Tim Martinez: Crunch time in league basketball

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

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The high school basketball regular season is winding down, as most leagues have just two weeks of league games left.

That means some big games are coming up that will help decide league championships.

But it looks as though most, if not all, of those championship-deciding games will be played by the boys.

Girls basketball in Southwest Washington will be lacking drama as it pertains to league titles. The leaders in the 4A, 3A and 2A GSHLs as well as the 1A Trico appear headed to undefeated league seasons.

Look at the 4A Greater St. Helens League, for example. There is Skyview in first place, then a big gap, and then the rest of the teams in the league. The Storm are 6-0 in league, and their closest league game was a 23-point win over Union

In the 3A GSHL, there is Prairie, then a big gap, and then the rest of the league. The Falcons are 6-0, and their closest league game was a 16-point win over Kelso.

In the 2A GSHL, there is top-ranked Mark Morris, then a big gap and then the rest of the league. The Monarchs are 4-0, and their closest league game is a 44-point win over Washougal. Forty-four points.

In the 1A Trico League, Woodland is 13-0, and the closest league game the Beavers have played are a pair of 13-point wins.

The races in the boys leagues are filled with drama. However, most of the big games are coming up next week.

Battle Ground's win over Union on Friday tightened things up on the 4A GSHL. But the Tigers still need some other team to knock off the Titans if they hope to earn a share of the league title. The best shot of that happening may come Feb. 7 against Evergreen.

Columbia River is the one area boys team that enjoys a two-game lead. The Chieftains could clinch the league title this week. But if they don't, they'll get their chance on Feb. 3 against Prairie.

Woodland's win on Friday against La Center left the 1A Trico League with a two-team race. The big game there is set for Feb. 4 when the Beavers travel to Kalama.

Every game in the wild 2A GSHL is a big game. But the biggest of the big games figures to come on Tuesday when Hockinson plays at Mark Morris for first place.

Girls bowling

The first postseason event of the winter season will be Friday when the 4A and 3A GSHL girls bowling teams meet in the district tournaments at Crosley Lanes.

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