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Panthers off to big show. First trip to state in 16 years.

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State.  Wenatchee is going to state…something only two other Panther squads have accomplished in over half a century.  For local fans the team may be “The Little Engine That Could.”  The season began with but one win in the first four games, and then they turned it on and have won 15 of their last 19, including seven of the last eight.  They were confronted with two loser-out games in their last three, and won them both…the first round at district and the regional.  I heard a fan exclaim maybe it was destiny.  Well… where is the state tournament?…in the town called The City of Destiny.  How about that.

The Panthers enter the event with the least flashy season and the youngest team of the final eight, and most likely are looked at as the weakest team.  This gives them an opportunity to play the role of David to the rest of field’s Goliath.  After all they already have the “Stone.”  (Ok, Ok it was a reach, but it’s kinda cute…isn’t it?).

And who do they draw for their first game?...Richland.  Seven other teams there, five of which they have only faced once or not at all in the history of the program, and the Panthers draw and old league foe they’ve played over a 100 times.  Oh well.  For the season the Bombers have really lived up to their name.  They have shelled the basket over and over and average in incredible 88.0 ppg (the high score for WHS this season is 81 points and they average 60.2).  Another way of looking at it, in 104 years of hoops WHS has only scored 88 or more three times.  RHS did it 12 times in 20 regular season games.  Richland played 23 games and won every one, and by an average of 29.3 points (their winning margins are between 8 and 54 points).  Their top four scorers are a 6-0 senior guard at 19.1 ppg, a 6-7 senior guard/forward at 18.5, a 6-0 senior guard at 18.3 and a 6-3 sophomore guard at 11.8.

Wenatchee and Richland go back a ways.  They first played in 1951-52 and the Purple and Gold won at home 35-34.  RHS win the next eight and basically just kept right on going to where they now hold a very solid 86-20 lead…including the last 10 in a row.

Believe it or not, this is not the first time there has been a Panther/Bomber clash at state…in fact there have two of them.  In 1955 WHS opened with a win over Aberdeen and then lost to Garfield.  Richland followed and eliminated Wenatchee from the tournament 72-46.  Wenatchee’s most recent state appearance was in 1998.  They started with a victory over Franklin, but then lost to Sehome.  Again they went against the Bombers in consolation game and again were sent home, this time 55-42.

Wenatchee and Richland play Thursday at 9 o’clock in the last game of the day.  The winner plays in the semifinal Friday, again at 9, while the loser plays Friday at 2 in the afternoon in a loser-out game.


KPQ to Broadcast Games

Grant Olson and Steve Sandman will be courtside broadcasting the action for each Wenatchee game in the Tacoma Dome.  The games will be on KPQ at 560 AM.



Final scoring averages for 2013-14: Amira Chandler 12.52, Maddie Hallberg 8.29, Katie Kansky 8.38, Ali Sealby 7.62, Gabby Waterman 4.38, Courtney Ahlgren 2.90, Emily Rader 2.62, Makenna Faulkner 2.14, Gabe Jones 2.05, Riley Brown 1.65, Olivia Doerr 0.50, Audrey Parrish 0.50, Payton Allen 0.00 and Molly Gebhart 0.00.


Individual marks in the record book.


Katie Kansky, senior

10th in career games played with 87.

46th in career scoring average with 5.21.

25th in career points scored with 453.


Amira Chandler, junior

Tied for 13th in career scoring average with 10.17.

23rd in career points scored with 478.

26th in season scoring average with 12.52.

32nd in season points scored with 263.

10th in season scoring average for juniors with 12.52.

12th in season points scored for juniors with 263.


Ali Sealby, junior

Tied for 41st in career games played with 59.

35th in career scoring average with 6.49.

37th in career points scored with 3.83.

89th in season scoring average with 7.62.


Maddi Hallberg, sophomore

Tied for 30th in career scoring average with 7.19.

17th in season scoring average for sophomores with 7.29.

14th in season points scored for sophomores with 174.


Washington Hoop Coaches Nail It…My Sentiments Exactly

This is outstanding and echoes in part exactly what I mentioned last week.

This letter is from the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association and was released Saturday right after the weekend’s regional round.  It is regarding the regional basketball format that has been used the last four seasons.

The Tri-City Herald says, “The state tournament used to be a 16-team field, but was reduced to eight the 2010-11 season to cut down on overhead costs at the state tournament sites in Tacoma, Yakima and Spokane.  The move has been under constant fire since then, as teams are forced to play a single elimination game with a state berth on the line.  The letter in its entirety.”

