Less than 48 hours after the showdown for the Greater Spokane League championship, the Mead and Gonzaga Prep girls basketball teams must stoke the fire again in a face off for the District 8 4A title.
Gonzaga Prep hopes the mental edge is on its side tonight when they meet at Mead. Tipoff is at 6.
No. 1-ranked Mead (19-1) swept the third-ranked Bullpups (18-2) in league play, capped by the 51-47 decision Thursday that decided the regular- season champion. G-Prep wants to prove it’s difficult to beat a good team three times.
The road to state is much shorter for the winner tonight than the loser. The winner – which moves on to the subregional to face the Mid-Columbia Conference’s second seed next Friday – will be a victory away from the regional round of state while the loser would have to win three more games to get to state.
Unlike previous years, the district champ in girls and boys is greatly rewarded in the new postseason format.
“It’s unique,” G-Prep coach Mike Arte said. “I don’t think in my 25 years we’ve played two such meaningful games back to back like this.”
Arte doesn’t think either team will tweak much.
“We’ll tinker with a few things (at practice Friday), but we talk a lot about not mucking things up for the girls,” Arte said. “Sometimes you can get them thinking too much and not playing on instinct.”
Lewis and Clark (9-11) earned the third seed and plays host to No. 4 Ferris (11-10) tonight at 6 in a loser-out game. The winner goes to the Mead/G-Prep loser’s gym on Tuesday in an elimination game with the winner advancing to the subregional to play the MCC No. 1 seed next Friday.
• In the boys tournament, G-Prep (15-5) goes to league champ Central Valley (19-1) tonight. Tipoff is at 8.
Gonzaga Prep has lost three of its last five, including being upset by fourth-seeded Mead, 44-35, in a league finale.
Mead (11-9) is at No. 3 Ferris (15-5) tonight at 8 in a loser-out game. The winner goes to the G-Prep/CV loser’s gym on Tuesday in an elimination game.
CV has been on a roll since losing 62-46 at G-Prep on Jan. 22. The Bears have won five straight by an average 20-point margin.
The GSL’s 3A teams bypass a district tourney and go to a subregional with the MCC, beginning with four loser-out games Tuesday.
In boys, top-seeded University (13-7) is home against the MCC’s No. 4 – the winner of today’s game between Kennewick (4-16) and Southridge (7-13) – at 8 p.m.; GSL No. 2 Shadle Park (11-9) entertains third-seeded Sunnyside (7-12), also at 8; No. 3 Mt. Spokane (7-13) goes to MCC No. 2 Hanford (15-5) at 7; and No. 4 Rogers (4-16) visits MCC No. 1 Kamiakin (15-5) at 8.
In girls, top-seeded Mt. Spokane (12-8) is home against MCC No. 4 Kennewick (8-12) at 7; MCC No. 3 Hanford (10-10) visits GSL No. 2 University (11-9) at 6; GSL No. 3 Shadle Park (11-9) travels to No. 2 Sunnyside (11-8), at 6; and GSL No. 4 North Central (2-18) goes to MCC No. 1 Kamiakin (15-5), also at 6.
The fields are reseeded after Tuesday’s games with games resuming Friday.
CdA goes for berth
The Coeur d’Alene girls (18-5) can earn a state berth for a ninth straight year today when they take on Boise (12-12), the fifth-place team from District III, in a play-in game at Grangeville.
CdA eliminated two-time defending state champion Lewiston on Thursday 46-38. The Viks did so without four-year starter Kendalyn Brainard, who may be lost for the year.
Brainard suffered a sprained ankle Jan. 25 and had been playing. But she reinjured it in the regional title game Tuesday and was in a cast Thursday.
Sophomore Tabitha Wellsandt stepped into the starting lineup.
The loss of Brainard means coach Dale Poffenroth has a thin bench.
“It’s not thin, you can see through it,” Poffenroth said.