Boys state capsules: No. 1 seeds Mt. Spokane, Pullman, Davenport, Wellpinit lead Spokane-area boys into battle
Feb. 28, 2023 Updated Tue., Feb. 28, 2023 at 6:07 p.m.
Play begins at the state basketball venues in Tacoma, Yakima and Spokane with round-of-12 elimination games on Wednesday and quarterfinals on Thursday.
Here’s a look at each boys team from the Spokane area to reach the state venues this season.
(5) Gonzaga Prep: 21-4. GSL 4A top seed, District 8 champs (beat Chiawana 59-53).
When: Round-of-12 vs. (12) Mariner (16-8), Wednesday 12:15 p.m.
Regional: Lost to (4) Federal Way (23-2) 69-56.
Key players: GSL first-team sr. F Jamil Miller (18.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg); GSL second-team jr. G Henry Sandberg (12 ppg, 4.1 apg); so. PG Jayce Swanson (10.2 ppg).
Outlook: Was the No. 8 seed in 2022 and beat Federal Way in elimination game, but lost to No. 2 Curtis in quarterfinal and No. 4 Kamiakin in fourth-place bracket.
Quote: “This has been a fun group to coach. If we take care of the ball and rebound, we can with can compete with anybody.” – Coach Matty McIntyre.
(1) Mt. Spokane: 23-1. GSL champion, District 8 champs (beat Kennewick 73-40).
When: Quarterfinal vs. (10) Bellevue/(7) Timberline winner, Thursday 5:30 p.m.
Regional: Beat (8) Rainier Beach (14-8) 64-61.
Key players: GSL 4A/3A MVP sr. F Maverick Sanders (16.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg); GSL first-team jr. G Ryan Lafferty (13.2 ppg, 5 rpg, 5 apg); GSL second-team jr. F Andrew Rayment (11.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg).
Outlook: Lost only to 4A No. 1 seed Curtis this season. First overall top seed in program history. No titles, but sixth straight season to state; runner-up in 2019 and reached semifinals last year.
Quote: “Our team chemistry is really special. You can tell they love playing the game of basketball with their friends.” – Coach David Wagenblast.
2A–Yakima Valley SunDome
(1) Pullman: 24-0. GSL 2A champion, District 8 champs (beat West Valley 64-53), won District 5/6/8 crossover (beat East Valley (Yakima) 78-49).
When: Quarterfinal vs. (10) Enumclaw/(2) Anacortes winner, Thursday 10:30 a.m.
Regional: Beat (8) R.A. Long (20-5) 67-55.
Key players: GSL 2A MVP sr. G Jaedyn Brown (27.9 ppg); GSL first-team jr. G Champ Powaukee (16.4 ppg); second-team sr. F Tanner Barbour (8.2 ppg); second-team sr. G Dane Sykes (9.9 ppg).
Outlook: Second at state last year.
Quote: “We’re looking forward to seeing how our game matches up with other teams across the state.” – Coach Craig Brantner.
(9) West Valley: 20-4. GSL 2A runner-up, District 8 runner-up (lost to Pullman 64-53), won District 5/6/8 crossover (beat Grandview 54-48).
When: Round-of-12 vs. (8) RA Long, Wednesday 2 p.m.
Regional: Beat (16) Clover Park (13-9) 64-47.
Key players: GSL first-team jr. F Grady Walker (15 ppg); GSL first-team jr. G Ben Fried (14 ppg); GSL second-team sr. G Rosko Schroder.
Outlook: Last appearance at state was 2011. Coach Jay Humphrey is retiring at the end of the season after 38 years, 14 with WV.
Quote: “Our defense has been our calling card all year. We need to keep it up this week.” – Coach Jay Humphrey.
1A–Yakima Valley SunDome
(4) Freeman: 21-2. NEA champion, District 7 champ (beat Lakeside 60-52).
When: Quarterfinal vs. (14) Seton Catholic/(6) Toppenish winner, Thursday 3:45 p.m.
Regional: Beat (5) King’s (17-6) 74-72 in overtime.
Key players: NEA MVP sr. F Boen Phelps (22 ppg, 9 rpg, 5 apg, 3 spg); NEA first-team sr. G Gabe Schulhauser (18 ppg, 4 apg); second-team so. F Tanner Goldsmith (12 ppg, 7 rpg).
Outlook: Phelps is a four-time NEA all-league pick. Scotties were fourth last season and return as No. 4 seed after graduating four starters and key reserve. Seven league and six district titles in eight years.
Quote: “We need to continue to play for each other every possession of every game.” – Coach Kyle Olson.
