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Friday, October 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Grip on Sports: If you can later this week, sneak out of your office space and wander over to the Arena for a State B break

Kittitas' Brock Ravet (32) shoots against St. George's during a WIAA State 2B final basketball game on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at Spokane Arena in Spokane, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Kittitas' Brock Ravet (32) shoots against St. George's during a WIAA State 2B final basketball game on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at Spokane Arena in Spokane, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • So what’s on your agenda for the work week? TPS reports? Destroying your computer? Ordering a new stapler? How about sneaking away for a hot dog at the State basketball tournament? Read on.

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• We all have to deal with a Bill Lumbergh now and again, don’t we? Back when “Office Space” was bombing at the box office, I used to work in downtown Spokane, overseeing a group of people from a small, cramped office and doing my best to seem a bit more human than Bill.

Did I fail? You would have to ask the folks that worked for me. But I do know this. The first week in March, I wasn’t a looming presence around their cubicle. Not during the State B Tournament.

It’s hard to loom when you are over at the Arena, German sausage in hand, sitting in a spot where both courts were visible, watching basketball.

It was a yearly tradition. But there was one part of that tradition I’m sure won’t happen this year. See, part of the allure was the walk from the Review building through the park to the Arena.

Most years the weather was nice enough to do that. The first week of March around here often seemed to give us a peek at spring’s coming attractions. There were days when the sun would shine and the temperature would inch up into the mid-40s, making the walk not only a way to get across the river but also a time to thank the Almighty for safely getting through another winter.

And there was no better place to do that than on one of the bridges above the falls.

Honestly, what could be better? Sneaking out of work, walking through one of America’s best urban parks and sitting down to watch a handful of high school basketball games? It was not only a sneak peak of spring, but in my mind, a glimpse of heaven.

This week, however, it’s more like the Other Place. If it froze over.

It won’t be warm in Spokane as the B teams arrive. And it won’t be warm when they leave. Walking across one of the bridges might be a bit treacherous, being they will be ice-encrusted and all.

But inside the Arena, it will be as warm as it ever has been.

Especially at 9 p.m. Saturday night. Hopefully the two best 2B boys teams, Kittitas and St. George’s, will make it to the finals and stage a rematch of last year’s title game.

It was a good one then and, in Gonzaga-bound Brock Ravet’s last high school game, will be a good one this year, the culmination of four days of great basketball.

It’s not just basketball, it’s a celebration of the (figurative) end of winter. It’s part of the fabric of early March in these parts. You need to get there for at least some of it.

So if you could do that, that would be great.

• Want a little more State basketball action? Dave Nichols takes a look at all the Inland Northwest teams that qualified for a Washington State basketball tournament, from the 1B ranks up to 4A.

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Gonzaga: Speaking of Ravet, we can pass along this story that ran in the S-R today. … Jim Meehan looked back at the BYU win from Saturday. … The baseball team lost twice yesterday in California. … Around the WCC, we said it yesterday, but it bears repeating: The folks around BYU had a lot to say about the game’s outcome and the way it was adjudicated.

WSU: The baseball team rallied for a win. … The women’s basketball team lost in Utah. … Around the Pac-12, who is the conference’s player of the year? Washington has a couple candidates. … Not so at Oregon, which needs to take a hard look at itself. … There is a great shooter at Utah. … There were two games yesterday and both seemed to be foregone conclusions before they began. Arizona defeated Stanford for the 19th consecutive time and Arizona State rallied past California.

Whitworth: The Pirates will find out a little after 9:30 this morning if they earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Mariners: Pitching is a key element for this year’s M’s, so it’s appropriate we can pass along a couple stories about pitchers this morning. … Seattle rallied for a win against Colorado yesterday.

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• I may have retired a few years ago – don’t worry about this daily column, I do it because I enjoy it and as long as it stays that way and the S-R can afford me, I’ll continue to churn it out – but retirement never has been about sitting around eating bon-bons (even if I wish it were). Take today for instance. What I thought would be a simple, easy one is, thanks to family obligations, as jam-packed as it could be. It’s so bad, there isn’t even time for a second nap. Until later …

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