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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

State 1B girls: Handful of local programs face elimination on first day at Arena

By Dan Thompson The Spokesman-Review

A 0-3 start was hardly ideal for the Garfield-Palouse girls basketball team, and looking back, coach Garrett Parrish might have been happy that his team is just playing in the State 1B tournament this week at the Arena.

But now that the time is here, the 12th-seeded Vikings have elevated their expectations.

“Over the last month we’ve been playing really well,” Parrish said. “We talk all the time: We’re a 12 seed, and we definitely don’t feel we should be that low. But we get a chance to prove that.”

The Vikings, out of the Southeast 1B, are back at state for the second time in Parrish’s 10 years as their head coach. It’s a league that has long dominated the state tournament: Colton, which Gar-Pal beat to get to state, won 10 of 11 state titles from 2009 to 2019. Gar-Pal won a state championship in 2008 – by beating Colton 44-36 in the title game.

“Coaching in this league’s really fun,” Parrish said. “There are really good coaches and really good teams. We’re finally breaking through, and it’s a little more fun when you win.”

Gar-Pal (17-6) finished second in the league standings to Oakesdale (17-4), which is the No. 6 seed and opens at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday against No. 11 Lummi Nation (19-8).

Seventh-seeded Wilbur-Creston-Keller (18-5), from the Northeast league, plays No. 10 Mossyrock (17-6) at 5:30 p.m.

Mossyrock was runner-up last season to Neah Bay, which returns this year as the No. 1 seed with a 20-2 record.

Gar-Pal then plays No. 5 Almira/Coulee-Hartline (15-7) at 7:15 p.m., followed by a 9/8 seed matchup between Sunnyside Christian and Curlew (19-4), the third team from the Northeast league.

All of those teams face elimination Wednesday.

But that’s nothing new for Gar-Pal, which has played three straight loser-out games just to get this far.

“The goal is to get there (to state), and once you do, take one game at a time,” Parrish said. “We embrace it, and hopefully we’re still here on Saturday.”