Mad in March: WIAA Madness Leaves Many Angry

As tournament fever spikes for high school basketball fans throughout the state of Washington, the regrettable Regional format that has replaced the Classic 16-Team Tournament leaves many basketball players and fans wanting. Instead of chanting “ON TO STATE” and enjoying the classic 16-team tournament, Regionals cuts short the seasons of 96 boys and girls basketball teams across the state. For a fourth year these 96 teams, about 1,152 players, along with their respective families, fans, cheerleaders, dance/drill teams, and bands are denied the State experience. These teams, who have played by the WIAA slogan “Just Play Fair” would be happy to just play. The argument that Regionals is somehow a “state” experience rings hollow: a single-elimination game in a local high school gym pales in comparison to the promise and excitement of the Big Tournament in Spokane, Yakima, or Tacoma.

The WIAA argues the Regional format is cost and time effective. With half the teams participating, there are lower overhead costs. However, these savings come at a very high price: lost memories, lost dreams and lost learning opportunities for countless young people throughout our state. As a business, the WIAA has succeeded in growing revenues, but their grade for maximizing educational opportunities is low. The WIAA’s moniker for the 8-team State Tournament is The Hardwood Classic. The new format is not a classic in any traditional or historic sense, but it is certainly a classic example of placing profits before people. A more appropriate title would be State Lite: half the tournament, twice the heartache!

WIBCA, Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association, would like to send their sympathies to the following 96 basketball teams whose seasons were cut short of State by the regrettable Regional format that the WIAA has imposed upon the basketball community of this state:

Boys: Moses Lake, Stadium, Arlington, Bellarmine Prep, Battle Ground, Curtis, South Kitsap, Bothell, Timberline, Mercer Island, Kennedy Catholic, Shorecrest, Kennewick, Lincoln, Foss, Mountlake Terrace Fife, Bremerton, Wapato, Foster, Sumner, River Ridge, Grandview, Sehome, University Prep, Woodland, Hoquiam, Naches Valley, Kalama, LaSalle, Riverside, Vashon Island, Tri-Cities Prep, Kittitas, La Conner, Willapa Valley, Lake Roosevelt, North Beach, Tacoma Baptist, Auburn Adventist, Yakama Valley, Sunnyside Christian, Wilbur-Creston, Entiat, Odessa-Harrington, Wishkah Valley, Oakville, Soap Lake

Girls: Puyallup, Kentridge, Davis, Bellarmine Prep, Edmonds-Woodway, Newport, Todd Beamer, Chiawana, Liberty, Prairie, Mountlake Terrace, Kennedy Catholic, Auburn-Mountainview, Glacier Peak, Ferndale, Kamiakin, Renton, Sumner, West Valley, Burlington-Edison, Colville, Olympic, Black Hills, Bellingham, LaSalle, Brewster, Cascade Christian, University Prep, Woodland, Freeman, Montesano, Eatonville, Crosspoint Academy, Wahkiakum, Lind/Ritzville/Sprague, White Swan, Willapa Valley, Napavine, Orcas Island, Oroville, Sunnyside Christian, Muckleshoot Tribal, Yakama Tribal, Moses Lake Christian, Wellpinit, Waterville, Mary M Knight, Pateros


Regionals are Regionals, State they are NOT

It is most interesting how newspapers around the state treat regionals.  The WIAA seems the only place where they somehow are tied to the state tournaments.  With very little effort scanning the Internet this weekend I found papers from all over that flat out refer to state as the three-day events in Tacoma, Yakima and Spokane.  I checked six papers (The Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune, Everett Herald, Spokesman Review, Yakima Herald and Vancouver Columbian) and in each of them found numerous examples of what state really is.  All of these examples were written following Friday and Saturday’s regional games.

With the victory, Lynnwood secures a spot in next week's state tournament at the Tacoma Dome.

Beach gets past Mercer Island to get to state

Arlington beats Beamer to get to state | 4A girls

Stanwood beats Foss to reach state | 3A boys

Arlington beats Beamer, 35-33, to advance to state | 4A girls basketball

Garfield beats Battle Ground, 69-51, to reach state | 4A boys basketball

Mercer Island upsets Glacier Peak, 61-55, to reach state | 3A girls basketball

O’Dea vaults itself to state tournament on late three-pointer

Stanwood beats Foss, 73-55, to reach state | 3A boys basketball

Mabton girls clinch state berth

Dragons Headed Back to State B Championships

Lake Washington reaches 2A state tournament

O’Dea vaults itself to state tournament on late three-pointer


And these are just the tip of the iceberg.  They go on and on.