February has come and gone and it seemed like the whole prep basketball season was crammed into the space of two weeks with subdistrict and district tournaments.
The Port Angeles girls made it into the Sweet 16 and went to Mt. Tahoma last weekend to try to get into the Elite 8 of the state’s 2A girls basketball teams and play in the Sun Dome in Yakima.
The Port Angeles Roughrider girls showed a lot of guts as they battled hard for a 41-38 win over River Ridge to earn a berth in the state tournament.
The P.A. girls saw a 35-25 lead vanish in the last period at Mt. Tahoma as the Hawks took advantage of some turnovers to get a 38-37 lead, but the Riders meshed a three and a free throw, then watched as the Hawks from Lacey missed a last-ditch try to tie the score.
The Riders will be making their 13th state appearance, with a 10-17 overall record and second-, fifth- and seventh-place trophies in the big display case.
It was a long two weeks for basketball teams on the Olympic Peninsula and the Rider girls were very bus-weary.
Until the West Central District figures out a way to compensate all teams playing in the various tournaments, Olympic Peninsula hoop squads are going to struggle because of travel. I know coaches are not going to use travel as an excuse for losing games, but they know it has an effect on physical and mental preparation for a game.
I think the West Central District moguls think the district stops about Bremerton and those who schedule the games at the various venues from Foster High in Tukwila to Mt. Tahoma High and Lakes High in Lakewood have no idea how long it takes a school bus or even a school van to get from Port Angeles and Sequim to the Seattle and Tacoma area.
Teams going to state events like swimming, gymnastics, wrestling, etc., have their overnight expenses paid, but the WCD does not see fit to reimburse basketball teams for overnight stays and a typical overnight stay for a Port Angeles hoop team with 12 players, two coaches, a manager and a bus driver, can go from $1,200 to $1,500 per night.
The Sequim boys played Feb. 10 at Klahowya and lost to Clover Park, returned the next night to play Kingston and lost and Klahowya is a short trip.
Then it was to Lakes on Feb. 16 (loss), to Foss on Feb. 18 (win) and then back to Foss on Feb. 20 in a loss to Foster.
In four days, the Wolves made four round trips to the Tacoma area.
The Rider boys played Feb. 10 at Foster in Tukwila, returned home, returned to Foster the next day. Two losses. They went to Lakes in Tacoma the following Wednesday, then to Foss on Feb. 18 and back to Foss on the Feb. 20, getting a win and a loss.
Believe me, those high school legs were weary by the end. At the very least, the Riders should’ve been granted an overnight in Tukwila on the Feb. 10-11 weekend.
Port Angeles’ girls had two round trips to Tacoma on a Friday/Saturday, home for a shoot-around Sunday, then to Kent Monday morning.
At least they had four days’ practice to get ready for last week’s game against River Ridge at Mt. Tahoma.
I’m just tired writing about those trips and I made all of them in a car, but I stayed a few nights in the big city.
I know this writing will probably not get to WCD moguls, but maybe they can reconsider, or, on the other hand, have all venues in the future alternate between Pierce County and Clallam County.
Follow the Rider girls Thursday, Friday and Saturday on 1450 AM, 102.1 FM or on KONP.com.
Reach Scooter Chapman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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