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Gonzaga Prep’s Anton Watson, left, averages 22.4 points per game. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Boys basketball: League races come into more focus in stretch run

It’s hard to imagine that the end of the prep basketball season is just around the corner. Most teams have a handful of regular-season games remaining and seeding is starting to take shape for district playoffs.

Let’s take a look at league races and where teams could end up seeded in the “second season.”

Greater Spokane

It’s rivalry week in the GSL and the big games are taking on a heavier meaning. Lewis and Clark’s upset of Ferris on Tuesday in the teams’ “Rubber Chicken” game leaves the Tigers one game behind the Saxons for second place.

Ferris (13-2, 7-2) came into the contest rated No. 3 in the 4A WIAA’s RPI system, while Lewis and Clark (9-6, 6-3) was No. 17.

The No. 1 team in the poll continues to be Gonzaga Prep (15-0, 9-0), which faces Ferris on Friday and LC on Jan. 30. The Bullpups are led by junior Anton Watson, who averages 22.4 points and 5.7 rebounds.

The GSL gets three seeds in the District 8 tournament, with the title game and consolation final at the Spokane Arena on Feb. 16. District 8 gets three automatic bids to the regional round of state playoffs.

The GSL fourth- and fifth-place teams meet in a play-in game to determine the league’s fourth seed on Feb. 6. Central Valley (7-8, 5-4) should be a lock for at least fourth place, while University (7-8, 2-7) will try to hold off Mead (3-12, 1-8) for fifth place.

The Titans play CV on Friday for the “Stinky Sneaker.”

In 3A, Mt. Spokane knocked off Mead 68-57 on Tuesday in their rivalry game, “Pack the Palace.” The Wildcats (12-3, 5-2) are rated No. 15 and enjoy a two-game lead over Rogers (7-8, 3-4) for the GSL’s top seed to the District 8 3A tournament and a first-round bye.

All four GSL 3A teams go to districts. Shadle Park (6-8, 2-5) is one game ahead of North Central (8-8, 1-6) to avoid having to face an MCC team in the play-in game on Feb. 5. The teams face each other on Thursday in their “Groovy Shoes” rivalry game at the Arena.

Great Northern

Pullman (12-2, 6-0), rated No. 7 in State 2A, holds a two-game lead ahead of No. 9 West Valley (11-4, 5-2), with Cheney (6-8, 3-3) one game behind in third.

The District 7 2A tourney champion receives an automatic bid to regionals, while second and third face crossover games against Central Washington Athletic Conference teams on Feb. 17.

Northeast A

Freeman (13-0, 8-0) is rated No. 2 in State 1A. Newport (10-4, 6-2), No. 7 in state, is trying to hold off No. 13 Lakeside (7-7, 5-3) for second place and a bye in the district tournament.

Northeast 2B

St. George’s (13-0, 9-0), rated No. 2, is cruising through league play and leads No. 13 Northwest Christian (7-6, 6-2) by two games in the North Division. In the South, No. 11 Liberty (10-2, 8-2) and No. 17 Colfax (10-4, 8-2) are tied atop the division.

1B

Pomeroy (14-0, 7-0) is No. 2, while Odessa (14-2, 10-0) is third, Almira/Coulee-Hartline (11-4, 8-2) is seventh and Wellpinit (10-5, 7-3) is eighth in state.

Idaho

Post Falls (10-5, 2-0) is one game ahead of Lake City (7-6, 1-1) and Coeur d’Alene (5-7, 1-1) in the Inland Empire 5A, while Moscow (5-9, 2-0) is undefeated in IEL 4A.