Dave Nichols: What you might have missed from the state basketball championships over the weekend
March 5, 2023 Updated Sun., March 5, 2023 at 8:44 p.m.
There was a LOT of state basketball action over the weekend. If you were at one of the venues, or even trying to follow along online or with all of our extensive coverage in Tacoma, Yakima and especially here in Spokane, you might have missed something.
Heck, there were things that I missed even sitting courtside at Tacoma Dome until I could see a replay.
With all that in mind, let’s take a second look at some of the incredible highlights from across the state tournament sites as the region claimed five state titles on Saturday, taking both 2B championships, the boys 1B and Idaho 5A and 1ADI boys.
Davenport boys didn’t even tip off until 9:50 p.m. Saturday night, so there was no way to get their result into the paper. We wouldn’t have beaten our old deadline on that one, let alone our earlier one these days.
The top-seeded Gorillas, led by Northeast 2B MVP Tennessee Rainwater, played in their third title game (2009, 1961) and faced fifth-seeded Brewster and University of Portland commit Kelson Gebbers.
Davenport trailed early, rallied behind Rainwater in the third quarter, and outlasted the Bears 65-58 to earn its first title in program history.
“This is what I worked for,” Rainwater said. “This is what we went through with all the adversity … we’ve created a brotherhood that’s going to last forever.”
The Colfax girls team was one of the most dominant all season, going undefeated all the way to the state title game. The Bulldogs are primed to stay at the top of the 2B heap – their best player, 6-foot-2 forward Brynn McGaughy, is just a sophomore.
Behind McGaughy and senior Jaisha Gibb, the Bulldogs completed its perfect season, downing Okanogan 59-52 for a victory to finish 28-0, and claimed their fifth title – all since 2009. Colfax is the first team to go undefeated in 2B since its opponent, Okanogan, ran the table in 2016.
The victory was a redemption of sorts for Colfax, which lost the title game to Warden 70-55 last year but beat the Cougars in a semifinal matchup.
“To watch my kids rise up,” Colfax coach Jordan Holmes said, “I couldn’t be more proud.”
The Wellpinit boys team suffered a disappointing end in 2022 following a first-round loss to DeSales, but with one loss all season it entered the tournament this year as the No. 1 seed.
Wellpinit knocked off last season’s champ, Cusick, in the first round and in the end, it defended its lofty status defeating second-seeded Sunnyside Christian 55-50 to bring home the school’s first state title. Wellpinit’s previous best finish in nine appearances was third.
David Wynecoop III led Wellpinit with 12 points and made four of the team’s nine 3-pointers.
“I don’t know how to feel right now,” Wynecoop said Saturday. “Probably when we get back into the locker room I’m going to cry, but that’s what happens when winning this. I loved being here and I’m happy we came out with the win in my senior year.”
Gem State gems
Across the border, Lake City completed its season as one of the most dominant teams in state history with a resounding 75-61 win over Meridian to claim the first state title for veteran coach Jim Winger and the program.
Lake City (26-0) becomes just the third Boys 5A team in Idaho history to finish the season undefeated.
Blake Buchanan, the 6-foot-10 senior committed to Virginia, punctuated his high school career with 26 points and 11 rebounds as the Timberwolves navigated a rocky start and methodically pulled away from Meridian, which ended up wilting as the game went on against the bigger, stronger T-wolves.
“We got hit in the mouth early, but I liked our response,” Winger said. “They’re a once-in-a-lifetime kind of high school team.”
Lakeside of Plummer is a small school, but it’s big on basketball talent. The Knights (16-3) ended Lapwai’s 62-game winning streak with an 81-79 overtime victory to win the Idaho 1A Division I championship, the school’s second title since 2020.
Lakeside senior Vander Brown finished with 29 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four steals, while junior Liam Hendrickx, a transfer from Gonzaga Prep, added 23 points.
Lapwai’s Division I-bound star Kase Wynott ended up with 40 points.
All-tournament teams from Tacoma and Yakima were announced Saturday after the paper went to press, and several Greater Spokane League players received honors.
From Tacoma, Mead’s Teryn Gardner and Mt. Spokane’s Ryan Lafferty were named to the Girls and Boys 3A first teams, while the Wildcats’ Maverick Sanders was a second-team selection. Gonzaga Prep’s Jamil Miller and Henry Sandberg were named to the Boys 4A second team.
In Yakima, Pullman’s Jaedyn Brown earned Boys 2A first-team honors while teammate Dane Sykes was second team. In 1A, Deer Park’s Darian Herring was first team, while teammate Brooklyn Coe and Freeman’s Jaycee Goldsmith were second team. Boen Phelps of Freeman made the Boys 1A second team.
In case you didn’t see it, or even if you did, here is Gardner’s game-winner Saturday with 0.7 seconds remaining that enabled the Panthers to claim third place in the Girls 3A tourney. It’s worth another look.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.