High School Basketball

3 Tri-Cities teams win regional basketball playoff spots

Chiawana’s Jayden Martinez (23) takes a shot and scores during a District 8 4A playoffs against Central Valley on Monday played at Chiawana High School in Pasco. Chiawana won 88-74
Chiawana’s Jayden Martinez (23) takes a shot and scores during a District 8 4A playoffs against Central Valley on Monday played at Chiawana High School in Pasco. Chiawana won 88-74 Tri-City Herald

The Tri-Cities picked up three of the final four state regional basketball berths available in the District 8 tournament on Monday.

The Kamiakin girls bounced back from Saturday night’s heartbreaking 46-45 loss to Mt. Spokane in the girls 3A championship by beating Kennewick 72-40 to earn a berth.

Meanwhile, across the Columbia River at Chiawana High School, the Chiawana girls earned the girls 4A tournament’s third and final berth by beating University High 72-43.

Right after that, the Chiawana boys earned the last 4A boys spot by beating Central Valley 88-74.

The Greater Spokane League’s Shadle Park traveled to Kennewick High and won both of its games on Monday, first eliminating Hermiston 86-80, before holding of Kennewick 87-81 to earn the remaining boys 3A state regional berth.

Central Valley’s Gavin Gilstrap (50), left, and Noah Sanders (30) attempt to block Matthew Kroner (24) of Chiawana, during the District 8 4A playoff game at Chiawana High School in Pasco on Monday. Chiawana defeated Central Valley 88-74. Noelle Haro-Gomez Tri-City Herald

Now the Washington Interscholastic Activities Associaition (WIAA) will set all state regional matchups, and likely release them on Tuesday.

The District 8 games had to be played on Monday, Presidents Day and a day off from school, thanks to the bad weather over the past 10 days.

Kamiakin girls 72, Kennewick 40: The Braves jumped out to a 22-11 first quarter lead, highlighted by a 16-0 run, to take control of the Lions.

“Saturday night was a tough loss,” said Kamiakin coach Lane Schumacher. “But once the girls got back here and had a little shoot around today, they were ready. They understood what this game means.”

Kennewick had to beat North Central 50-45 earlier in the day at Kamiakin just to get to this game. But the Lions struggled with their shooting, and they were out rebounded by the Braves 42-29.

Oumou Toure led Kamiakin with 27 points and 8 rebounds. But the Braves showed balance. Alexa Hazel had 15 points and seven rebounds, Regan Clark added 12 points and eight rebounds, and Symone Brown had 8 points and seven boards.

“I think we were more concerned about ourselves,” said Toure.

“Especially after Saturday night’s loss, we needed to rebound.” Schumacher agreed. “It was a good bounce-back game,” he said. “We got some good transition baskets.”

In fact, Kamiakin did an outstanding job of moving the ball around. Unofficially, three Braves had at least five assists: Hazel had six, and the Clark sisters, Regan and Rylie, each had five. MeiLani McBee led Kennewick with 16 points and six rebounds.

Chiawana girls 72, University 43: The host Riverhawks forced University into 20 turnovers that they turned into 23 points. Macey Morales led Chiawana with 18 points and seven steals, while teammate Alyssa Agundis added 17 points and eight rebounds. Ellie Boni led U-High with 19 points and five rebounds.

Chiawana boys 88, Central Valley 74: Chiawana outscored CV 29-20 in the third quarter to put the game away. Sophomore Jayden Martinez scored 22 points to lead the Riverhawks, and fellow soph Kobe Young added 18 points, 17 rebounds and five blocked shots. Jayce Simmons led CV with 18 points and eight rebounds, as the Bears saw their season end.

Shadle Park boys 87, Kennewick 81: The visiting Highlanders had the toughest road of the day, first eliminating Hermiston and then Kennewick. Against the Lions, DeMarius Brown, who averages 12 points a game, scored 32 points on 14 of 16 free throw shooting. Teammate Jake Groves added 20 points.

The Lions were forced to foul Shadle, but the Highlanders responded with a 20-for-24 performance from the free throw line in the fourth quarter alone. Ayoni Benavidez led Kennewick with 28 points, while freshman Myles Myovsky added 16 and Blaine Chavez 15.

Jeff Morrow is former sports editor for the Tri-City Herald.