Steve Dion and Paul Valencia breakdown the Greater St. Helens League. The reclassifications have impacted the number of playoff teams coming out of this tough league.
In the 4A GSHL – Can Union make a run with their new coach? Will Skyview push their way to the top? Or will Camas hang on to their strangle hold of league dominance? Who will represent SW Washington at the end of the season?
The 3A and 2A leagues have also seen major changes, we’ll break it down for you.
Listen to our league preview of the GSHL by clicking on the PLAY BUTTON below.
Be sure to visit columbian.com and follow Paul’s high school football coverage all season long!
Battle Ground Keeps Season Alive with Win Over Tides By Steven Dion
In the consolation bracket of the District 3/4 tournament, the Battle Ground Tigers were set to take on the Tides of Gig Harbor. BGHS fell to Federal Way in the opening round on Thursday by the score of 82-58. GHHS was defeated by Beamer 67-54 in the opening round as well. In this loser-out contest, the possibility of finishing up to sixth place in the district tourney was still up for grabs by these unfamiliar opponents.
The bulk of early shots by the Tigers were launched by Devin Johnson and Jamie Ford. The forward/guard duo was an integral factor in the outcome of the game and provided solid offensive output despite some difficulty finding consistent rhythm. After the teams were knotted at 14 apiece following the first quarter break, the court began to open up. Each squad was flying up and down the court, but it took until the final minutes before the half to reach the twenties when a string of shots fell for both sides. After sixteen minutes of play tied at 26 apiece, the contest was right as it started. Battle Ground’s strong perimeter defense covered their offensive struggles as the Tigers were 8 of 26 field goals.
The intensity naturally grew in the second half as the reality that one team’s season would be coming to an end clearly resonated on the court. The first offensive possession for Gig Harbor was an And-1 by Casey Gearhart off an offensive board. The junior played big for the Tides on both ends of the floor including a team-high 16 points. But Johnson from the Tigers gave GHHS trouble on the low block throughout as the strong 6’6” junior plays a traditional “back-to-the-hoop” post game. Trailing by nearly double digits down the stretch, Gig Harbor needed buckets. Chris Drake, Chad Glover, and Sam Lovrak rose to the challenge. The Tide trio buried six from downtown in the final minutes to keep the game within reach. However, the Tigers were automatic from the free-throw line as they kept the Tides from stealing the game late. Battle Ground’s 21 of 29 from the charity stripe was the difference in the game and they move on in the tournament. The Tides season is over. Final score 65 to 61.
Top Performers: Battle Ground
Jamie Ford, Nate Moring, Damien Ford, Devin Johnson (all scored in double figures)
Casey Gearhart-16 points, memorable block on defense