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Monday, October 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Grip on Sports: Though Christmas is just on the other side of the weekend, there is still plenty of sports action to enjoy

Gonzaga’s Josh Perkins fires over UT Arlington guard David Azore in Tuesday’s win at the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga’s Josh Perkins fires over UT Arlington guard David Azore in Tuesday’s win at the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • The weekend is almost on tap. The final weekend before Christmas. Will everyone be busy? If I were a betting man, I would take the over on that. Read on.

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• Last-minute Christmas shopping isn’t just done on Christmas Eve, though that’s the literal definition of it. For some of us, “last-minute” is a way of life and shopping is just a part of it.

This column is a last-minute project every day. No more so than today when, due to circumstances beyond our control, we began our online search for news quite a bit later than usual.

So we will dispense with the usual unpleasantries and get right to what you really come here for: A gateway to all The Spokesman-Review content.

Wait, that is why you come, isn’t it? To find out how the Cougars are doing, or the Zags or your favorite high school? It can’t be to listen to me drone on endlessly about the M’s or Eastern’s FCS chances or, God forbid, my favorite hamburger joint or college hoops analyst. That would be sad.

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Gonzaga: Denver is in the McCarthey Athletic Center this evening for a nonconference matchup that will be broadcast locally on KHQ. With the students on Christmas break, there are a few more seats available in the Kennel, so maybe some of you will be there in person. The rest of us will watch on TV. Or read what Jim Meehan has to say afterward. He has a preview – there is an extensive Josh Perkins connection in this one – and the key matchup. … The Gonzaga women took over the place last night and blew out Idaho. The Zags are 11-1, their only loss coming to then-No. 1 Notre Dame in a tournament. That’s pretty impressive. So was last night’s performance, covered in words by Jim Allen and in photographs by Dan Pelle.

WSU: Theo Lawson has stories today that cover both sides of the ball, with a feature on Easop Winston and his oversized hands – an asset for any receiver. There is also the news of another letter of intent signing, this one from a fourth junior college defensive back. … Tom Clouse has a story which documents the results of a WSU Office for Equal Opportunity investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against former WSU quarterback Jason Gesser. … The Cougar women’s basketball team defeated Wichita State in Las Vegas. … Here’s a bipartisan thought: Former Washington State football and baseball player Steve Gleason is a national treasure. And is more than deserving of this award, even if he is too humble to say it.

EWU: The Eagles an underdog? Seems to be a bit of mixed metaphor, but let’s not quibble. They are in their FCS title game against perennial champion North Dakota State. As Ryan Collingwood tells us in this story, they are embracing the role. … Now we know why one of Eastern’s best players did not play in the semifinal. Tom has the story of defensive lineman Jay-Tee Tiuli’s recent arrest. … Larry Weir covers the FCS playoffs, and WSU football, with Paul Sorensen in the most recent Press Box pod.

Preps: With Christmas just around the corner, last night was a big basketball night. Dave Nichols attended the Gonzaga Prep boys’ win at University. We also have a roundup from GSL girls’ play and from boys and girls action around the area. … The AP All-State football teams were announced yesterday. Dave has all the local honorees in this story.

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• The illness I mentioned yesterday? It’s hit the house hard, including taking me down. Well, if not down, at least out. Hopefully, we will be better by tonight, when Gonzaga hosts Denver. Yep, we will be here for our TV Take. Until later …

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