Runnin’ Vikes, Coyote Kids, Unified ball, it’s all in there

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Rodney Harwood

The first month of the New Year is over and I thought it’d be a good time to turn the notebook over, shake it and see what falls out.

The Big Bend men’s basketball team is designed around the 3-point shot and they’re not afraid to let ‘er fly from downtown. But the thing is, when it ain’t going, a team that lives and dies by the 3-ball can many times fall on its sword.

The Runnin’ Vikes shot themselves out of a funk last week against Yakima Valley when Koby Huerta found the stroke again and beat the Yaks with a last-second trey from the wing. Huerta shot 49.1 percent from beyond the arc going into the NWAC schedule then came upon tough times. But Big Bend got back into the mix with a 31.9 percent shooting night from 3-point range.

“I really think we’ll have a much better second half now that we’ve seen everybody. We’re back in the mix for the NWAC tournament,” Runnin’ Vikes coach Mingo Scott said.

And that they are, the funk is over. The stroke is back and Big Bend has a big game at Wenatchee Valley on Wednesday.

From the court to the ice, the Moses Lake Coyotes defended the home ice with a vengeance last weekend against the likes of Seattle, Portland, Tacoma and Everett at the U12 Rep Winter Classic.

Like the rest of the world, I like their outdoor rink and the vibe of the sun shining through with the sound of skates going hard and the puck pounding off the boards. The Coyotes went through the tournament 5-1 with some big matches over Seattle and Tacoma. They had a little tougher go against Everett, winning 5-3, before taking down an old rival from Oregon.

The Coyote pups beat the Jr. Winterhawks 2-1 in the bracket play on their way to the No. 1 seed. Moses Lake and Portland went into the tournament 2-2 and they came out in that same deadlock when the Winterhawks beat ‘em 6-2 in the championship match.

Let me be the first to give the Coyote Kids a big coyote howl for a job well done. Awhoooooooo Ooo Ooo Awhooooooooooo.

And lastly, it was a good weekend for the special needs community with a showcase of athletic skill and sportsmanship. The Central Washington Athletic Conference District Unified Basketball tournament at Ephrata was a nice culminating event for the Level 3 Unified teams and gave the athletes and partners one more run up and down the floor. For the Level 1 teams, Grandview beat Othello one more time to advance to the state tournament.

On Sunday, the Special Olympics had their regional tournament at Moses Lake High School. It was another showcase of what people can do when they have a chance. The human spirit rises above all obstacles.

It’s tournament time as we move into Month 2 of 2018 and away we go.

Rodney Harwood is a sports writer for the Columbia Basin Herald and can be reached at

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