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Rematches on tap in CBBN title tilts

Tonight's CBBN district championship games feature a pair of home teams looking to avenge recent losses to their finals opponents.

The Richland boys host Kamiakin at 7 p.m. at Art Dawald Gym less than three weeks after the Braves won 49-47 on a last-second 3-pointer by Case Rada.

At the same time, the Chiawana girls go for the school's first-ever district title in a team sport, hosting a Walla Walla team that beat the Riverhawks 40-28 just 11 days ago.

The Bombers haven't lost since falling to the Braves, winning five straight to reach the title game. They beat Columbia Division champion Davis 69-57 in Yakima on Tuesday.

"We've put our nose to the grindstone since then," said Richland coach Earl Streufert. "They exposed some of our weaknesses over there. Our offense was not as polished as it could have been. We've shored those things up. That's kind of been the key for us."

The Braves, meanwhile, shrugged off a loss at Hanford in the game following their win over Richland to win four straight, including a 66-55 win at Cascade champion Walla Walla in the semifinals, ending the Blue Devils' 10-game home win streak.

"I just think it's going to be an awesome game," said Kamiakin coach Brian Meneely, whose team goes for its first district title since 1995. "Any time you get to play for any championship, it's a lot of fun."

Both coaches discounted the value of making adjustments for tonight's rubber match between the teams -- Richland won the first meeting 72-51 at Dawald.

"This time of year, these teams know each other extremely well," Meneely said. "Now, it's just a matter of who can go out, execute, make shots and defend the other team."

Chiawana, meanwhile, has wanted another crack at the Blue Devils since losing at their place Feb. 6.

"It'll be intense," said junior Taylor White, who scored a career-high 17 points in the Riverhawks' 64-53 semifinal win over Southridge. "It'd be awesome to win a district title."

Coach Steve Davis said the loss helped his team regain its edge after it had won 11 straight by an average margin of 22.8 points.

"It made us refocus on what needs to be done," he said. "Walla Walla didn't just beat us. They humiliated us. That loss, at the time, was pretty good for us."

All four finalists already have secured Eastern Regional berths. Four more regional berths will be claimed at consolation semifinal games throughout the region.

Southridge's boys travel to Davis, while Walla Walla hosts Eisenhower.

The Southridge girls host Moses Lake, while Richland travels to Wenatchee.



Rene Ferran: 509-582-1526; rferran@tricityherald.com

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