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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Monster math required to figure Great Northern League football standings

Steve Christilaw

The scariest part of Halloween will come long past dark, after the lights all are turned off.

That’s when we’ll look at the results of the final two games of the Great Northern League high school football season and try to figure out which two teams will advance to the play-in round of the state Class 2A tournament.

Here’s what we know: The league champion will be crowned at West Valley, where the Eagles host Clarkston in the league finale.

West Valley (5-3) and Clarkston (7-1) enter the game with just one league loss: West Valley lost to Pullman; Clarkston lost at home to East Valley.

What happens after that is anyone’s guess.

East Valley has finished its regular season and currently sits all alone in second place at 2-2. But they’ll be joined by two more teams: the WV-Clarkston loser and the winner of the Cheney-Pullman game at Cheney. How one team will get sorted out of that three-way tie will take some figuring.

If, for example. West Valley loses to Clarkston and Cheney beats Pullman, the Eagles would be the No. 2 seed because they have wins over both the Knights and Blackhawks. East Valley owns wins over both Cheney and Clarkston and would win out in that three-way scenario.

Beyond that, the league will play off ties that can’t be resolved by head-to-head results.

The Greater Spokane League isn’t a whole lot clearer.

Gonzaga Prep can wrap up the GSL 4A regular season title tonight by beating Ferris. And Ferris can wrap up the title by beating the Bullpups. After that, the equation needs to solve for X.

Lewis and Clark plays Mead and Central Valley plays University in the annual Greasy Pig game and both the Tigers and Bears, oh my, can advance with wins.

Defending state champion Central Valley is the GSL 4A girls soccer regular season champion after knocking off Mead, 1-0, last week.

Mead, which finishes the season in second place, hosts third-place University in the first round of the District 8 4A tournament today.

Mt. Spokane, which finished the regular season tied with CV for the overall GSL title, is the 3A regular season champion.

West Valley captured the regular season GNL girls soccer title, finishing with a 12-3 record overall and a 10-2 league record.

East Valley is the regular season runner-up at 9-3 (10-3 overall).

The Knights finished the GNL volleyball season undefeated at 11-0.

And the Knights are the District Class 2A boys cross country champion and have the district champion in Scott Kopczynski.

The senior covered the 3-mile course in 15 minutes, 16 seconds, three seconds faster than his teammate, Chad Stevens, who finished second.

West Valley’s Skylar Ovnicek placed third, but the Eagles, who won regular season GNL title, were denied a regional berth as a team – getting edged out by Pullman.

The Greyhounds topped Cheney to win the district girls championship and the two teams will each claim regional team berths.

East Valley’s Brittany Aquino was the individual girls champion, turning in an 18:35. West Valley’s McCall Skay was seconds, finishing 13 seconds off the leader’s time.

And in something that could only have been dreamed of a few years ago, Central Valley and University both went through the Greater Spokane League regular season undefeated and met in the regular season finale to determine the GSL 4A championship.

Whenever the Bears and Titans meet, it’s a special occasion, and the game usually has a name. The Stinky Sneaker in basketball. The Greasy Pig in football. The Battle of the Bone in wrestling.

And there have been some clashes with league championship implications.

But to meet in the regular season finale, both undefeated to determine the league title? How cool is that?

This year, the Flying Cow game was played at CV and the Bears won in four hard-fought sets, 25-20, 21-25, 25-13, 25-22.

Sportswriter Steve Christilaw can be reached at steve.christilaw@gmail.com.
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