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Area basketball preview: Gonzaga Prep boys host University as GSL race tightens

With league races heating up, here’s a look at some of the biggest prep basketball games in the area this weekend:

Greater Spokane League

University (7-7, 7-5) at Gonzaga Prep (13-1, 11-1): The Bullpups, ranked third in the state 4A according to the latest RPI rankings, have opened a two-game lead in the league but can’t afford to look past U-Hi this week. Boston Tacke leads the Titans, averaging 14.7 points. University has won three in a row and an upset Friday night will put them right back in a tight race.

G-Prep has reeled off six in a row, including last Friday’s big 65-48 win over Shadle Park. The Pups followed that with a 66-35 dismantling of North Central. Anton Watson scored 33 points in his last two and averages 20.3 points to lead the league.

Mt. Spokane (6-8, 4-8) at Ferris (11-3, 9-3): The Saxons, ranked 10th in the state, are one of three teams (Shadle Park, Central Valley) at 9-3 in the league after they knocked off the Highlanders 56-45 on Tuesday. Shamrock Campbell had 17 points in that one and is averaging 13.7 points this season.

Great Northern

Clarkston (11-2, 6-0) at West Valley (8-6, 3-3): If the Eagles, second in the league but 2 1/2 games back, is to crawl back into the race they need to find a way to knock off league-leader Clarkston, winners of 10 in a row and ranked third in the state 2A.

The Bantams won by 17 when the two teams played in Clarkston on Jan. 3. Jett Sobotta had 22 points in that one and has averaged 16.0 points in his last four games.

Northeast A

Chewelah (5-7, 2-6) at Medical Lake (11-3, 7-1): The Cardinals are one game behind league-leading – and No.1 in state 1A – Freeman (13-1, 8-0), which hosts Colville (3-11, 1-7) this week.

Medical Lake, ranked eighth in the state 1A, has won three of its last four, including a 60-48 win over Riverside on Tuesday, when Trenten Garza scored 20 points.

Northeast 2B

St. George’s (8-5, 7-2) at Colfax (9-4, 7-2): Colfax leads the South Division by one-half game over Liberty, which takes on Davenport (5-8, 4-6).

The Bulldogs have won three in a row, allowing an average of just 39 points in those three. Danny Robinson and Carson Cloaninger are the workhorses for Colfax.

St. George’s is 2 1/2 games behind North Division-leader Northwest Christian (12-1, 10-0), which is sixth in the state 2B and travels to Asotin (6-3, 6-3).

Northeast 1B

Selkirk (11-4, 8-3) Curlew (6-9, 5-8): The Rangers lead the North Division by one-half game over Inchelium, which plays at Republic (5-10, 3-9). Selkirk has lost two of its last three but can rebound with games against the Cougars, then Northport (6-9, 4-7) on Saturday.

In the South Division, leader and seventh-ranked Almira/Coulee-Hartline (13-2, 10-0) travels to Wellpinit (11-2, 7-2), which is 2 1/2 games back and ranked 15th.

Southeast 1B

Colton (8-5, 6-3) at Pomeroy (10-1, 8-0): The top two teams in the league square off on Friday. Pomeroy’s Jake Tewalt has averaged 17.0 points in his last four games, all wins for the Pirates, which are ranked fifth in the state 1B.

Colton, 12th in the state, had won eight in a row until falling to Prescott on Saturday. Grant Kinzer has averaged 18.8 points his last four, including a 27-point outburst in a 89-50 win against Waitsburg on Jan. 7.

Idaho

Lake City (10-2, 1-1) at Post Falls (8-2, 3-0): The Trojans lead the Inland Empire 5A but the Timberwolves aren’t far behind. Post Falls was ranked third in state in this week’s 5A media poll, while Lake City was fifth.

Kellogg (10-2, 2-0) at Bonners Ferry (3-5, 0-0): The Wildcats are ranked third in the state 3A media poll this week. Kellogg hasn’t allowed more than 32 points in its last three and has given up more than 50 just twice this season – both in wins.

Girls

University (8-6, 7-5) at Gonzaga Prep (9-5, 9-3): The Bullpups have won three in a row and are third in the GSL, three games behind unbeaten Central Valley (ranked fourth in state 4A) and two behind Mt. Spokane. Another loss in league will drop them out of the running.

Olivia Mayer leads G-Prep, averaging 15. 3 points. U-Hi is led by Ellie Boni at 11.4 points.

Chewelah (9-4, 5-3) at Medical Lake (12-2, 8-0): The Cardinals, ranked 12 in state 1A, lead the Northeast A by two games over Lakeside and three over the Cougars. Medical Lake’s Jayda Noble has averaged 14.0 points in her last five games.

Davenport (11-2, 7-2) at Liberty (14-0, 10-0): Christine Denny eclipsed the 1,500 point mark in her four-year career to help Liberty, ranked third in state 2B, defeat Northwest Christian (6-7, 4-6) 64-39 on Tuesday in Northeast 2B play. She’s averaged 19.6 points in five games in 2017.

Davenport, ranked eighth, is second in the North Division, one-half game behind seventh-ranked St. George’s.

Colton (11-1, 6-1) at Pomeroy (6-1, 5-1): The Wildcats find themselves in unfamiliar territory – an actual challenge for the league title. Pomeroy is ranked first in state 1B and has won six in a row, its only loss on Dec. 9 to these very same Wildcats, who are ranked third in state.

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