Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


1908 Basketball

The first  year the city of Spokane had two public high schools was 1908. North Central opened that fall with approximately 325 students, all freshmen. South Central, formerly Spokane High, had a full component of students, totaling around 1,200.

In athletics, South Central could field strong teams while NC was in the process of organizing its fledgling program. There was no gym as yet for the north side school and practices were held in South Central’s gym.

Boys had use of the facility on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while girls had it Tuesdays and Thursdays. Each school had specific times for practices. Girls could not use the gym without a chaperone and no boys were allowed while the girls were present.

Coached by William Kienholz, South Central’s boys basketball schedule included Reardan, Davenport, Spirit Lake, Wilbur and other area teams.

One of the strongest teams locally was Almira High School, which went undefeated well into the season. Its first loss came at the hands of Bellingham Normal, now Western Washington University, which scored a narrow 16-15 victory over the country lads.

A week later, in front of a raucous crowd of 300, South Central hosted Almira and handed it a second loss. With that win, SC claimed the Interscholastic Championship of the Inland Empire. After a later win over Walla Walla, the school claimed the Eastern Washington crown and awaited a March contest against Tacoma High School to settle the unofficial state championship.

However, Tacoma abruptly ended its season, causing South Central to do the same. A week or so later, Panhandle Champion, Rathdrum High, asked for a game to decide “the championship of Washington, Oregon and Idaho.” Principal Henry Hart declined, replying “Rathdrum had had its chance to schedule a game earlier in the season”, so no game was ever played for that lofty title.

Bill Pierce
Bill Pierce is a sports blogger who writes the weekly nwprepsnow prep sports almanac.

Looking for a Grip on Sports?

Vince Grippi's daily take on all things regional sports has been moved to our main sports section online. You can find a collection of these columns here.