Boys basketball: North Central outlasts Mt. Spokane to win 3A district title; Rogers tops Pullman for 2A championship

Feb. 17—Even though both teams had already claimed a berth to state, Saturday's meeting between Mt. Spokane and North Central still meant a lot. At stake was the district title, a potential protected seed to next week's regional round, and perhaps, pecking order in the Greater Spokane League 3A ranks.

It was the third meeting between the teams, with Mt. Spokane taking both during the regular season. But NC entered districts on a roll, beating Southridge and Walla Walla handily to reach the district title game against its league nemesis. So, the Wolfpack felt like it had something to prove.

They made their point resoundingly.

Eli Williams scored 22 points, Jacori Ervin added 14 and the visiting Wolfpack (18-5) led the entire way and knocked off the Wildcats (19-4) 64-59 in the District 8 3A championship game.

The teams will learn their regional round matchups Sunday evening.

Williams, who was a ball boy for the team when he was a kid, said he's never dreamed of winning a district championship.

"Never. I never thought we were ever going to do that. It's a dream come true," he said.

"I'm at a loss for words right now. This is the first time we've beaten Mt. Spokane. We were up the whole entire game. We've improved so much this year, and we just sealed the deal right there. We're district champs. Wow."

NC led by five entering the fourth quarter. Mt. Spokane's Drew Rayment hit a contested layup and drew Ervin's fourth foul to make it a two-point game with 3 minutes to go. Ervin dunked, then after a stop, his brother JuJu Ervin scored off a rebound to make it 59-53.

Mt. Spokane was left to foul, and Trevelle Jones and Makai Daniels hit 5 out of 6 free throws with less than a minute left to seal it.

"We've been working on free throws all year, every practice," Williams said. "We've really improved on that. Rebounds — they didn't get many offensive rebounds. I feel like that's why we could make a really good run this year. We're making our free throws, we're taking care of the ball, we're making easy layups. I think we're really hard to stop now."

Daniels and Issac Pratt hit early 3s, and NC jumped out to a 14-8 lead. JuJu Ervin had five points off the bench, and NC led 17-13 after one.

Jayce Palm came off the bench for a pair of putbacks to draw Mt. Spokane within two with 4:25 left in the half. But Williams had 17 in the period, and the Wolfpack led 36-29 at the half.

Jacori Ervin picked up a quick couple of baskets at the start of the second half, and NC's lead reached double digits at 41-31. But Nalu Vargas and Bode Gardner hit 3s, then Lafferty made 3 of 4 at the line, and NC led 48-43 after three.

Lafferty and Vargas led Mt. Spokane with 15 points apiece. Rayment added 13.

"We've been head-to-head since second grade," Williams said of Lafferty. "We've always been same size, same length. We've always been counting record-wise, 'Who wins, who wins.' I'm glad I finally got him this year. He's a great player. That's my brother, we've been friends for a long time."

District 8 4A

Richland 67, Lewis and Clark 53: Josh Woodard scored 19 points, Jack Forbes added 15 and the top-seeded Bombers (20-4) eliminated the visiting fourth-seeded Tigers (16-9). Paolo Murray scored 13 points for LC. Richland advanced to state.

District 8 3A

Ridgeline 57, Walla Walla 51: Caden Andreas scored 24 points, and the seventh-seeded Falcons (16-8) qualified for state for the first time in program history, knocking off the second-seeded Blue Devils (14-11) in Walla Walla. Andreas went 5 for 5 at the line late to hold off Wa-Hi. Easton Amend had 12 points and Brayden Allen added 10 for Ridgeline.

District 8 2A

Rogers 63, Pullman 53: Hartman Warrick scored 20 points, Brady Krebs added 15 and the visiting second-seeded Pirates (16-5) beat the top-seeded Greyhounds (16-6) to earn the district title. Champ Powaukee scored 17 points for Pullman. Both teams advanced to state.

District 6/7 1A crossover

Lakeside 64, Omak 53: Calvin Mikkelsen scored 23 points, Zayshawn Griffin added 20 and the Eagles (8-12) beat the visiting Pioneers (14-7) to advance to state.

Riverside 52, Quincy 38: The Rams (16-6) advanced to state, beating the Jackrabbits (16-7). Details were unavailable.

District 6/7 2B crossover

St. George's 67, Liberty Bell 59: Shawn Jones scored 26 points, Elden Pierce added 15 and the fourth-seeded Dragons (19-6) beat the ninth-seeded Mountain Lions (15-6) at West Valley HS to advance to state.

Colfax 71, Manson 46: Jayce Kelly and Adrik Jenkin scored 22 points apiece, and the second-seeded Bulldogs (21-0) beat the visiting eleventh-seeded Trojans (12-8) at West Valley to advance to state.

Northwest Christian 51, Brewster 50: The Crusaders (16-9) advanced to state by beating the Bears (13-9). Details were unavailable.

Tonasket 63, Kettle Falls 55: The Bulldogs (16-9) were eliminated by the Tigers (12-10). Details were unavailable.