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: Central Valley was the Greater Spokane League and District 8 champion and earned the No. 4 seed in the tourney. The Bears (21-2) host fifth-seeded Federal Way (23-4) in a seeding game at U-Hi on Saturday at 6 p.m.
CV uses a balanced attack, led by three all-league players, and a deep bench to wear teams down.
“We don’t have that marquee guy,” coach Mike Laws said. “You look at our stats and we’ve got four guys in double (figures), and each night it’s somebody different. Our kids are real comfortable with that, and they know that that is kind of what we’re about.”
Federal Way finished second in the Olympic Division of the highly competitive North Puget Sound League. Last year’s star, Jaden McDaniels, is plying his trade in the Pac-12 with the Washington Huskies, but the Eagles are led by returners Jaylen-Wes Williams, Bradley Graham and six transfers.
Defending state champion Gonzaga Prep earned a berth to state with a 61-59 win over a very talented Chiawana team in the district second-place game.
Liam Lloyd scored 30 points, hitting 9 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter, and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Bullpups that night, as he does most nights. The Grand Canyon University-bound wing averaged 20.4 points this season, with a 46-point performance on Dec. 3 against CV in the league opener.
The eighth-seeded Pups (18-6) go on the road to face No. 1 Union (24-0) and seventh-year coach Blake Conley, a graduate and former player at Mt. Spokane, in a seeding game at Battle Ground HS Saturday at 2.
Union is led by all-everything 6-foot-4 senior Tanner Toolson.
3A: Mt. Spokane reached the title game last season, where they ran into nationally ranked prospect Paolo Banchero and his teammates at O’Dea. The eighth-seeded Wildcats (19-4) face a tough draw as they try to make a repeat trip to the title game – No. 1 Eastside Catholic on Saturday at 2 in a seeding game.
3A champ Mt. Spokane fell in the district title game last Friday but rebounded to blow out Kennewick 88-41 in the second-place game and earn a protected spot through regionals.
“Both days we played really hard, and the difference (in the second-place game) was we were able to turn our defensive stops into layins,” Mt. Spokane coach David Wagenblast said. “At the other end, we were able to get some confidence and get it going on offense.”
GSL MVP Tyson Degenhart and all-league point guard JoJo Anderson pace the Cats.
Eastside Catholic (22-3) knocked off O’Dea in January and finished in a three-way tie with O’Dea and Garfield at the top of the KingCo League.
2A: Seventh-seeded Clarkston (17-5) faces No. 2 Toppenish (21-1) at Eisenhower HS on Saturday at 6. The Great Northern League champs are led by point guard Tru Allen and forward Gus Hagestad.
1A: District 7 champ Deer Park (16-6) earned the 11th seed and battles 14th-seeded King’s at West Valley HS on Friday at 6. The Stags are powered by Northeast A League MVP Jobi Gelder and junior guard Dawson Youngblood.
2B: Undefeated District 7 champ and No. 1 ranked Liberty (23-0) takes on eighth-seeded White Swan at West Valley HS on Saturday at 6, while second-seeded St. George’s (19-4) plays seventh-seeded Onalaska at Mt. Spokane HS on Saturday at 2.
Ninth-seeded Colfax (18-7) and 12th-seeded Kettle Falls (16-9) face elimination games.
1B: Ryan Moffet, who earlier this season broke the state boys record for career scoring, leads undefeated District 7 champ and No. 1 Odessa (23-0) against District 9 champion and eighth-seeded Oakesdale (18-4) at West Valley on Saturday at noon.
Moffet has 3,145 points entering the state tournament.
Tenth-seeded Almira/Coulee-Hartline (15-8), 11th-seeded Garfield-Palouse (16-7) and 13th-seeded Selkirk (15-8) all play in elimination games.
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