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Sunday, April 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A Grip on Sports: From football signings to basketball previews, this Thursday is anything but slow

Mead defensive end Ben Voightlaender (11) signed his letter of intent to play football at Eastern Washington on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
Mead defensive end Ben Voightlaender (11) signed his letter of intent to play football at Eastern Washington on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • If you have time today to read every story we are about to link, congratulations. You are either retired or so financially secure you don’t have anything else to do. There are way too many stories to get through for a Thursday.


• The main reason for the glut is yesterday was the first day for the second college football signing period. Every school that plays the sports had some news, even if that news was just that no one signed.

Which means there are about 25 more stories – local and regional ones – available this morning than usually are on a Thursday. And Thursdays are never a quiet day during basketball season.

The Zags play almost every week on this day, and tonight is no different. Well, it is in a way. The game doesn’t start until 8 and it’s being carried, again, by the CBS Sports Network. Gonzaga faces Loyola Marymount, the roadblock before Saturday’s showdown in Moraga against Saint Mary’s.

The more important regional game occurs in Missoula, where Eastern tries to put a little distance between itself and Montana atop the Big Sky Conference standings. Idaho is also on the road, a few miles farther on Interstate 90 (fixed from earlier) in Bozeman as it faces off with Montana State. Both those games should be finished before the Zags’ contest tips.

The other part of our Thursday report? That would be the prep stories that fill the sports section each week. This is the final regularly scheduled night of Greater Spokane League basketball, though thanks to snow and other delays there are a couple makeup games on tap Saturday.

And, if you still aren’t satisfied, we have a curling story today. With a local connection. Talk about the icing on … OK, that was too easy. Sorry.


Gonzaga: It’s been six years since the Zags have lost a West Coast Conference game to anyone not named Saint Mary’s or BYU. Could it happen tonight? Jim Meehan doesn’t have an answer to that question, or to the one about Killian Tillie’s playing status, but he does have a preview and the key matchup with the Lions. … Corey Kispert is one of 10 Julius Erving Award finalists. Jim has that story as well. … Our other Jim, Jim Allen, has a preview of tonight’s game at Pacific for the women. … Elsewhere in the WCC, Yoeli Childs hasn't had the senior year he envisioned for BYU.

WSU: The Cougars finished their football signing class with the first recruits of the Nick Rolovich era. Theo Lawson has the news Washington State signed a couple players from areas that seemed to dry up recently. … Anthony Gordon is headed to the NFL Draft Combine. Theo has that story too. … Around the Pac-12, we should start with the recruiting stories. After all, there is at least one from every school, including a couple from Washington, even more from Oregon, which had the conference's highest-rated class, Oregon State, Colorado, more than one from Utah, Stanford, California, the "what-happened" stories from USC, a couple from UCLA, Arizona State and Arizona. … There is other football news as well, with Oregon's new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead talking about what he expects. … I guess Colorado's retired numbers weren't actually retired. That's something I understand well. … Oregon State will honor its 2000 team. … In basketball news, Oregon State is getting contributions from unlikely sources. … Colorado wants to run against California. … Stanford will bring a tough defense to Utah. … UCLA hopes it has turned a corner. … USC's offense hasn't been sharp and now a visit to rebounding Arizona is on tap. … It's not only UCLA that's struggling financial. So is Cal's athletic department.

EWU: The Eagles will more than likely need their stars to come through tonight to have a chance against Montana. But if they can’t, for whatever reason, don’t be surprised of Jack Perry steps up. Ryan Collingwood’s preview focuses on one of Eastern’s “other” starters. … Ryan also has this story on the Eagles’ football recruiting class that includes just one local player, Mead’s Ben Voigtlaender.

Idaho: The Vandals reached into Spokane to sign Ferris’ Tarynce Antolin and CV’s Landon Rehkow, part of Paul Petrino’s recruiting class that also included Coeur d’Alene’s Colbey Nosworthy. Peter Harriman has more in this story.

CCS: The Sasquatch held off Walla Walla at home.

Preps: The State playoffs begin this week in wrestling, with districts. Ryan has a preview of what’s ahead. … Dave Nichols introduces us to Izzy Boring, the Shadle Park point guard. … Steve Christilaw has a story on 1,000-point career scorer Brie Holecek of East Valley. … There were basketball games in the area for girls and boys.

Curling: Yep, there will be curling at the Arena for the next week. It isn’t easy to get the ice just right for the National Championships, but Dan Thompson tells us how it’s done.

Seahawks: The top two receivers are special. Now the Hawks need more special performances from the rest of the unit next season.

Sounders: The roster is still getting tweaked, but the new uniforms aren’t. They are ready. … Seattle rolled in a friendly last night.


• Not only was my morning full of story after story, the rest of my day is pretty packed as well. Our washing machine informed us it was needed at the big junkyard in the sky last week, so a new one is on tap to be installed this afternoon. It’s so much fun lazing around waiting for a delivery. Right up there with sitting in a dentist’s waiting room or realizing you car needs its 50,000-mile service. Excitement galore. Until later …

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