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Bruce Report, February 8, 2012

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It’s district tournament time. Both the girls and boys play first-round loser-out games Friday. The winners are guaranteed two more games, the first one Saturday and the second Friday the 17th.

Friday, Moses Lake (2-10, 3-17) here.
Same song, second verse. Last week Moses Lake Friday at Wenatchee, this week Moses Lake Friday at Wenatchee. But the tune does change a bit. This time it’s a district encounter. Wenatchee tied for second in the final league standings and Moses Lake was sixth. In the league games between the two, the Panthers dominated, winning by 16 and last week by 21.

District competition has been a downer for the Purple & Gold as of late. Since 2007 they’ve managed but one win in eight games. The last six of those have been in their own gym and they have the lone win to show for it. Altogether the Panthers have been in 52 district games and have 19 wins and 33 losses. Only once have they faced Moses Lake, that in 1994 and the Chiefs won here in town. If the gals are triumphant Friday, they make the long trip to Walla Walla Saturday for a second round game.

Final Standings. Chiawana 11-1, Wenatchee 9-3, Walla Walla 9-3, Richland 6-6, Davis 5-7, Moses Lake 2-10, Eisenhower 0-12.

Riverhawks relentless. Chiawana opened three years ago with a brand new school and have won the league title all three years. They are 35-3 in league games.

Micheala George has climbed one notch higher on the school list for career points scored. With 63 last week she passed Cathy Kuntz and is now second with 1,134. The all-time leader is Dani Hallberg with 1,517 (2007-10). It should be noted though that George and Hallberg played four years, while Kuntz had a three-year career.

Friday, Walla Walla (5-7, 9-11) away.
Wenatchee and Walla Walla, along with Moses Lake, all finished tied for fourth in league play with 5-7 records. Through a league tie-breaking method the Blue Devils are seeded fourth for district play, the Panthers fifth and the Chiefs sixth. Five plays at four, so WHS ventures 362 round-trip miles for their first round game. When Wenatchee visited Walla Walla in January the home team won 58-46, and three weeks later in the Apple Capital again the host squad won, this time 50-44. The Blue Devils ended regular season play with two wins, while the Panthers have dropped three straight.

This will be the 47th district game for Wenatchee since the league started in 1966-67. They’ve faced Walla Walla in a half-dozen of those and are 3-3. Overall the Panthers have won 15 district games and lost 31, including their last three. A victory by WHS and they are on the road again Saturday, this time to Yakima to face league champ Davis.

Final Standings. Davis 12-0, Richland 9-3, Chiawana 6-6, Wenatchee 5-7, Moses Lake 5-7, Walla Walla 5-7, Eisenhower 0-12.

For the Pirates of Davis this is their third straight league championship and ninth since the league started in 1966-67.

Sophomore Dillion Sugg passed the 500-point mark last week in career scoring (currently at 535). He is the 30th Panther to reach that mark in their time at WHS.

Point Production Right Out of the Early ‘50s.
Have you sensed that the number of balls going through the hoop for the boys is not as plentiful as you seem to remember? Maybe you’ve noticed that the lead is lasting longer in the scorekeeper’s pencil. Or that the athletic department is more affluent because they haven’t had to replace so many worn out nets. Well, all or part of this may be happening because scoring is down…at least for Wenatchee. In fact it’s back to levels not seen for well over half a century. Here’s a gander at average points scored per game for the Panthers broken out by decades. Check out these numbers from yesteryear. The top decade was the 1990s when the average was 62.3 per contest. That is followed by the 1980s at 59.8, the 1970s at 58.4, 2000s at 56.9 and the 1960s at 54.4.

Now we’re back to the 1950s, in fact the early 50’s because from 1955-59 the average was 53.5 ppg. Here’s where they stand today. In the three years in the current decade WHS is plugging along at 51.4 points per outing. (By the way, the early ‘50s was 47.7.) . This season the squad is averaging 51.0 points. Last year it was 49.5, which was the lowest since the 1967 outfit produced 49.0 per game. The overall average over the past 63 years since 1950 is 56.8.