Martinez: Four Clark County teams take aim at state titles

Tim Martinez: High School Sports

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

Published:

 

You know, it may not feel like it outside, but Monday is the start of the spring sports season.

Monday marks the first day of practices for Washington high school spring sports teams, leading up to season-opening events that could come as early as March 9. Most spring sports teams will open their seasons during the week of March 12.

Hopefully, spring athletes won’t have to dodge snow showers as they begin practice this week.

But four Clark County winter teams still have some unfinished business indoors this week.

The Union and King’s Way Christian boys basketball teams and Skyview and Prairie girls basketball teams have advanced to the state tournaments, which begin Thursday in Tacoma and Spokane.

Fans who can’t make the trip north to Tacoma can follow along with the action on www.carlclick.com. There will be no webcasts of the 1B games in Spokane for King’s Way Christian fans.

Carl Click — and The Columbian, for that matter — will have their hands full on Thursday as both the Union boys and Prairie girls play at 7 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome.

For the first time in a long time, the Washington 4A and 3A state championships game will not be broadcast live on television. According to the Tacoma News Tribune, Root Sports refused to pay the broadcast rights to air the title games because the cost to produce the games was too high.

So instead, PlayOn Sports will broadcast Saturday’s championships games over the Internet with webcasts provided at www.wiaa.com.

Oh, and with the 3A girls championship game slated for 9 p.m. Saturday, The Columbian will be facing some long odds trying to get that game coverage into first edition papers. Thank goodness for www.360preps.com.

Here’s what our local teams’ first-round matchups look like:

Class 3A girls

No. 1 Prairie (24-1) vs. No. 10 Lakeside (20-7), 7:15 p.m. at Tacoma Dome

The path back to the state championship game appears to set up well for the Falcons.

Lakeside of Seattle is returning to the Tacoma Dome after losing twice there last year and going home.

The Lions were ranked 10th by the Seattle Times, if you put much weight into rankings.

Prairie was the only one of six West Central bi-district teams to survive the regional round, even though three others were ranked — No. 3 Wilson, No. 6 Auburn Mountainview and No. 9 Lakes.

No. 7 Seattle Prep or unranked University of Spokane await the Falcons on Friday.

Most of Saturday’s 3A regional games were competitive, except two — Prairie’s rout of Juanita and Kamiakin’s rout of Lakes.

So signs are pointing to a title game between No. 1 Prairie and No. 2 Kamiakin of Kennewick.

Class 4A girls

No. 6 Skyview (23-3) vs. No. 4 Federal Way (22-4), 2 p.m. at Tacoma Dome

Again, if rankings mean anything, the Storm have already cleared their biggest hurdle of the postseason by rolling past No. 1 Lake Stevens to reach the Tacoma Dome.

Skyview and Federal Way share something in common. They were both routed by No. 2 Mount Rainier in the bi-district tournament and lived to tell about it.

To get another shot at Mount Rainier, both teams will need to survive until Saturday. Awaiting the winner of Thursday’s game is No. 3 Woodinville or No. 8 Gonzaga Prep of Spokane.

Class 4A boys

Union (17-8) vs. No. 7 Jackson (19-5), 7:15 p.m. at Tacoma Dome

Jackson of Mill Creek reached the Tacoma Dome by beating Federal Way 50-45 in the regionals. Federal Way beat Union 53-51 in bi-district tournament.

But the Titans have shown their resiliency all season, including their regional win over Curtis on Friday, avenging a loss to Curtis in the bi-district tournament.

The Titans’ Friday opponent will be either No. 2 Central Valley of Spokane (20-3) or No. 3 Garfield of Seattle (19-5).

Class 1B boys

King’s Way Christian (16-7) vs. Muckleshoot (17-6), 2 p.m. at Spokane Arena

There is good news and bad news in the Knights’ quarterfinal matchup.

The good news is that Muckleshoot Tribal of Auburn lost to Lummi in the semifinals of the Tri-District Tournament. Lummi went on to lose to King’s Way in Friday’s regional.

However, in order to reach state, Muckleshoot had to beat Taholah in Friday’s regional. King’s Way lost to Taholah in the semifinals of the district tournament.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538 or email at tim.martinez@columbian.com