Prep roundup: Moses Lake hosts Gonzaga Prep in state playoffs

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Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake teammates Hunter Cruz (21) and Brandon Griffith celebrate after beating West Valley.

MOSES LAKE — For the third time in as many seasons, Moses Lake will host a first-round playoff game.

Moses Lake outlasted Bellarmine Prep 28-27 to open the 2015 state playoffs before losing to Richland in the quarterfinals. Moses Lake welcomed University of Washington commit Jacob Sirmon and Bothell to Lions Field in 2016. Moses Lake struggled to convert in the red zone and lost 31-13.

Friday night brings a new challenge, 2015 state champion Gonzaga Prep out of the Greater Spokane League.

The second-seeded Bullpups dispatched Chiawana, the No. 2 seed out of the Mid-Columbia Conference, 28-7 to set up Friday night’s game in Moses Lake.

Like Sirmon a season ago, G-Prep boasts its own future Husky: Devin Culp. Culp is a 6-foot-5, 250-pound wide receiver who does much more than catch passes.

Also a threat out of the backfield, Culp galloped for an 89-yard touchdown against Chiawana and finished with 120 rushing yards on just five carries.

Moses Lake will counter Culp and Gonzaga Prep’s offense with the No. 1 defense in the Columbia Basin Big Nine. Moses Lake ended Week 9 and its regular season shutting out West Valley, the CBBN’s No. 1 offense, 14-0.

The Chiefs’ defensive numbers were outstanding across the board — less than 900 yards allowed on the ground, 117 points allowed and less than 250 yards against per game.

The front seven boasts edge rushers Hunter Cruz and Beau Mauseth, in addition to experience linebackers David Hersch and Payton Castro. The pressure created up front helps the defensive backfield. Jon Ochoa led the Chiefs with four interceptions, while Mario Yepiz and Joey Robertson added three each.

Offensively, quarterback Brandon Griffith will try and will a unit decimated by injuries.

Today’s game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Othello at Steilacoom, Saturday, 2 p.m.

LAKEWOOD — Othello returns to the state tournament for the first time since 2013 and will travel to Lakewood to face Steilacoom.

Steilacoom will play host at Harry E. Lang Stadium in Lakewood.

Othello had a resurgent 2017 campaign to reach the CWAC championship game and earn a state berth.

The Sentinels finished the regular season 8-2 and went a perfect 6-0 in the South Puget Sound League Sound Division. Although Steilacoom finished the regular season just outside of the Associated Press Class 2A Washington High School Football Poll, the Sentinels defeated ninth-ranked Fife 52-27.

Steilacoom is led by quarterback JJ Lemming. Lemming is a 6-foot-5 junior that threw for 401 yards and four touchdowns against Fife.

Othello will try to corral Lemming with CWAC Defensive MVP Isaiah Perez and all-league defenders Anthony Veliz and Efrain Palomores.


Wilson Creek loses first two state matches

YAKIMA — Wilson Creek was eliminated from the 1B state volleyball tournament after losing its first two matches.

Wilson Creek lost to defending champion Quilcene 25-19, 25-12, 25-13 and Three Rivers Christian in the consolation bracket 26-24, 25-22, 22-25, 22-25, 15-11.

Almira/Coulee-Hartline splits state matches

YAKIMA — Almira/Coulee-Hartline split its first two matches at the 1B state volleyball tournament.

The Warriors handled Firm Foundation in their opener 25-20, 25-14, 25-11.

In the quarterfinals, ACH fell behind Pomeroy 2-0 before forcing a fifth set. The Warriors lost the fifth set and the match 25-23, 28-26, 25-27, 16-25, 19-17.

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