Tim Martinez: Kodiaks have a familiar opponent

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

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Let me know if you think this is odd.

On Saturday night, just as the sixth local team went down to defeat in the basketball regionals and it looked like Clark County would be shut out of the state final eight in any classification, there came in a late score from Wenatchee.

Columbia Adventist 57, Moses Lake Christian 52 in 1B boys basketball.

But that's not the odd thing, although it is a bit unusual that the lone Clark County basketball team to survive to the state quarterfinals would be a 1B school from Battle Ground.

Going into the weekend, if we had to pick one team to survive, it would not have been the Columbia Adventist boys. Nothing against the Kodiaks, but heading into Saturday's regional game, Columbia Adventist had played three postseason games and lost two of them.

But it's not like the Kodiaks backed into the state tournament.

Columbia Adventist's first postseason game was between two league champions for an automatic berth to regionals, and the Kodiaks lost 61-59 to Taholah.

After knocking off Wishkah to clinch a regional berth, the Kodiaks went to Yakima and lost to Sunnyside Christian 57-44 in a seeding game.

Then on Saturday, all three teams from District 4/5 which advanced to regionals won to reach the 1B state quarterfinals — Taholah 54-47 over Tulalip Heritage, Sunnyside Christian 63-47 over Evergreen Lutheran and Columbia Adventist over Moses Lake Christian.

So what did District 4/5 get for getting all three of its teams through the regional games? An opening game between two of three qualifying teams: Columbia Adventist vs. Sunnyside Christian, which will tip off at 3:45 p.m. Thursday in Spokane.

Doesn't that seem odd? Two teams from the same district qualifying tournament meeting to open state?

I know once the regional games have been played that state bracket is drawn up from a blind a draw. So any two teams could have met on Thursday.

But a team shouldn't open state by playing a team it just played a week ago.

The whole point of state is bringing together teams from different parts of the state. So maybe the WIAA might think about implementing a rule that would prevent, if possible, teams from the same qualifying tournament from facing each other to open state.

It had this rule when the bracket consisted of 16 teams. But it's been removed since the draw was about the final eight teams.

The winner of the Columbia Adventist-Sunnyside Christian game will face Christian Faith or Pomeroy in the semifinals on Friday.

So congratulations to the Kodiaks for getting this far, and being the only team from Clark County to do so. Hopefully, your luck will change from a week ago.

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.