(16) Lakeside: 14-10. NEA runner-up, District 7 runner-up (lost to Freeman 60-52), won District 6/7 crossover (beat Quincy 68-66).
When: Round-of-12 vs. (8) Overlake, Wednesday 9 p.m.
Regional: Beat (9) Omak (16-6) 58-52.
Key players: NEA first-team sr. F Calvin Mikkelsen (12 ppg, 8 rpg); second-team sr. F Kole Hunsaker (11 ppg, 6 apg); second-team sr. G Hiro Patterson (7 ppg, 5 apg, 2 spg).
Outlook: Last appearance at the SunDome in 2010; 12-2 in past 14 games.
Quote: “Our team is as resilient as they come. Not many teams would be able to start 2-8 and continue to believe and trust in each other and the process.” – Coach Mike McCune.
(1) Davenport: 24-2. NE 2B North champion, District 7 champ (beat Northwest Christian 65-49), won District 6/7 crossover (beat Tonasket 72-49).
When: Quarterfinal vs. (7) Northwest Christian/(10) Chief Leschi winner, Thursday 10:30 a.m.
Regional: Beat (8) Adna (18-8) 75-60.
Key players: NE 2B North MVP sr. F Tennessee Rainwater (26 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 3.3 apg); first-team sr. F Brenick Soliday (14.2 ppg, 2.4 spg); second-team sr. G Cash Colbert (11.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg).
Outlook: Last state trip 2010.
Quote: “We’ve stressed all year the focus of ‘Roots Over Fruits.’ If we continue playing for each other, enjoying each moment, and playing connected basketball, the fruits will be there in the end.” – Coach Matt Henry.
(7) Northwest Christian: 20-5. NE 2B North runner-up, District 7 runner-up (lost to Davenport 65-49), won District 6/7 crossover (beat Liberty Bell 47-39).
When: Round-of-12 vs. (10) Chief Leschi, Wednesday 10:30 a.m.
Regional: Lost to (2) Morton-White Pass (21-2) 63-51.
Key players: NE 2B North first-team so. G Avi West (20 ppg); second-team sr. F Nate Clark (12 ppg); second-team so. G Asher West (12 ppg).
Outlook: The Crusaders were the No. 12 seed last year and earned a regional victory over Cle Elum. NWC has three sets of brothers: Nate and Jalan Clark, Asher and Avi West, and Titus and Joseph Spuler. Head coach Aaron Spuler and assistant Matt Clark have sons on the team.
Quote: “The sum is greater than the parts. The Crusaders are a young team of really good friends who enjoy playing and living life together.” – Coach Aaron Spuler.
(9) Lind-Ritzville/Sprague: 19-7. NE 2B South runner-up, District 7 third-place (beat St. George’s 64-46), won District 6/7 crossover (beat Okanogan 50-48).
When: Round-of-12 vs. (8) Adna, Wednesday 2 p.m.
Regional: Beat (16) Dayton-Waitsburg (13-8) 53-35.
Key players: NE 2B South first-team sr. F Chase Galbreath (15 ppg, 11.1 rpg); first-team so. G Jayce Kelly (19.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg); second-team sr. G Hunter Dinkins.
Outlook: Last state appearance was 2016. Fell one game short in 2020 and 2022. Have won nine of past 10 and four in a row.
(1) Wellpinit: 23-1. NE 1B South champ, District 7 champ (beat Cusick 61-42).
When: Quarterfinal vs. (7) Cusick/(10) Mount Vernon Christian, Thursday 5:30 p.m.
Regional: Beat (8) Oakville (18-4) 83-46.
Key players: NE 1B South MVP sr. F Smokey Abrahamson (11.6 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 6.5 apg); first-team sr. G Colin Hughes (11.9 rpg); first-team sr. G Grant Denison (10.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg); first-team sr. G David Wynecoop (8.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg).
Outlook: Looking for first state title in seventh appearance. Coach Billy Flett Sr. has 324 wins over 19 seasons.
Quote: “Wellpinit made history by making its first state appearance in the 1981 State B Tournament. I was part of that history as a player my senior year.” – Flett.
(7) Cusick: 19-5. NE 1B North champ, District 7 runner-up (lost to Wellpinit 61-42).
When: Round-of-12 vs. (10) Mount Vernon Christian, Wednesday 5:30 p.m..
Regional: Lost to (2) Sunnyside Christian (20-4) 56-45.
Key players: NE 1B North MVP sr. F Bode Seymour; first-team sr. G Dennis Campbell.
Outlook: Defending state champion.
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