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

Knights, Titans wrestlers earn playoff berths

East Valley and University wrestling teams, both 5-0, wrapped up the championships of their respective Greater Spokane League divisions on Wednesday and earned berths in the league’s end-of-season four-team high school championship playoffs.

The two teams still have outside business to attend to. U-Hi and Central Valley are in Missoula today for the annual Rocky Mountain Classic. Thursday the two district rivals wrestle in the Battle of the Bone.

EV is on a scouting trip to Kelso where the Knights compete against other Washington 3A wrestling powers, the Hilanders, W.F. West and Sedro Woolley.

“That’s going to be our big trip. Last year we went to Lake Stevens for a big 4A tournament,” said Knights coach Craig Hanson. “It gives us a chance to see those teams.”

All three Valley schools will compete next weekend in the Washington Dream Duals at EV.

Hanson was surprised by the ease of Wednesday’s 61-16 win over third-place Mead (3-2).

“Knowing their lineup and other matches that had happened this year, I was kind of shocked,” he said.

But he had an inkling his team was in control, after taking an early 16-0 lead, when Panthers coach Phil McLean held out 215-pounder Paul Senescal, who was nursing a slight injury.

“The last time he and Tyler Jolley wrestled, it was 5-4 and Jolley took a wild shot and got pinned,” Hanson said.

All told, the Knights won 11 of 14 matches, including Shelby Lawson‘s technical fall at 103 pounds over a previously league-unbeaten foe whom he’d wrestled in a one-point match earlier this year.

University, meanwhile, outlasted North Central 47-21. Dono Totten and Nick Rose had pins at 215 and 275 pounds late in the match.

The week’s doings, including Central Valley’s 49-21 win over Shadle Park set the stage for a huge final week of the regular GSL season for the Bears (4-1).

On Wednesday they host Mt. Spokane (3-2) needing a victory to clinch second place and avoid a three-team tie for the final berth in the championship playoffs. If they win, the following night they host the Battle of the Bone in what then would be the first of two straight matches between CV and the Titans. The first is for a district trophy, the second would be for a spot in the league title match.

Potentially the league final would be the highly anticipated meeting between state title contenders, the 3A Knights and 4A Titans, whose strengths mirror each other in several weights.

“There’s nothing to gain except a league title,” said Hanson. “We both have bigger things in mind.”

That said, Hanson admitted that winning a fourth straight league championship is very much an EV goal, particularly for the seniors who would be a part of them all.

Gymnasts stay busy

University and Central Valley gymnastics teams are both vying for finishes in the upper half of the Greater Spokane League with two weeks of the regular season remaining.

Both the Titans and Bears are 2-2 in league counters with five remaining. They share fifth place in league behind unbeaten Mead, Shadle Park, Ferris and North Central.

The Bears dropped a heart-stopper, 163.625 to 163.35 to the Highlanders and beat Mt. Spokane on Wednesday. The Titans lost to the Panthers, and beat Rogers on Thursday.

U-Hi (6-3 overall) has its showdown with Shadle and North Central at NC on Wednesday. The Titans have a chance to win their final five counters and finish as high as third.

CV (6-4) overall, still has Mead, Ferris and NC on its league-counting portion of the schedule.

Bear standout Maya Morgan scored 34.525 points to win the all-around title at Shadle Park on Wednesday. She won uneven bars with an 8.65 and vault with an 8.7 for the Bears and was third on balance beam.

Maria Alderman won floor exercise and was second on bars.University lost to Mead, 171.85 to 163.8, but beat Rogers and Lakeside, in a non-counter, during the four-way meet on Thursday.

Kayla McGahey finished second all-around with a 35.325 total in four events, .175 of a point off the lead.

McGahey won uneven bars with a nearly flawless 9.35 routine. Brittany Mueller tied for third during floor exercise.