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Monday, March 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Gonzaga Prep faces Curtis of Tacoma Saturday in regional round of state girls basketball

It might be the most lopsided matchup in the regional round of state girls basketball games this weekend.

Curtis of Tacoma (20-7) takes on defending State 4A champ Gonzaga Prep (23-0) Saturday at Mt. Spokane High School. It’s one of five games that day, tipping off at 6 p.m.

The game boils down to experience against inexperience. The Bullpups brought back four starters off last year’s team. Their winning streak is at 46.

Curtis’ roster is absent a senior. The Vikings are led in scoring by Jalaiya Frederick, a freshman guard who is averaging 17.7 points per game.

Curtis got handled recently by third-ranked Todd Beamer (63-31) and No. 4 Bellarmine Prep (62-41). They lost a seeding game last Saturday to Kentlake 29-27.

“We still have to show up and play,” coach Mike Arte said. “Nobody can afford to overlook anybody this week or you’re not playing next week.”

So Arte’s goal for Saturday is simple – play efficiently.

• In another game at Mt. Spokane, the Rogers boys return to state for the first time since 2009. But they want their experience to extend to Tacoma.

Rogers (15-7) takes on Lakeside of Seattle (20-7) at 4.

Pirates coach Joel Soter knows his team must play well against a quality opponent. Lakeside is in the Metro League as is No. 1-ranked and defending State 3A champ Rainier Beach, third-ranked Garfield and No. 6 Eastside Catholic.

Two Lakeside players combine to score 48 points per game – the bulk of their team’s points.

“They seem to live and die with those two guys,” Soter said.

Soter said defense will be a key for his team. It’s something the Pirates have bought into the second half of the season.

“They started to realize that on nights we don’t shoot well, defense can always be there,” Soter said. “If we want to go deep (in state), defense will be the key.”

• In the other games Saturday at Mt. Spokane, the unbeaten Republic girls (23-0) take on Muckelshoot Tribal (12-12) at noon in a 1B game and in the nightcap Cusick (15-9) faces Garfield-Palouse (22-1) in a 1B boys game at 8.

• In a doubleheader Friday at Mt. Spokane, Northwest Christian’s boys (18-7) meet Lake Roosevelt (13-9) in a 1B matchup at 6 followed by Central Valley’s boys (20-5) meeting Moses Lake (16-5) in a 4A game at 8.

• The other local venue in the regional round of state is at Cheney.

In games Friday, the Colton girls (23-0), riding the state’s longest winning streak at 67, take on Almira/Coulee-Hartline (18-5) in a 1B game at 6 followed by the ACH boys (19-4) meeting No. 2-ranked Pomeroy (20-3) at 8.

• In games Saturday, the Liberty boys go against Warden in a 2B contest at 10 a.m.; defending State 2B girls champ Colfax (22-3) faces off with Oroville (15-9) at noon; the second-ranked Clarkston boys face Sammamish in a 2A game at 2; River Ridge (16-9) takes on Pullman (13-10) in a 2A girls game at 4; the Lakeside boys play La Salle in a 1A game at 6; and in the final game, the Lakeside girls (21-1) meet Naches Valley (14-10) at 8.

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