One of the best rituals in Spokane, besides Bloomsday, is the State B tournament.
It’s the city’s chance to put its best foot forward and play host to thousands of fans coming from all around the state to watch their teams vie for a championship. RVs, vans, pickups, you name it are loaded to the rafters with family, friends and fans. The B is one of the best. It was fun in the old Spokane Coliseum with all the rich history of the past. Spokane’s Veterans Memorial Arena adds to that, although I guess the venue isn’t that new anymore, and then some.
I covered the B a few times while I was working for The Spokesman-Review in Spokane and headed over to Spokane a couple more times with Crosspoint (then King’s West). I was there when the Warriors won their first trophy (fourth) in 2008.
Everywhere you go around town, from the valley to the north side, from the South Hill to downtown, it’s all about “The B.” Nearly every business marquee welcomes the “out-of-towners” and every hotel is full. If you’ve never been, you’re missing out. Guaranteed.
It’s been a few years since Crosspoint Academy has been and I know the Warriors are excited to find out what all the fuss is about. They’ll have their hands full bright and early with their first round opponent, the Sunnyside Christian Knights, Thursday at 10:30 a.m. Sunnyside is a tough matchup right off the bat, but I think the two teams are pretty even.
Let’s take a look at how they stack up.
Sunnyside is located about 35 miles southeast of Yakima, so the Knights didn’t have as long a trip to Spokane as Crosspoint did on Wednesday. The Knights are 21-2 overall and are riding a 19-game winning streak. They completely demolished their regional opponent, Nasalle 84-24. That’s not a typo. Sunnyside led 58-13 by halftime and backed off in the second half.
The Knights have just one senior in captain and guard Annie Brouwer, one junior and the rest are freshmen and sophomores. Needless to say they’ll be good for quite a while. Brouwer is second on the team in scoring (14.8 ppg) and are led by junior 6-foot forward Katelyn Banks (17.3) and the 10.1 points from frosh Sailor Liefke. Freshman Emily Banks is also a 6-0 forward, and I’m guessing she’s the younger sister to Katelyn, to give the Knights some height in the middle.
Crosspoint counters with 6-1 post Cailyn Cattell, who averaged 14.4 points, 9.4 rebounds on the season. Junior Kalie Nation, 6-0, can be an absolute terror on the boards, she was averaging 15-20 late in the season that really boosted the Warriors on both ends of the court and is a nice balance for Cattell. Guards Holly Bandara and sister Kailey can both get hot from 3-point range while Desere’e Doty and Emma Laurion can do it all. The Warriors are also on a 19-game winning streak and are 23-3 on the season.
We’ll update after their game Thursday, and depending on how things go we’ll provide live coverage of their games Friday and Saturday. You can find a live scoreboard on the WIAA website here.