With the Greater Spokane League championship secured, it’s time for the Gonzaga Prep girls basketball team to use the final three regular-season games to polish and fine tune for the postseason.
The league title is the Bullpups’ second in four years and fifth overall.
G-Prep had its best season last year when it finished 24-4 overall and fourth at state. They were a bad first half in a state opener from possibly playing for the state championship.
The Bullpups, 16-1 overall and 15-0 in league, have stated a strong case as being the best in the state. They’re every bit as good as the Mead team that won the title a year ago.
“We have been showing great improvement as a team in our execution and in our game management,” G-Prep coach Mike Arte said. “We have put some very solid games together both on the offensive end and with our team defense. We will continue to work on our timing and execution, asking the girls to show growth in their basketball skills. We need to emphasize our ability to have depth off of our bench and have those players ready for playoff basketball.”
Now G-Prep awaits which team rises to the second seed. The top two seeds face off in the district title game Feb. 15 at G-Prep. That winner advances to the subregional and the loser goes against the winner of the loser-out game pitting the third and fourth seeds.
“District will be our greatest challenge,” Arte said. “The 4A teams in the GSL are all very capable of knocking us off. All of them pose very different challenges and all of them are very good basketball teams that are extremely well coached.”
If G-Prep wins the district final, it will likely play the Mid-Columbia Conference’s best team – Chiawana. The Bullpups are familiar with Chiawana, having to win a loser-go-home game last year at Chiawana to earn a state berth. G-Prep won easily, 58-41.
The Bullpups are an unselfish team. They average 13 assists per game.
Central Valley, Lewis and Clark and Mead are in a logjam for second at 12-5. LC probably has the lightest final schedule with games against North Central, Mt. Spokane and Mead. CV, 0-2 against LC, finishes with Ferris, Mt. Spokane and Mead. And Mead ends with University, LC and CV.
Ferris at 8-7 still has a mathematical chance of earning one of the four district berths, but the Saxons have to win their final three, including upsetting G-Prep.
• In the boys, the league title is still undecided. Leader CV (14-1) has a one-game lead over Ferris and G-Prep, both 13-2.
CV goes to Ferris tonight. Tipoff is at 5:30. If CV wins, it would all but lock up a title with games against Mt. Spokane and Mead left.
A Ferris win would tighten things up even more. After CV, Ferris finishes with Rogers and G-Prep.
G-Prep ends with Mt. Spokane, Shadle Park and Ferris.
Mead (9-6) has the fourth seed clinched.
• In 3A, things are a jumbled mess in both the boys and girls. The top four of the five teams advance to a subregional against the top four MCC teams. There’s no district tourney.
In the boys, U-Hi (7-8) leads a tight pack, followed by Shadle Park (6-9), Rogers (5-10), Mt. Spokane (3-12), losers of 10 straight, and North Central (2-13).
(As a side note, the 23 points U-Hi scored Tuesday in the 65-23 loss to G-Prep is the second lowest in school history. The overall low came in a slowdown game and 29-22 loss to East Valley in 1971.)
In the girls, Mt. Spokane and Shadle are tied at 6-9, U-Hi (5-10) is next followed by NC (2-13).
• The 5A Region I girls tournament begins Friday with two games. No. 4 seed Post Falls (10-10) visits top-seeded Coeur d’Alene (18-2) and No. 3 Lake City (10-10) visits No. 2 Lewiston (16-2). Both games are at 7.
The championship game is Wednesday. The top two teams advance to state.
The District 8 4A tournament is Saturday at Lewis and Clark. The top two earn berths to regionals and third will go against the No. 3 seed from the MCC in a pigtail match to get into the regional bracket.
Regionals are Feb. 15 at Pasco. The top three out of regionals, which will include the Big Nine, advance to state.
The 3A subregional is Saturday at Hanford. The top five advance to regionals and a sixth seed will go against the No. 6 seed from the WESCO in a pigtail match to get into the regional bracket. The top four advance to state.
The District 7 2A tournament is Friday and Saturday at East Valley. The top five advance to the regional, which will be held at West Valley. The top four at regionals advance to state.
The District 7 1A tournament is Saturday at Medical Lake. The top four advance to regional, which will be held at Freeman. The top four from regional advance to state.