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Richland boys, Kamiakin and Kennewick girls head to Tacoma for WA basketball championships

Most of the Mid-Columbia region’s prep basketball teams and their coaches who are still vying for a state championship realize they are just three victories away from a state title.

This is the week that everyone plays for: a championship.

So through 12 different state tournaments — six for boys and six for girls at three sites — a total of 144 high school teams all have the same dream.

Thirteen of those teams are from this region.

Richland’s Lucas Westerfield (40) is fouled by Tahoma’s Adam Davis (22) during the 4A state regional boys game at Auburn Senior High School, on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024 in Auburn, Washington. Brian Hayes/bhayes@thenewstribune.com
Richland’s Lucas Westerfield (40) is fouled by Tahoma’s Adam Davis (22) during the 4A state regional boys game at Auburn Senior High School, on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024 in Auburn, Washington. Brian Hayes/bhayes@thenewstribune.com

Here’s a look how are teams qualified for their state tournaments, where and who they play:

4A boys

RICHLAND 77, TAHOMA 59: The visiting Bombers (21-4) dominated on the road Saturday to earn a quarterfinal berth in the 4A state tournament.

Richland, ranked seventh, outscored the No. 2 Bears 17-7 in points off of turnovers, and the Bombers defense had 11 steals.

“We’ve been playing well since we lost to Gonzaga Prep (a few weeks ago),” said Richland coach Earl Streufert. “We’ve gotten more focused. It was a really great effort against Tahoma.”

Josh Woodard led the way for Richland with 21 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals; while Jack Forbes had a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds. Luke Westerfield also had a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Landon Northrop had 16 points and 3 steals.

Richland’s Landen Northrop (1) goes to the net against Tahoma’s Adam Davis (22) during the 4A state regional boys game at Auburn Senior High School, on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024 in Auburn, Washington. Brian Hayes/bhayes@thenewstribune.com
Richland’s Landen Northrop (1) goes to the net against Tahoma’s Adam Davis (22) during the 4A state regional boys game at Auburn Senior High School, on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024 in Auburn, Washington. Brian Hayes/bhayes@thenewstribune.com

“Luke took advantage of his (6-foot-10) size,” said Streufert. “And Josh really hit some big shots for us.”

Dalton Brown led Tahoma (19-6) with 16 points.

So now Richland heads to the Tacoma Dome. The Bombers will await the winner of Wednesday’s Round of 12 game — either Olympia (19-7) or Kentwood (19-7).

“They are two very different teams,” said Streufert said. “I don’t know if either one is better than the other.”

Streufert was happy to have an extra day of rest this week.

“In the last three weeks, we’ve gone Tuesday-Friday-Saturday, then Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday, then Tuesday-Saturday,” he said.

Richland’s quarterfinal game will be set for 9 p.m. Thursday.

Richland celebrates their 77-59 victory over Tahoma during the 4A state regional boys game at Auburn Senior High School, on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024 in Auburn, Washington. Brian Hayes/bhayes@thenewstribune.com
Richland celebrates their 77-59 victory over Tahoma during the 4A state regional boys game at Auburn Senior High School, on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024 in Auburn, Washington. Brian Hayes/bhayes@thenewstribune.com

4A girls

KAMIAKIN 60, BOTHELL 48: The host Braves used a 20-8 third quarter on Saturday to beat the Cougars (20-5).

Still, Kamiakin coach Lane Schumacher had to catch himself after the victory. Seems he immediately didn’t like his No. 3 team’s performance.

“Then I thought about two things,” he said. “First, we hadn’t played a game in 10 days. And second, I’m overly critical of (our team). But we had just beat the No. 6 team in the state. We were dialed in. And we got up by 20 points in the second half. That’s a good team that we just played and we did pretty well.”

Nicole Wertenberger led Kamiakin (24-1) with 23 points and 7 rebounds, while Emaunii Smith had a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Aubrey Herrin added just 5 points, but she also had 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals; teammate Liv Whitemarsh had 10 points and 5 rebounds.

Kamiakin moves into the Thursday quarterfinals in the 4A state tournament. The Braves await the victor between Wednesday’s loser-out matchup of Eastlake (20-5) and Davis (19-5).

