Martinez: 3A GSHL, Trico teams seek playoffs

Tim Martinez: High School Sports

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

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The following athletes have been nominated for high school athlete of the week.

• Aaron Blaine, Hudson’s Bay wrestling

• Davin Gong, Mountain View boys swimming

• Haley Grossman, Battle Ground girls basketball

• Alex Lanning, Mountain View girls bowling

• Zach Torson, Mountain View boys basketball

To vote for the athlete of the week, go to www.facebook.com/360preps.

The league races in boys and girls basketball are winding down.

This week, we’ll focus in on the races in the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League and the 1A Trico League, as league play concludes this week in both leagues. The 4A and 2A GSHLs continue league play into next week.

3A GSHL boys

Five of the league’s seven teams earn berths to next week’s district tournament, and four of those teams advance to the bi-district tournament.

Columbia River lost its chance to lock up the league title and No. 1 seed to the district tournament when the Chieftains lost in overtime to Mountain View last week.

But a glance at this week’s schedule may have the Chieftains feeling a little better about their position.

Columbia River concludes league play at home Monday against sixth-place Fort Vancouver. A win would give River an 11-1 league mark. Mountain View needs two wins this week to finish 11-1 — Tuesday at third-place Prairie and Friday at home against fourth-place Camas.

If the two teams finished tied, a tiebreaker game would be needed and could be played on Saturday.

But if that happens, River would go into it with four days of rest, while Mountain View would be playing its third game in five days and second in two days. Not only that, but the Thunder have a planned breakfast fundraiser at Applebee’s on East Mill Plain set for 8 a.m. Saturday.

So it appears that the Thunder have a lot on their plate this week — no pun intended (OK, maybe a little pun).

Prairie (7-3) goes into the week knowing it can finish no worse than third. But the Falcons could tie Mountain View for second if they beat the Thunder on Tuesday then get some help later in the week.

Camas (4-7) will clinch one of the two remaining postseason berths if Fort loses to River on Monday.

Although other possibilities remain, the most likely scenario has the winner of Friday’s Hudson’s Bay (2-8) at Fort (3-7) game claiming the last playoff berth.

3A GSHL girls

Mathematics tells us one thing. Common logic tells us another.

So let’s just assume the top-ranked Prairie girls (10-0) will claim the league title and No. 1 seed to district.

With that being the case, we are looking at the strong possibility of Kelso (8-2) and Camas (8-3) headed for a tie for second, if the Papermakers can fend off Mountain View (6-4) on Friday.

One thing working for Camas is the likelihood that Mountain View will be locked into the No. 4 spot when that game tips off.

Hudson’s Bay can claim the final playoff berth on Tuesday with a win over Kelso or a Fort loss to Columbia River.

The Trappers’ leading scorer, Mar’Shay Moore, is injured, and her status for this week is uncertain.

But if the Eagles don’t clinch a berth on Tuesday, they’ll get another shot with a win over Fort on Thursday.

1A Trico boys

Six of the eight teams earn district playoff berths. But only the top two are assured of berths in the double-elimination portion of the district bracket.

The other four teams must get past play-in games against teams from the 1A Evergreen Conference.

Toledo (11-0) is in good shape to claim one of those two automatic berths to district. Ridgefield (9-3) has the easier final-week schedule than Kalama (9-3).

Kalama still has to play Toledo this week, so Ridgefield could be in good shape if they can get past La Center on Tuesday.

La Center (6-6), Castle Rock (6-6) and Ilwaco (4-7) have clinched play-in berths. This week will only help determine seeding.

1A Trico girls

Castle Rock (12-0) has clinched the league title and No. 1 seed to district.

La Center (8-3) opens the week in second place and has the easiest route to claim the other automatic berth to the double-elimination bracket.

Stevenson (7-4) still has a game against unbeaten Castle Rock, as does Ilwaco (6-4).

In fact, Ilwaco must play four games in five nights this week.

Ridgefield (6-6) and Kalama (4-8) have clinched berths to the play-in games.

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. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/360TMart.