Two weeks ago, the Eastern Washington men’s basketball team set off on a five-game road trip with a winning record in conference play and a string of games against the teams ahead of them in the standings.
When the 2021-22 college basketball season began, nine of 10 teams in the West Coast Conference were returning at least two starters, six were returning at least three and one of those, Saint Mary’s, was bringing back a roster that included four players who’d started one year ago.
Parker then sank both free throws to break the tie, and Eastern wasn’t able to release a shot before the final buzzer as Montana held on for a 61-59 victory in Missoula to sweep the teams’ season series.
Defensively the Eagles men’s basketball team hasn’t been good enough – especially at Reese Court, where it has played some of the Big Sky’s best teams. And that was the case again in Cheney on Saturday, in an 87-83 loss to Northern Colorado.
While Eastern Washington helped get them noticed, it was Spokane’s “Hooptown USA” that helped the Groves brothers from Shadle Park High School develop. And they haven’t forgotten their roots, even while spending their recent days in America’s Heartland.