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Brett Zimmerman leads senior-laden Lewis and Clark boys over Ridgeline; Falcons girls claim second seed to districts with win

Feb. 6—Entering play Tuesday night, the Greater Spokane League regular-season finale, there were still a lot of moving parts with regards to seeding for the postseason in the boys 3A ranks.

Unfortunately, Tuesday's results didn't clear much up. Ferris and Cheney lost, tying Mead at 3-6 in league — creating a three-way play-in for the league's fifth seed to districts on Thursday at Mead.

But Ridgeline, already in the playoffs, held its seed in its hands.

Beat Lewis and Clark, whose 4A No. 2 seed was already set, and it would capture the GSL 3A third seed to districts since it owned the head-to-head tiebreaker over University. Lose, and the Falcons would drop to the fourth spot and have to travel to the Mid-Columbia Conference champion on Saturday.

But the LC Tigers, with nothing tangible to play for, came out strongly and built momentum for Saturday's matchup, a home game against Chiawana in the District 8 playoffs.

Brett Zimmerman scored 21 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in a dominant third quarter, and the visiting Tigers (13-7, 6-3) beat the Falcons (13-7, 4-5) 60-46.

Brayden Allen led Ridgeline with 17 points and Easton Amend added 13.

"We talked about how we kind of had everything to play for, actually," LC coach Jace Wambold said. "It's been really a focus of ours and kind of a theme of staying in our stride and get into our sprint. We want to be the best that we could be by Game 20. And here we are, have a positive step ready for playoffs."

"We play to win every game," Zimmerman said. "Our culture is winning and we're just playing for each other out there. We're just playing off of each other and it's just a team game."

The Tigers have nine seniors on the squad.

"They've been playing since they were little, so every game to these guys is super special," Wambold said.

"We've all been playing together since seventh grade," Zimmerman said. "I remember talking in middle school about going to playoffs playing together senior year. And here we are. So, it's a family."

Brayden Allen hit two 3-pointers in the opening quarter and Ridgeline led 13-12 after one. LC went on a 12-2 run and led by five with 3 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter. LC's Paolo Murray (13 points) hit a runner as the horn sounded and the Tigers led 28-27 at the half.

Zimmerman, Murray and Parker Pincock all hit from beyond the arc early in the third quarter and the Tigers opened a 10-point lead. LC made a 19-9 run in the quarter and led 47-36 entering the fourth.

Pincock hit a corner 3 early in the period and Ridgeline never found the run it needed to get back into the game.

Zimmerman finished with five 3-pointers for the second game in a row.

"This guy played probably the first third of the season, maybe even close to half the season and he didn't even start," Wambold said." But here's what's really special about this kid is that you never hear a whine or complain or an excuse. All he did every day was he took the coaching that we were giving him we knew what his goals were."

Girls

Ridgeline 56, Lewis and Clark 47: Freshman Grace Sheridan scored 20 points, 15 in the first half, and the Falcons (11-9, 6-3) beat the visiting Tigers (9-11, 3-6) to secure the second GSL 3A seed to districts.

The Falcons earned the right to host a playoff game on Saturday.

"It feels good. It feels really good," Ridgeline coach Clyde Woods said, "You know, we're gonna go in locker room and celebrate a little bit and it's a new experience for us here in Ridgeline."

Sheridan had 10 points in the first quarter as Ridgeline raced out to a 16-3 lead. Sheridan had five more in the second quarter and the Falcons led 31-12 at the half.

LC used a 19-11 run in the third quarter, with Sadie Pierce (14 points) picking up seven, to trim the deficit to 11. Sheridan hit a 3 to start the fourth quarter to settle down her team and the Falcons held on down the stretch.

"I think in the second half we were trying to do the same things that we did in the first, and we just kind of got a little bit too big of a head," Woods said. "We just gotta calm down and play basketball, move the ball around a little bit and we'll be all right."