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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Decade in Review: Gonzaga Prep’s back-to-back boys basketball titles top impressive list

The past 10 years have seen some pretty remarkable high school sports stories in our region. Here are some of the biggest highlights of the last decade.

Back-to-back: Anton Watson is playing for Mark Few and Gonzaga now, but the previous two seasons he helped Gonzaga Prep win back-to-back State 4A titles. Watson was Associated Press State 4A player of the year, all-classification Mr. Basketball his senior year and state tournament MVP in 2018 and ’19. He averaged 18.7 points and went 102-6 in his four years at G-Prep, with two titles and two third-place finishes.

National champs: After a third consecutive unbeaten regular season in 2017-18, Central Valley girls basketball cruised through the playoffs and set defensive records in the state tourney, winning its second title in three seasons. CV was invited to the GEICO National Tournament, where the Bears, led by two-time Gatorade girls state player of the year Lexie Hull, claimed the title.

Record runs: North Central girls cross country won its third consecutive State 3A title in 2019 as Allie Janke won her second straight title and 2017 state champ Erinn Hill placed second. NC runners finished 1-2-3 and had five in the top eight to score 20 points and break their state-title winning record. The Indians then placed sixth at the Nike Cross Nationals championship.

Defensive specialist: Evan Weaver was named first-team all-league three times, all-state twice and state player of the year his senior year at G-Prep in 2016, after recording 125 tackles, 37 for loss, with 24 sacks. He finished high school with nearly 400 tackles. He’s continued that dominance at Cal and this year was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, leading the nation with a school-record 173 tackles, and earned consensus first-team All-American.

All-state Wildcats: Mt. Spokane volleyball earned a second consecutive State 3A title in November. The Wildcats also boasted the 3A state player of the year, as Tia Allen succeeded teammate Malina Ama. Five Wildcats were named to the all-state team: Teila Allen, Sophia Bertotti-Metoyer and Taylor Miche joined Allen on the first team, while Ama was named to this season’s second team.

Four-timer club: There have been only 16 four-time Washington state wrestling champions. At Mat Classic XXXI in March, Colville’s Trent Baun joined the club with a win in the 1A 132-pound final, previously winning at 113, 120 and 126. He joined North Central’s Clai Quintanilla and Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls’) Dalton Young on that exclusive list. Young went 170-0 in his prep career.

Northern renaissance: Colville football won its first state title in 2018, ending Royal’s national-best 53-game winning streak before downing rival Newport in the title game. Many of those players contributed to the wrestling team’s State 1A title. In the spring, the baseball team reached the state semifinals. John Knight – all-state quarterback, two-time wrestling state champ and No. 1 starting pitcher – was the only player on all three teams.

Owning 8-man: Defending State 1B player of the year Marcus King rushed for a title game-record 380 yards and six touchdowns to lead top-seeded Odessa to an 80-26 victory over Naselle. The title is the second in a row – and fourth overall – for the Tigers, who outscored their opponents 917-92 this season.

Title town: Colton girls basketball went 24-2 last season and won its second consecutive state championship – its 10th in the past 11 seasons. Colton set or tied 11 records at the state tournament, including most wins in tourney history. From 2010-19, the Wildcats compiled a record of 203-9.

Volleyball prowess: Oakesdale won its fourth straight state title – and seventh in eight years – last fall. The Nighthawks lost only six sets all season and four players earned first-team all-state honors. The team just missed a fourth state academic team title in five seasons, placing second with a cumulative GPA of 3.914.