Tim Martinez: Clark County has its own Elite Eight teams

Tim Martinez: High School Sports

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor



And then there were eight.

That’s what the winter sports season has wound down to in Clark County. Eight basketball teams are still alive. Seven of those teams will be advancing to the state regionals this weekend — girls teams playing on Friday, boys on Saturday. (And for the record, we’re counting Woodland with the county schools, because you can see Clark County from Woodland.)

Remember, the regional portion of the state round of 16 is a win-or-go-home proposition. Girls teams that win on Friday will head off to Tacoma, Yakima or Spokane for their respective classification’s eight-team state tournaments. The deal is the same for the boys on Saturday.

The teams that have already clinched regional berths are the Union girls (4A), Prairie girls (3A), Woodland girls (1A), Columbia River boys (3A), La Center boys (1A) and Columbia Adventist boys (1B). The Washougal and Hockinson boys will play off Tuesday to become the seventh local team heading to regionals.

So let’s take a look at what lies ahead for each of our local teams this week, starting with the ladies.

Girls basketball

Union: The Titans are heading to the 4A Rogers regional in Puyallup. But first, Union (18-7) will play Yelm (19-4) at 4 p.m. Monday at Auburn High School for regional seeding. If Union wins, the Titans will play No. 9 Arlington (19-4) 8 p.m. Friday at Rogers High School. If Union falls, it will play No. 3 Gonzaga Prep of Spokane (22-3) at 6 p.m. at Rogers.

Prairie: The Falcons are heading to the Mount Tahoma 3A regional in Tacoma. Top-ranked Prairie (21-2) will play No. 3 Wilson of Tacoma (19-2) at 2 p.m. Monday at the ShoWare Center in Kent for the bi-district title. A win Monday would pit Prairie against Bonney Lake (15-10) at 8 p.m. Friday at Mount Tahoma High in a rematch of Friday’s lopsided win by the Falcons in the bi-district quarterfinal. But if the Falcons lose, they will meet No. 4 Bellevue (23-2) at 6 p.m.

Woodland: The next game for the sixth-ranked Beavers (21-3) will come Friday against Cascade Christian of Puyallup (20-1) at 6 p.m. Friday in the 1A Mount Vernon regional. Cascade Christian is the No. 1 team in the state (at least as of the final AP rankings on Feb. 6) and had been undefeated before losing to Lynden Christian 51-36 in the District 1/2/3 final.

Boys basketball

Columbia River: The Chieftains (17-6) will play in the Mount Tahoma 3A regional at 6 p.m. Saturday against the winner of Monday’s game between No. 3 Lincoln of Tacoma (19-3) and Timberline of Lacey (15-8).

Washougal (16-7)/Hockinson (13-10): It’s the rubber match between the 2A Greater St. Helens League rivals at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Evergreen High School for District 4’s final berth to 2A regionals. The winner will head to the 2A Kent-Meridian 1A regional against No.8 Sequim (20-4) at 4 p.m.

La Center: This is the only boys game involving a local team in which both participants have been set. La Center (17-8) will face No. 4 Cedar Park Christian of Bothell (19-3) at 4 p.m. Saturday in the 1A Mount Vernon regional.

Columbia Adventist: The Kodiaks return to the 1B regionals, clinching a berth with a win over Wishkah on Saturday. Columbia Adventist will play Sunnyside Christian on Monday in a regional seeding game. The winner will face the Evergreen Lutheran-Tulalip Heritage winner in the 1B Timberline regional in Lacey. The loser will head to the 1B Eastmont regional in Wenatchee and face Moses Lake Christian. Oddly, it would most convenient for both teams if Columbia Adventist wins, at least as far as travel is concerned. It would be closer for Sunnyside Christian to travel to Wenatchee than cross the mountains and go to Lacey. Likewise, Lacey is much closer for Columbia Adventist than heading east of the mountains to Wenatchee.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4538, tim.martinez@columbian.com or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart.