High School Sports

These small Mid-Columbia schools are ready for the playoffs

Tri-Cities Prep’s Maddie Brandner talks about the team’s first trip to state

The Jaguars will open state play Wednesday at 9 a.m. against White Swan
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The Jaguars will open state play Wednesday at 9 a.m. against White Swan

The Mid-Columbia Conference might be the big high school sports conference in the area, but it’s not the only one.

Here’s a quick look at the prep basketball leagues around the Mid-Columbia that are NOT the MCC.

CWAC boys and girls

The top eight teams make the district tournament (boys start Feb. 2, girls start Feb. 1).

District champ automatically advances to the state 2A regionals. Second- and third-place teams will play crossover glue games against Great Northern League’s No. 1 and 2 teams to determine the other two state regional berths.

Before Friday’s games, Ellensburg boys are atop the standings with 10-1 record, followed by Selah at 9-2, Wapato at 8-3, and Ephrata and Prosser at 7-4. … Steele Venters leads Ellensburg in scoring at 21.6 points. …

Selah sophomore Noah Pepper has 23.6 point average. His older brother, UC Davis-bound Elijah Pepper, has yet to play a game after off-season meniscus surgery. Elijah will be able to play later this month, making Vikings even tougher. …

Prosser boys have three standouts: Haden Hicks (21.6 points, 8.5 rebounds), Calvin Maljaars (11.0 points, 8.0 rebounds) and Saul Quinones (11.0). …

Prosser hosts Ellensburg on Friday. Mustangs beat the Bulldogs last time they met, Dec. 7, by a 76-71 score. … Prosser lost to 2B St. George’s 63-56 on Dec. 28. St. George’s is top-ranked 2B team. …

Grandview (4-7 CWAC), led by Nate Garza’s 11.5 points a game, handed Selah one of its two CWAC losses with a 70-62 verdict on Dec. 15. …

Ellensburg has top RPI ranking at 9th of 64 teams. Prosser sits at 26th. …

CWAC girls leaders are Selah at 10-1, Ellensburg at 9-2, Prosser and Wapato at 8-3, and Grandview at 7-4. …

Ellensburg and Prosser’s girls met Friday for the second time this season. Ellensburg won the opener 51-41, thanks to freshman Dylan Phillips’ 16 points. Prosser’s Marissa Cortes and Madison Golden had 10 points each. …

Brinley Hagemeier leads Ellensburg in scoring at 14.6 points. … Ashley Shurtleff (16.7 points) and Kylie Wilkey (12.5) lead Selah. …

Wapato, led by Janealle Sutterlict’s 24.9 points a game, has a No. 10 RPI ranking. Prosser is No. 13. … Michelle Ruiz (16.4) is the leader for Grandview.

SCAC East boys and girls

The top four teams make a district tournament with top four teams from SCAC West. The four winners from that tournament advance to state 1A regional play.

Before Friday’s games, Connell boys (5-0 SCAC East) and girls (5-0 SCAC East) sit atop their respective standings. …

Austin Smith and Ridge Pauley are the top players for Eagles boys, who have a No. 9 of 63 teams ranking in latest 1A RPI. … Mattie Mauseth and Madison Smith lead Connell girls, who are ranked ranked 15th in latest RPI. … Royal boys are second in standings at 4-1, while Warden and College Place are tied for third at 3-2. …

Connell boys beat Royal 60-50 on Dec. 14. The two teams meet again on Jan. 12. …

Warden girls (4-1 SCAC East, 11-1 overall) are second in standings, while College Place and Royal are tied for third at 3-2. … Connell knocked Warden from the ranks of the unbeatens on Jan. 3 with a 42-38 win. The two teams meet again in Connell on Jan. 26.

EWAC 2B boys and girls

The top four boys teams and top four girls teams in each division advance to EWAC district tourney at Granger on Feb. 1-2. Top four boys and girls from there advance to the District 5/6 regionals Feb. 8-9 in the Tri-Cities, and Feb. 15-16 in Chelan.

Top five boys and top five girls advance to state regionals from there.

The 10-team Eastern Washington Athletic Conference is broken up into an East and West division format. …

In boys, Kittitas/Thorp (8-0 EWAC/12-1 overall) leads the West, while Tri-Cities Prep (4-1/8-4) is second. … Brock Ravet, bound for Gonzaga next year, leads Kittitas/Thorp – which has a No. 2 of 62 teams RPI ranking. Kittitas/Thorp has scored 102 points in a game twice this season. …

TC Prep, sitting at 12th in the RPI, has three top scorers in Kobe Singleton (15.9 points), Max Nelson (15.5) and Logan Mercado (13.7). … Todd Schumacher’s Columbia-Burbank boys (5-1 EWAC/9-3 overall) sits atop the East Division and is 19th in the RPI. Gilbert Hernandez, an honorable mention SCAC East selection last year, leads the Coyotes. …

DeSales (4-3 EWAC) is second in the East Division. …

In girls play, Tri-Cities Prep has the best record at 5-0/11-1, leads the West standings, and is 3rd in the latest RPI rankings. … Sophomore Talia von Oelhoffen averages a double-double for Prep with 32.4 points and 10.6 rebounds. She also averages 5.0 assists and 6.0 steals. …

Mabton is second in the West at 4-1/9-3. … Columbia-Burbank (6-0/10-2) sits atop the East standings and has an RPI ranking of No. 5. … Jadyn Johnson of Columbia-Burbank was a second-team all-SCAC East player last season when the Coyotes were Class 1A. …

Save the date of Jan. 12. That’s when Tri-Cities Prep visits Columbia-Burbank in their lone regular-season showdown.

College update

Sara Ramirez (Hermiston) scored 19 points, but it wasn’t enough as the CBC women’s basketball team lost 84-73 on Wednesday night to visiting Big Bend Community College. … Big Bend’s men also beat CBC, winning 93-67. Kaden Hassett scored 17 points to lead the Hawks, while teammate Denzel Brantley added 16. …

Jake Albright scored 21 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and had five blocked shots to lead the Walla Walla CC men’s basketball team over Wenatchee Valley 84-62 on Wednesday. Dame Thacker added 15 points and seven rebounds for the Warriors. …

Wenatchee Valley’s women beat Walla Walla 66-51 earlier Wednesday evening. McKenzie Gunter led WWCC with 16 points and six rebounds in the losing cause. … Spokane Community College’s women’s basketball team beat Yakima Valley CC 67-59 on Wednesday. Kamri von Oelhoffen (Richland) led YVC with 12 points and seven rebounds. …

Nathan Streifert (Richland) scored 11 points and grabbed six rebound to help lead the Seattle Pacific University men’s basketball team to a 79-62 win over Alaska Fairbanks on Thursday night.

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