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Bruce Report, February 21, 2012

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One win from regional!

Wenatchee kept their season alive with dramatic back-to-back one-point wins Friday and Saturday to finish 3-1 in district play and take second place (Chiawana was first). Now the Panthers take on Central Valley of Spokane in a regional play-in game tonight in the Wenatchee gym at 6 o’clock. The winner moves on to a regional game Saturday at Spokane Falls and the victor in that game is one of eight teams that play in the big show at Tacoma Dome March 1-3 for the state championship.

Here come da Bears.

Tonight the Panthers (16-8) face Central Valley, the Greater Spokane League champions. The Bears went 17-1 in GSL play, losing a one-point game to third-place Shadle Park. Then in district action CV was upended by second place Gonzaga Prep, so the Bears come to town with a 21 wins in 23 games. They won 11 games by 20 or more points and their average winning margin was 19.9 points.

The Bears are no stranger to state tournaments, although they haven’t been there for seven years. In the 20 seasons between 1985 and 2004 Central Valley went to state 14 times, and placed in all but two of those. Three times they were state champs and twice runner-ups. The Panthers’ history with the Bears has been one of frustration…for WHS that is. The Lilac City outfit has defeated Wenatchee three times, all in regional games. CV won by 15 in 1992, 16 in 1996 and 29 in 2004.

The Purple and Gold has won six of their last seven games.

The Central Valley game is Wenatchee’s 25th of the season, the eighth time in 39 years they have played at least that many. This is the 10th time they have won 16 or more. The record is 17 (1992, 1996, 1998, 2004 and 2010).

Back-to-back one-point wins (36-35 over Richland Friday, 42-41 over Walla Walla Saturday) begs the question if it’s happened before? It has…and surprised the researcher. The 1984-85 squad went one better and eked out three straight in five days – 56-55 over Pasco, 37-36 over Moses Lake and 31-30 over Davis.

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