Kamiakin’s game is set for 12:15 p.m. on Thursday.

Schumacher said his team will get to Tacoma on Wednesday early enough to watch the other teams play — including Davis and Eastlake. The Braves beat Davis early in the season, while Eastlake beat Kamiakin in last season’s semifinal game.

So the familiarity is there for Kamiakin.

“We’re going over Wednesday, scouting and taking notes,” Schumacher said.

3A girls

KENNEWICK GIRLS 63, RIDGELINE 42: The No. 11-ranked Lions rolled over the Falcons easily, jumping out to a 38-15 lead and never looking back.

That knocked out 14th-ranked Ridgeline (15-11) from the 3A state tournament, and it moved Kennewick to a Round of 12 game on Wednesday in the Tacoma Dome against No. 3-seed Snohomish (17-6). Tip-off will be at 3:45 p.m., and it is a loser-out contest.

Kennewick had beaten Ridgeline in the District 8 tournament a few weeks ago, and it was by just 4 points. So what happened this time around?

“Defense,” said Lions coach Daron Santo. “The first time around, two of their girls just killed us. This time, we kept them in check. We were up by 30 points at one point.”

In Friday’s win at Richland High School, the Lions (18-7) used a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds from Dylyn Dress, while June Fiander added 16 points.

Ashlyn Dress had 10 points, 4 steals and 3 blocked shots; senior Haylee Johnson scored 11 points.

This will be Kennewick’s first time in Tacoma in four years.

“They’re gonna have nerves,” said Santo. “It is what it is. Check the scores in the state tournament. They’re gonna be low. The floor is bigger. The depth perception of the baskets in the Dome. The lights are pretty bright.

“But everybody is in the same position.”

2A boys

LYNDEN 74, PROSSER 59: Kolby McClure scored 22 points and Killian Phillips added 13, but it wasn’t enough as the 8th-ranked Mustangs (16-9) lost to No. 1 Lynden (20-4) on Friday in Lynden.

So now Prosser must play No. 9 Pullman (17-6) in the Round of 12 game at 9 p.m. Wednesday in the Yakima Valley SunDome.

It’ll be a loser-out game, and the winner will take on Grandview in the quarterfinals.

GRANDVIEW 72, ROGERS-SPOKANE 63: Host Grandview (21-3), ranked No. 2 in the tournament, outscored the No. 7 Pirates (15-6) 24-9 in the third quarter to take control and win on Saturday.

The Greyhounds had three players in double-figure scoring: Lino Armendariz had 26, Cameron Draculan added 18, and Frankie Medina had 13.

The Greyhounds earn a bye into the Thursday quarterfinals in the SunDome. They’ll play the winner of Wednesday’s matchup between Pullman and Prosser. If the Mustangs win, it would mean a fourth time the two Yakima Valley rivals would play each other this season.

2A girls

PROSSER 49, CLARKSTON 43: No. 4 Prosser held off the previously unbeaten and No. 5-ranked Bantams (23-1) on Saturday at Kamiakin.

Freshman Herbie Wright led the Mustangs (20-5) with 18 points, while Deidra Phillips added 17 points and 18 rebounds. Lay’lee Dixon poured in 12 points.

Now the Mustangs advance to the state quarterfinals and will play at 9 a.m. Thursday in the SunDome.

Prosser will take on either West Valley of Spokane (14-9) or WF West of Chehalis (20-4). Both teams play each other in a loser-out game on Wednesday.

1A boys

ANNIE WRIGHT 79, ROYAL 51: The No. 6 Knights (20-7) could not overcome the standout team from the Tacoma area last Saturday.

No. 3 Wright (22-2) had a 43-15 lead at halftime.

That sends Royal into a Round of 12, loser-out game against Riverside (18-6) at 9 a.m. on Wednesday in the SunDome.

2B boys

COLUMBIA-BURBANK BOYS 65, CHIEF LESCHI 53: The top-ranked Coyotes (22-0) advanced to the Class 2B quarterfinals by dominating on the boards in a big win Saturday at Kamiakin.

