Monday, February 6, 2023
Feb. 6, 2023

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Tim Martinez: Our coverage of prep basketball continues to change

High school sports

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor

Tuesday night tipped off the first robust schedule of high school basketball games in Southwest Washington.

But if you are looking in Wednesday’s print edition of The Columbian for results of those games, you might be wondering where Tuesday night’s results are at.

The newspaper business continues to evolve, and we continue to adjust the way we cover high school sports to adapt to those changes.

Press deadlines for our print edition continues to creep earlier and earlier, and that has forced into a decision.

This winter season results from most games won’t appear in print until about 36 hours after the games are played. In other words, results from games played on a Monday night won’t appear in print until the Wednesday paper. Games on Tuesday will appear in Thursday’s paper, and so forth and so on.

Our coverage will be as immediate and robust as ever. In fact, not making such an effort to be in a rush to get things in print will provide us with an opportunity to post our coverage online in a more efficient way.

We know many of you still like to get your news on ink and paper, and we love those diehard readers. But the trends continue to head toward more people digesting their prep sports information online or on The Columbian app.

We hope the change in coverage will provide us more chances to provide more in-depth profiles, features and analysis pieces.

Basically, our online coverage is where you’ll find daily news and results, while our print coverage will be leaning toward profiles, trends, analysis and stories that look forward.

And speaking of looking forward, the past few seasons The Columbian has produced a prep basketball/winter sports preview special section, which typically was published the third Sunday in December.

However, this year because of financial considerations — the cost to produce vs. the amount of revenue generated — we have decided against offering a similar product this season.

It just didn’t make a lot of sense to put some much effort and energy into a product to offer a season preview that did not publish until three weeks after the season has begun.

This season, the 4A and 3A Greater St. Helens League teams are jumping right into league games in early December. Mountain View and Evergreen played games on Tuesday. Prairie and Kelso boys play on Friday.

Next Tuesday, the 2A Greater St. Helens League girls basketball teams open league games with the boys tipping off on Wednesday.

Our plan to attend as many early-season games as possible to profile as many of our local teams that we can in December.

It seems these days the only constant is change. And we will continue to adapt, using whatever tools we have at our disposal to provide the best coverage of high school sports that we can.

We hope you will adapt with us.

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