The regional round of state is Friday and Saturday at venues across the state, including three in the Spokane metro area.
The gyms at University, West Valley and Mt. Spokane high schools will be packed with boys and girls teams either playing for a bye to avoid an elimination game at a state venue on Wednesday – or a chance to reach one of those games and extend their season another game.
4A: Greater Spokane League and District 8 champion Central Valley (19-3) earned the third seed and starts its state tournament with a protected matchup against sixth-seeded Glacier Peak (20-3) at U-Hi on Friday at 6.
The Bears are powered by all-GSL standouts guard Peyton Howard (12.6 ppg) and forward MJ Bruno (11.6). Howard scored eight of her 19 points in the district title game in overtime.
“That’s kind of what you expect from like a senior leader,” CV coach Felice Orrell said of Howard. “She’s kind of our go-to.”
“Nobody had the confidence in us this year because we graduated so many people,” Howard said. “It’s good to kind of … let them know we’re still here.”
The Grizzlies lost to state runners-up Lewis and Clark in a quarterfinal game last year and eventually beat Central Valley in the fourth-place game at the Dome. Peak features a talented junior class of Aayliah Collins, Maya Erling and post Madison Rubino.
3A: Mt. Spokane lost a heartbreaker in last year’s state title game and though the roster has undergone some major changes, it’s powerful enough to get back there this season.
Senior guards Jayda Noble and Emma Main played in last year’s championship run and lead the current Wildcats squad. Noble, a ferocious rebounder committed to the University of Washington, and the sharp-shooting Main were both all-GSL first-team selections.
Noble had 20 boards in the title game last season.
“She did everything she could to will us to that and just fell short,” coach David Pratt said. “So you can imagine how much we’re going to rely on her, and how much she’s gonna feel like, ‘Let’s get back there and and win this thing.’ ”
The fourth-seeded Cats face fifth-seeded Shorecrest in a protected game at U-Hi on Friday at 8.
2A: GNL regular-season champ West Valley (18-4) earned the No. 8 seed and takes on top-seeded Lynden at Mount Vernon HS on Saturday at 2. The Eagles rely on all-league senior guard Hailey Marlow and sophomore wing Nevaeh Sherwood.
District 7 tourney winner Clarkston (17-5) and two-time GNL MVP Ashlyn Wallace is seeded 11th and face No. 14th Franklin Pierce at West Valley on Friday at 4 in an elimination game.
1A: District 7 champ Freeman (20-2) is the fourth seed and faces fifth-seeded LaSalle at West Valley HS on Friday at 8. Runner-up Deer Park (18-6) is the 13th seed and faces 12th-seeded Elma at Tumwater HS on Saturday at noon in an elimination game.
2B: District 7 champion Liberty (22-1) earned the top seed and faces eighth-seeded Tri-Cities Prep at West Valley HS on Saturday at 4 in a seeding game.
Ninth-seeded St. George’s (20-5), 12th-seeded Colfax (16-8) and 14th-seeded Northwest Christian face elimination games.
1B: District 9 champion Pomeroy (20-1) is the top seed and plays No. 8 Wellpinit (16-6) on Saturday at 2 at Wenatchee.
District 7 champion Inchelium (21-2) is the second seed and faces seventh-seeded Curlew (19-6) at West Valley on Saturday at 8. Third-seeded Oakesdale (16-6) takes on sixth-seeded Yakama Nation on Saturday at West Valley at 2.
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