As his players cut downs the nets celebrating a second straight Greater Spokane League boys basketball championship Tuesday, Gonzaga Prep coach Matty McIntyre put the moment in perspective.
“Our goal was to do this and nobody can ever take this away from us,” McIntyre said.
In other words, nothing going forward is guaranteed.
The postseason begins next week after GSL boys and girls teams conclude league play with games Thursday and Saturday.
G-Prep avenged a December loss to Ferris by turning back the Saxons 54-39 on Tuesday.
Ferris is in its first year under Sean Mallon, a Ferris graduate.
“I’m fairly sure we can see them down the road. They’re a good team,” McIntyre said.
There are a number of good teams headed to the 4A subregional that combines four GSL teams and four Mid-Columbia Conference teams.
McIntyre sees his team, Ferris, Lewis and Clark, Central Valley and Richland battling for the two state berths.
“There’s not much separation between five teams,” McIntyre said. “Three good teams are going to be left behind.”
G-Prep got all the way to the state final last year and gave recent power Federal Way all it could handle.
“Hopefully, we’re building toward the right time and the right moments to play championship basketball,” McIntyre said. “I know the kids have their eyes set on other goals as well. So we’re going to continue to build toward those.”
After state berths are decided, the WIAA’s RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) will be used to seed the teams. The WIAA is counting just regular-season games this season. It’s expected the RPI will be tweaked next year to include state-qualifying games in the rankings.
After the win Tuesday, G-Prep is second and .003 behind Union.
A team that finishes in the top four will play a state regional game closest to its region in a double-elimination game against one of the next four seeds.
Teams which finish ranked nine through 12 will play a game closest to its region in a loser-out game against the next four seeds.
In girls, undefeated and defending state champ CV is ranked sixth. If that seeding holds – as long as the five teams ahead of the Bears earn state berths – CV will travel for a state regional opener.
That seems unfair for a defending champ that won most of its games going away this year, including nonleague games against Kentlake and Moses Lake, which are ranked ahead of CV. But that, in a nutshell, explains part of the problem for the Bears.
The traditionally tough GSL is down this season.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.