Tuesday, May 17, 2016

State playoffs kick off Tuesday and Wednesday

Tuesday and Wednesday marks the start of the Boys State High School tournaments for Washington. Area schools are eager to claim a state title after several months of league play followed by district and regional tournaments over the past couple weeks.

4A - Greater Spokane League, Mid-Columbia Conference & Columbia Basin Big Nine 

How They Got There

Lewis & Clark (GSL) - Region 5/8 Seed 1: Though they narrowly lost 1-0 to Ferris early in the campaign, the Tigers looked like they were going to be contenders to grab the title away from Central Valley. The Bears, though, prevailed in the final week of the season, rallying from two down at halftime of the season finale to win 4-3 in overtime to retain the title and leave LC fourth in a tight lead pack. The Tigers blanked Gonzaga Prep to open the district tournament, but again were unable to get past Central Valley, falling 3-1 in the semifinals and putting them in a loser-out contest from the third and final berth to regionals. They topped Mead 3-1 to keep themselves moving forward and blanked the MCC's second-seeded Richland Bombers on the road, 2-0, to set up a third match against CV in the span of two weeks. A defensive battle this time, the Tigers prevailed by a narrow 1-0 margin, stunning the Bears and locking up a state berth. It was quite a three-day span as they then knocked off MCC powerhouse Pasco by the same scoreline to advance to state as the regional champions.

Pasco (MCC) - Region 5/8 Seed 2: A year ago the Pasco Bulldogs ran through the MCC, winning the league by five games with a perfect 14-0-0 record, eight goals allowed and a +38 goal differential only to be knocked out in the second round of the state tournament by Central Valley 1-0 in overtime. Pasco's lengthy unbeaten streak against league opposition came to an end midseason at the hands of Chiawana, the last team to hand them a loss, 3-2 in overtime, but they rolled to the finish line with numbers similar to last season. As the regular season champs, they waited as the district tourney played out and were surprised to see third-seeded Richland, which was 5-9 on the season and seventh in the mix-classed league behind four 3A teams, reach the final thanks to a 1-0 upset over 11-3 Chiawana, who had won their previous meeting 1-0. Grabbing the district playoff title, though, was no easy task against the Bombers for Pasco, which escaped an upset with a 1-0 victory. Pasco played host to the GSL's second-seeded Ferris Saxons in the regional semifinals, moving onto the final with a 3-1 victory. Again, the Bulldogs were playing an underdog that had advanced, but this time Pasco was unable to get the win, falling 1-0 to Lewis & Clark in the final.

Central Valley (GSL) - Region 5/8 Seed 3: Finalists in the state tournament a year ago after a perfect GSL campaign, the Bears had a more difficult go of it this season. They dropped a close one, 2-1, at Mead midseason, but the top of the league proved to be a tough group of teams each handing another a blemish on the campaign and allowing Central Valley to return to the top of the table by the end, posting victories over Ferris and Lewis & Clark - a game in which they trailed by two at halftime - in a pair of battles for first place in the final week. They then had to turn around and play LC again early in the district playoffs, posting a 3-1 victory before blanking Ferris, 3-0, for the district title. The Tigers, though, would not go away and advanced to face the Bears again in the regional tournament, finally getting the better of their GSL foes, 1-0, sending Central Valley to the loser-out contest for the third and final berth from the region. The Bears needed overtime to dispatch of Ferris in what was their third meeting in the span of just over two weeks as well, slipping in 1-0 on an extra time goal.  

Davis (CBB9) - Region 6 Seed 1: The league was extremely competitive compared to a year ago when Wenatchee won the league by three games. Davis finished second to Sunnyside based on tiebreakers with a 9-3 record and just one win ahead of Wenatchee. As one of the top two in the league, Davis faced Sunnyside in the district/regional final for the top berth to the state tournament. They split the season series with a 2-0 loss and a 1-0 win during the season. Tied 1-1 after overtime, they knocked off the Grizzlies 4-3 in the tiebreaker shootout to snare their ticket to state.

Wenatchee (CBB9) - Region 6 Seed 2: A year ago the Panthers won the league by three games with an 11-1 record and advanced all the way to the semifinals before being eliminated in a 1-0 loss to Central Valley. This year's path was much more difficult with the top three teams separated by just one win in the league. They opened the district/regional tournament with a 3-0 win over sixth-seeded West Valley, moving on to face fourth-seeded Eastmont in the bracket for the second berth to state. They posted a narrow 1-0 win over the Wildcats and faced regular season league champion Sunnyside, who fell in a shootout in the district/regional title game, in the the showdown for the state berth. They split the season series against the Grizzlies with a 1-0 win and a 2-1 loss, but advanced to the state tournament with a 2-0 victory.


