Three games separated the top three Greater Spokane League 4A boys basketball teams in a tightly contested regular season.
League champ Gonzaga Prep (19-1), runner-up Lewis and Clark (16-4) and third place Central Valley (16-4) are expected to wage knock-down battles when the District 8 tournament begins Thursday.
Fourth-seeded University (10-11), which eliminated Ferris on Tuesday, is at top-seeded G-Prep at 7:15 and CV visits LC at 7:30.
The winners earn berths to the subregional against the Mid-Columbia Conference and meet in the district title game Friday. The losers face off at the highest seed, also Friday, to determine a third berth.
The GSL is a well-respected league statewide. G-Prep, LC and CV all were voted in the Associated Press’ final rankings Wednesday. G-Prep jumped a notch to second behind Federal Way (21-0), which has been atop the poll all season. CV is eighth and LC is ninth.
G-Prep coach Matty McIntyre expects the same hotly contested games in district.
“District is going to be a blood bath,” McIntyre said. “Records are deceiving this time of the year.”
The Bullpups have had many contributors. Freshman Anton Watson, a 6-foot-6 versatile wing/post, has started 19 of the Bullpups’ 20 games. Just three have more playing minutes than Watson.
Watson, the son of former University of Idaho standout Deon Watson, has the best shooting percentage (57.3) of the starters while averaging 7.2 points and 4.4 rebounds on a balanced team.
He had 10 points, eight rebounds and five steals in G-Prep’s league-ending 63-47 win over Shadle Park.
“We’re 20 games into this and he’s no longer a freshman,” McIntyre said. “Every game he is getting better and more and more confident. I’ll just continue to praise his demeanor. The moment is never too big. There are never any highs or lows. He’s steady. He gives you his concentration and a maturity that’s far above his age.”
Shadle Park (14-6) and Rogers (5-17) are headed to the 3A subregional. They meet Friday, at Shadle, to decide the district title and seeding. Tipoff is at 7:15.
In 4A girls, University (12-9), which eliminated defending state champ G-Prep on Tuesday, goes to No. 1-ranked CV (20-0) Thursday while fourth-seeded Mead (12-8) is at second-seeded LC (16-4). Both games start at 5:30.
Like the boys, the winners earn berths to the subregional and meet in the district title game Friday. The losers face off at the highest seed, also Friday, to determine a third berth.
In 3A girls, Mt. Spokane (11-9) and North Central (9-12) are subregional bound and face off Friday, at Mt. Spokane, to decide the district title and seeding. Tipoff is at 5:30.
State-qualifying wrestling meets
From 4A to B, area wrestlers will be seeking berths to the state tournaments, which are Feb. 19-20 at the Tacoma Dome.
The top four in each weight class at each regional advance to state.
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