For sports reporters, the chance to follow a team to state is like a reward in a way.
After a long season of sitting in the office taking phone calls and paginating the sports section, a scenic drive along the Vantage Highway and up I-90 west for a weekend of high school basketball at its best is heaven.
So, to that end, I’d like to thank the Kamiakin boys and girls basketball teams for getting me to the Tacoma Dome last weekend.
I had a great time. I wish you all could say the same.
It’s incredible to think that the same two teams that combined to go 45-1 to reach the 3A state tournament ended up going 1-4 on the big stage.
Some would say they deserved better.
Clint Eastwood would tell you "deserved has nothing to do with it."
I think it’s just the risk and reward of going to the state tournament. That’s what makes it such a great experience to be a part of. In every game, one team is going to win and one is going to lose. And only one team can win the state title.
That does not mean that teams that don’t win state can’t enjoy great memories. I know the boys team is always going to remember that win over Kennedy, hanging on in a tough situation.
Here’s a few things I won’t forget:
1) Watching Davis win the 4A state title. Not only was it a great ending for a terrific group of players and people, it also brought some major credibility to the toughness of the CBBN.
Speaking of which, here’s a little sidenote: When I think back to Richland’s 10 losses this season, I realized that three of them came to Davis, two of them to Central Valley, another to Kamiakin and one to Kennewick.
That means of the Bombers’ 10 losses, seven came to ranked teams, two of which played for the 4A state title and another of which finished fifth at the 3A tourney.
2) I’ve never seen a player hit a full-court shot in a game, so to watch Union senior Jordan Chatman bury a 75-footer at the buzzer in the semifinals against Central Valley was simply amazing.
Now, about 10 seconds before that shot, he hit what appeared to be a running bank shot from behind the 3-point line. But officials reversed the call and ruled it a 2-pointer, saying he stepped on the line.
If the 3-pointer had stood up, his final shot would have tied the score.
Oh by the way, he dropped 29 points on Central Valley and then 32 on Bellarmine Prep in the third-fifth place game the next day.
3) The dignity of the Kamiakin boys and girls. Even though things didn’t end the way they wanted to, the players and coaches alike represented themselves with great class and dignity. I know it’s not easy to talk to a reporter after a loss, but none of them refused comment and all were gracious in defeat.
Thanks again, Kamiakin, for a great season. One we won’t soon forget.