Federal Way 59-56 Friday in the West Central District title game. Lincoln rallied from a 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Both teams qualified for state. “I’ve been in some wild comebacks before, but not like this,” Lincoln coach Aubrey Shelton told Tacoma News Tribune reporter Doug Pacey. “Not against a team that good.” … The top-ranked Auburn Riverside girls (25-0) have won 19 games by double digits. They beat visiting Lewis and Clark 65-58 in late December. … Mead’s boys lost to Auburn, Gonzaga Prep’s first-round foe, 64-59 in overtime at a tournament in Wenatchee in late December.

 



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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