Junior Quincy Scott scored a team-high 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds; while Caden Ross added 15 points and 5 steals.

“Quincy gives us so many things, even when he might be struggling to score,” said Burbank coach Todd Schumacher. “He can get steals, block shots and rebounds. Caden has put in a ton of work in the offseason. He has made a huge jump offensively.”

Tristan Frimodt and Elijah Kinsey each had 10 points, with Frimodt adding 11 rebounds and Kinsey grabbing 6 more.

Altogether, the Coyotes outrebounded the Warriors 44-27 and had 20 offensive rebounds. That translated into Burbank beating Leschi 16-6 in second-chance points, as well as outscoring it 24-13 in points off of turnovers.

Leschi is now 19-7.

“It was a good test for us,” said Schumacher. “They were quick and a tough defensive team.”

Burbank advances to the quarterfinals and won’t play until 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Spokane Veterans Arena against the winner of the Wednesday game between Adna (17-8) and St. George’s (19-7).

This tournament could be the toughest of all in the state. Three teams — Burbank, Colfax and Napavine — are all unbeaten. Lake Roosevelt (22-1) has just one loss: to Burbank a few weeks ago.

“If this is not the toughest tournament I don’t know what is,” said Schumacher. “There are a lot of us out there that could contend.”

LAKE ROOSEVELT 67, TRI-CITIES PREP 64: The No. 5 Jaguars (18-4) battled to the end, but wound up short in the playoff game Saturday in Wenatchee.

Layne McClure led Prep with 26 points, while Bryson Wilde added 18, and Blake McClure had 9.

With the loss the No. 5-ranked Jaguars must play 12th-ranked Wahkiakum (18-7) at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday in a loser-out, Round of 12 matchup in the Spokane Veterans Arena.

2B girls

MABTON 48, NAPAVINE 38: Alana Zavala scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the No. 8 Vikings (17-4) shocked the No. 1 Tigers (22-3) in Centralia.

Esmeralda Sanchez added 15 points and 4 steals for Mabton, which outscored Napavine 24-15 in the second half.

The Vikings now earn a quarterfinal berth, and they’ll play either Davenport (14-9) or Warden (20-5) at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in Spokane..

BREWSTER 68, WARDEN 63: Freshman Makenna Klitzke scored 34 points, but it wasn’t enough as No. 2 Warden fell to No. 7 Brewster (19-7) on Friday at Richland High.

The Cougars were down by 17 early and rallied back in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 51-all. But the Bears then held them off for the win.

Warden will play No. 10 Davenport at 10:30 a.m. in a loser-out, Round of 12 game Wednesday in the Spokane Arena.

DAVENPORT 50, TRI-CITIES PREP 40: Presley Smith scored 20 points and Macey Smith added 9 more, but it wasn’t enough as No. 15 Tri-Cities Prep lost to No. 10 Davenport in a loser-out game in Cheney on Friday.

The Jaguars saw their season end with the loss, going 12-11.

1B boys

DESALES 65, NEAH BAY 60: Spencer Green scored a game-high 27 points to lead No. 4 DeSales over No. 5 Neah Bay (17-5) on Saturday at Kamiakin High School.

Carter Green added 15 points for the Irish (21-4), while teammate Daniel Balof had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

The Irish now advance to the state quarterfinals. They’ll play in the Spokane Arena at 9 a.m. on Thursday, against Wednesday’s winner of the Muckleshoot Tribal School (20-6) versus Cusick (19-4) matchup.

In a play-in game last Tuesday, No. 20 Liberty Christian (12-13) lost to No. 13 Sound Christian Academy (18-8) by a 66-47 score to see its season end.

1B girls

SUNNYSIDE CHRISTIAN 55, PE ELL 28: Taylor Andringa scored 20 points and Natalie DeBoer added 13 as Sunnyside Christian routed Pe Ell (19-6).

SSC (22-3) outscored Pe Ell 26-12 in the first half and never looked back.

The victory gives the No. 9 Knights a shot at a Wednesday Round of 12, loser-out game against No. 8 Curlew (20-4). Tip-off for this game in the Spokane Arena is at 9 p.m.

Jeff Morrow is former sports editor for the Herald.