PASCO -- In the inaugural edition of the Media Classic basketball games 18 years ago, the Tri-Cities walked away with a sweep in both boys and girls matchups against Yakima.
But since 1994, the first year of the annual series between players from the Tri-City Herald and Yakima Herald readership areas, a noticeable trend has developed.
The Yakima boys won the next 14 consecutive games and lead the overall series 18-3.
The Tri-Cities girls, on the other hand, have tipped the scale in the other direction, going 13-8 against their Yakima counterparts.
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From 2000-03, the series expanded to four games separating the 3A/4A and 2A/1A/B classifications before returning to its original format -- two games featuring all classifications.
For the 18th edition of the series today at Pasco High School, passions should run high and both teams -- depending on which side you're on -- will be looking to reverse the current trends.
"There's some pride there. After practice (Thursday), all the guys got together and they brought up the fact that Yakima has owned us, " said first-year CBC men's coach Rolando Garcia, who will guide the Tri-Cities boys. "I could see the competitive nature of all the boys.
"I'm hoping for a good showing for Tri-Cities. I know Yakima is going to be ready."
The girls game will begin at 4 p.m., followed by the boys game at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students. Proceeds will go to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties.
Garcia has reason to be hopeful. His squad includes the reigning CBBN 3A MVP in Case Rada, a senior guard who led Kamiakin to a third-place finish at the 3A state tournament, and Hermiston guard Joey Burns, the 5A Columbia River Conference MVP.
But Garcia also has plenty of size to work with, too. Southridge senior Derek Porter will not play, but the team still has three players at 6-feet-5 and four more at 6-3 or better.
"In the past we haven't had any size, but now I'm thinking, 'Damn, I'd better use it right,' " Garcia said. "Even our guards are tall -- guys like Buddy Walter with good size and long arms."
The Yakima boys side will be led by CBBN 4A MVP and Davis senior David Trimble, plus both SCAC players of the year -- Mabton's Kristian Carrasco (East) and Granger's Brandon Oswalt.
The Tri-Cities girls will be led by Kamiakin junior and CBBN 3A MVP Khadidja Toure, who led the Braves to a fifth-place finish at the girls 3A state tournament. She'll be joined by six other all-CBBN first-team selections, including Shelby Ellsworth, Hayley Hodgins and Mikaela Rivard of Chiawana.
The Yakima girls team will feature two key members of Prosser's state championship team -- CWAC MVP Tamara Jones and all-CWAC guard Tayshia Hunt -- as well as SCAC West MVP Savannah Bonny of La Salle.
As usual, both Tri-Cities teams are predominantly made up of players from the CBBN 3A/4A -- 13 out of the 15 players on the boys and girls rosters, to be exact.
Yakima's teams over the years have consisted of mostly players at the 2A/1A/B classifications, and this year is no different. Only six players on the boys roster and only four from the girls side played in the CBBN 3A/4A.
But the Yakima boys have continued to dominate despite the heavy emphasis on smaller schools. They have won 14 of the last 15 matchups since 2000.
The Tri-City girls, who will be guided by CBC women's coach Cheryl Holden, have won three straight. Garcia, a former coach under Holden, has taken good notes from his former mentor.
"I've been fortunate to have done this under Cheryl the last eight years, " Garcia said. "I watched a little bit of her practice, and everything she was doing I had on my list."
Media Classic Rosters
Coach: Rolando Garcia, Columbia Basin College
Players: Seth Alden, 5-11, sr., Walla Walla; Joey Burns, 6-2, sr., Hermiston; Reggie Clinton, 6-1, sr., Kennewick; Bryan Corrigan, 6-5, sr., Liberty Christian; Grant Gallinger 6-2, sr., Richland; Bryce Leavitt, 6-4, sr., Kennewick; Matt Mendenhall, 6-3, jr., Southridge; Aaron Neary, 6-3, sr., Hanford; Justin Pedley, 6-6, jr., Kamiakin; Colter Quick, 6-3, jr., Richland; Case Rada, 6-2, sr., Kamiakin; Kurt Rueter, 6-5, sr., Hanford; Brandon Search, 6-1, sr., Pasco; Jake Siefken, 5-9, sr., Liberty Christian; Buddy Walter, 6-3, sr., Chiawana.
Coach: Cheryl Holden, Columbia Basin College
Players: Marissa Caballero, 5-6, fr., Grandview; Yessica Diaz, 5-7, sr., Pasco; Shelby Ellsworth, 5-10, sr. Chiawana; Colette Gall, 5-10, fr., Hanford; Hayley Hodgins, 5-10, sr., Chiawana; Mandy Machinal, 5-8, sr., Richland; Courtney Nelson, 5-9, soph., Kamiakin; Payton Parrish, 5-11, soph., Grandview; Britney Pringle, 5-6, soph., Richland; Mikaela Rivard, 5-10, sr., Chiawana; Sadie Sparks, 6-0, jr., Chiawana; Khadidja Toure, 5-8, jr., Kamiakin; Sira Toure, 5-8, fr., Kamiakin; Melanie Valdez, 5-5, sr., Chiawana; Angelique Whistocken, 5-10, jr., Kennewick.
Coach: Ray Funk, Yakima Valley CC
Players: David Trimble, jr., 6-2, Davis; Jackson Marquis, sr., 5-10, Davis; Devonte Luckett, jr., 6-2, Davis; Tanner Urlacher, sr., 6-3, Eisenhower; Austin Strock, soph., 6-4, West Valley; Israel Manzo, jr., 5-7, Sunnyside; Jonathan Janis, sr., 6-3, East Valley; Christian Schrank, sr., 6-2, Grandview; Efrain Reynoso, sr., 5-9, Wapato; Brandon Oswalt, sr., 5-10, Granger; Kristian Carrasco, sr., 5-6, Mabton; Joel Yellow Owl, sr., 6-2, Zillah; Lawrence Fiander, jr., 5-9, White Swan; Trevor Wagenaar, jr., 6-2, Sunnyside Christian; Joe Montano, sr., 6-2, Ellensburg.
Coach: Cody Butler, YVCC
Players: Taryn Cobane, sr., 5-8, Davis; Lindsey Burns, soph., 5-9, West Valley; Paige Albrecht, jr., 5-10, West Valley; Yesi Mohsenian, jr., 5-8, East Valley; Shannon Bland, sr., 5-6, Ellensburg; Tamara Jones, , sr., 5-11, Prosser; Tayshia Hunt, sr., 5-8, Prosser; Italia Mengarelli, sr., 5-6, Granger; Savannah Bonny, sr., 5-7, La Salle; Lauren DeGooyer, sr., 5-7, La Salle; Amber Jones, jr., 5-8, White Swan; Courtney Abrams, sr., 5- 4, Eisenhower; Analisa VanOostrum, sr., 5-8, Sunnyside Christian; Sami Jo Blodgett, jr., 5-3, Wapato; Alisi Uasike, sr., 5-8, Zillah.