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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Pick 6: Lee having trouble picking with both hands around his throat

It’s official: I’m in a funk. There’s no other definition for it. For the second straight week, Sam Adams has picked up a game. Now my seemingly formidable four-game lead has shrunk to two. I’m at 26-10 and Sam is 24-12. What do I do? For starters I should stop over-thinking each game. And it probably wouldn’t hurt to just throw the names of each team in a hat to pick the winners. Considering how it’s gone the last two weeks I probably wouldn’t have fared worse picking blind. We have identical picks this week so no ground will be lost or gained. All games are Friday and kick off at 7 unless noted otherwise. West Valley at Cheney Lee: The Blackhawks’ strength has been defense. The most telling comparative score here involves Lakeland. The Hawks beat WV 31-7 but lost 21-10 to Cheney. That’s all I need to know. Cheney 29, WV 7. Adams: The Blackhaws have been getting my vote in the Power Rankings the last couple of weeks so it’s time to put my money where my mouth is. Cheney should prevail in this pivotal GNL showdown. Cheney 28, WV 17. Lind-Ritzville/Sprague at Reardan Lee: I love how the Northeast 2B is coming down to the final three weeks. The two-time state champion Broncos, Reardan and Colfax are each 6-0. LRS, which is riding the state’s longest winning streak for small schools at 32, may have lost much to graduation, but the cupboard wasn’t bare. Coach Greg Whitmore and his staff had pieces to build around. Reardan gave LRS all it could handle last year, and most of the Indians’ key players are back. LRS is the team to beat until proven otherwise. LRS 26, Reardan 19. Adams: The Indians were the only ones to give LRS a challenge in 2013 (27-13) on the Broncos’ way to the state title. LRS is coming off a relatively close win over Liberty and will be in for another battle Friday. This could be the game of the year for both teams (besides a state championship game). LRS 21, Reardan 14. Ferris vs. Mead, Albi, 7:30 Lee: Which Ferris team will show up? The one that has struggled mightily in four losses or the one that handled Shadle Park behind running back Jalen Hicks’ 360-yard school record? Athletic and speedy Mead has been oh so close and at 0-2 can’t afford another loss to stay in the hunt for a postseason berth. The Saxons will have their hands full, but Hicks will have another big game. Ferris 23, Mead 21. Adams: The Saxons’ potential is tantalizing and their inconsistency is maddening. The Saxons’ biggest enemy is themselves. If they can somehow find a way to do the little things and not read the headlines, they can put together a nice run to end the season. Ferris 24, Mead 14. Lewis and Clark at University Lee: The Titans also are fighting for their postseason lives at 0-2. U-Hi tailback Bryce Williamson has been the Titans’ workhorse. He went over 1,000 yards last week. The Tigers, though, have had one of the best run defenses in the GSL this season. So something will have to give. The Duncan brother trandem, Taylor and Cameron, has been especially effective. This could go down to the wire. LC 28, U-Hi 27. Adams: Don’t look now but the surprising Tigers have won three in a row after a 0-3 start. Meanwhile, after a 2-0 start, U-Hi has been up and down with wins against Rogers and North Central but losses to Ferris and Gonzaga Prep. Look for LC to keep rolling. LC 35, U-Hi 21. Central Valley at Gonzaga Prep Lee: The Bears and the Bullpups are tied at 2-0 at the front of the 4A pack. The winner doesn’t clinch a postseason berth, but it takes a big step in that direction. Shadle Park beat CV 47-13 and G-Prep 25-13. The Bullpups have a better defense, and defense wins games this time of the year. G-Prep 32, CV 17. Adams: The ultimate fast starters (G-Prep) against the strong finishers (CV). After this game, we will either find out a lot more about the GSL 4A teams or have a bunch more questions. G-Prep will make a big statement about where it stands among league teams. G-Prep 28, CV 20. Lake City at Coeur d’Alene Lee: Space doesn’t allow us to break down this game. We’ve hyped a lot of games this year but I don’t think we can hype this one enough. It’s the Game of the Week on SWX and rightfully so. CdA has owned the city series with six straight victories dating back to 2009. But the Timberwolves believe they can give CdA all it can handle. The one-two speedy tandem of Jerry Louie-McGee and Connor Newby has led LC, but the T-Wolves will likely be without Newby, who sustained an unspecified injury last week. The Vikings got a speedster of their own, Jonny Plum, back last week. He had four catches and three were long touchdown receptions. LC has a nice balance of run and pass and CdA has leaned heavily on the pass. This should be a donnybrook. CdA 30, LC 24. Adams: We knew it would come down to this. Two rivals going head-to-head for the IEL 5A title. While Lake City has certainly closed the gap between last year and this year, my gut still tells me that the Vikings will prevail – though both teams could very well end up playing again in the postseason. CdA 28, LC 24.
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