May 17 - 5:30  Mount Rainier @ Pasco (Edgar Brown Stadium)
May 17 - 5:00  Central Valley @ Davis (Davis HS)
Winners play one another in Round 2
May 18 - 7:00  Wenatchee @ Kentwood (French Field)
May 18 - 5:30  Puyallup @ Lewis & Clark (Spokane Falls CC)
Winners play one another in Round 2

3A - Greater Spokane League & Mid-Columbia Conference 

How They Got There

Kamiakin (MCC) - Region 5/8 Seed 1: It was not an easy path to state for the Braves. All four of the 3A sides in the league finished better than a pair of their 4A counterparts and were all within two wins of one another with Kamiakin finishing third in the league overall at 8-6 and Southridge sixth at 6-8. As the top 3A seed in the district tournament, the Braves awaited the playoff between the others to determine their foe for the district final. Second-seeded Kennewick moved on with a narrow shootout win. Kamiakin swept the season series with a 2-0 victory and and a 3-2 shootout win. The district final was close again, but the Braves moved on as the top seed with a 2-1 victory. In the regional tournament Kamiakin blasted surprise GSL district playoff winner Rogers, 4-0, to capture the regional title and the top seed to state from the region.

Mt Spokane (GSL) - Region 5/8 Seed 2: Expected to be the front-runners for the 3A district title in the GSL, the Wildcats did not disappoint with a two-win margin over North Central in the table. The district playoffs, however, were a different story. Third-seeded Rogers netted their first playoff win in several decades with a 3-0 stunner against North Central to open the tournament and then shocked Mt Spokane for the district title with a 2-0 victory that relegated the Wildcats to the regional tournament's bracket for the second state berth, leaving no room for error. In a close contest on the road, Mt Spokane went to a shootout against Kennewick tied 2-2 and prevailed in the tiebreaker 6-5 to stay alive. They got a deserved rematch with Rogers in the showdown for the second berth and left no doubt with a 3-0 victory.


May 17 - 5:30  Interlake @ Mt Spokane (Spokane Falls CC)
May 17 - 6:30  Columbia River @ Kamiakin (Lampson Stadium)
Winners play one another in Round 2

2A - Great Northern League & Central Washington Athletic Conference

How They Got There

Grandview (CWAC) - Region 5/6/7 Seed 1: The Greyhounds were the third seed in the district tournament, but only because the top four were separated by just one win with Toppenish at 8-1 and three others tied at 7-2. In the district tournament, though, Grandview took care of business with a 4-1 win over sixth-seeded Ellensburg before besting second-seeded East Valley 3-2, advancing to the district final and avoiding the regional contests with the GNL for the other state berths. In the district final they went the distance with fourth-seeded Quincy, grabbing the top berth to state in the tiebreaker shootout 5-4 after a 1-1 draw.

Pullman (GNL) - Region 5/6/7 Seed 2: The Greyhounds early on looked invincible but had difficulties on the road in Spokane, finishing 10-2 on the season, one win and four points better than East Valley (Spokane). In the district tournament the Hounds awaited the winner to advance from the next four. The second-seeded Knights survived to face Pullman again in a 1-0 decision that went to the Greyhounds. In the regional contests, Pullman played host to East Valley (Yakima) and posted another close-fought 1-0 result to advance to state.

Quincy (CWAC) - Region 5/6/7 Seed 3: Like Grandview, the Jackrabbits' placement as the fourth seed in districts was a byproduct of a competitive league. They demolished fifth-seeded Othello 7-2 before upending regular season champion Toppenish 4-3 to advance to the district final and ensure a state berth. The settled for the guaranteed second berth to state after a 1-1 draw, dropping the shootout tiebreaker 5-4 to Grandview.

Toppenish (CWAC) - Region 5/6/7 Seed 4: In an extremely competitive league, an 8-1 record for the Wildcats was barely enough to win the regular season title as three sides finish right behind them at 7-2. In the semifinals of districts, Toppenish was dealt a blow by Quincy in a 4-3 affair, sending them to the bracket to determine the regional seeding. Facing East Valley (Yakima), whom they suffered their lone defeat to, 4-2, during the regular season, the Wildcats avenged it with a 3-2 overtime victory. The contest put them in a match-up against East Valley (Spokane) in which they rolled to a 5-2 victory on the road to snare the final berth to state.


May 17 - 5:00  Quincy @ Pullman (Pullman HS)
May 17 - 6:00  Toppenish @ Grandview (Rich Leenhouts Stadium)
Winners play one another in Round 2

1A - Northeast A League 

How They Got There

Newport (NEA) - Region 7 Seed 1: Third a year ago, the Grizzlies were able to make some noise this season and finished second for the regular season. In the district playoff, they outlasted third-seeded Medical Lake 4-3 in the semifinals and stunned everyone with a surprising 3-0 scoreline against regular season champion Colville in the district final. They had split the season series with Colville winning the first 5-3 and Newport taking the second 4-1.

Colville (NEA) - Region 7 Seed 2: A matching 8-2 record put Colville atop the league again, but it was not as easy as it looked like it was going to be after the first few weeks. In the district playoffs, they outscored Lakeside 5-3 in the semifinals but were denied the district playoff title in a 3-0 defeat at the hands of visiting Newport.


May 17 - 5:00  Cascade (Leavenworth) @ Newport (Newport HS)
May 18 - 7:00  Colville @ La Center (Woodland HS)
Winners could play one another in Third Round (Semifinals)