Pomeroy boy’s basketball head coach Brian Koller high fives his players along the bench during the closing seconds of the team’s victory over Odessa-Harrington in the regional tournament last Saturday. The Pirates face 21-3 Christian Faith in the state semifinals at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Photo by Matthew Zimmerman Banderas.
WALLA WALLA — Pomeroy’s boys face Christian Faith Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the opening round of the eight-team Washington State Class 1B Hardwood Classic at the Spokane Arena.
The Eagles dominated the boys’ SeaTac 1B League en route to a 21-3 record and a No. 5 ranking in the final state Associated Press polling, behind a trio of seniors who average north of 15 points a game.
Segun Amosun, a 6-foot, 6-inch post, and Vick Toor, a 5-11 guard, each average 18 points per game, while 5-8 guard Afari Stinson-Richardson averages 17.
Ignatius Medani, a 6-1 sophomore, averages 12 points a game on the wing.
Christian Faith defeated Cedar Park Christian, tied for No. 5 in the final rankings, 75-61, in the regional round of the state playoffs.
“I think we’re pretty confident with what we’re doing, we’ve been playing pretty well,” said Pomeroy coach Brian Koller, whose Pirates defeated Odessa-Harrington, 60-52, in the regional round. “They’re going to present some challenges for us that we’ll have to adapt to throughout the game, but we don’t need to re-create anything. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing.”
The Pirates (18-7) have been hot and cold in the postseason thus far, with 6-6 Riley Bott or 5-11 Tanner Feider taking turns scoring 25-plus points in a game, but the Pirates were relatively balanced in their victory over the Titans.
Five players scored more than five points and three broke double figures, led by Tanner Feider with a game-high 21 points.
Although the regional round in Walla Walla counted as a state playoff game, this will be the first time the Pirates have gone to the Hardwood Classic since 2001, when the tournament was a 16-team affair.
Pomeroy did do a little scouting last season, though, attending the tournament as spectators.
“The kids are jacked, they’re pumped,” Koller said. “We went up there last year as a team, and stayed all three days and just watched. They decided right there that this is something they wanted, so they’re pretty pumped.”
If the Pirates defeat Christian Faith, they will face the winner of Columbia Adventist and Sunnyside Christian in the semifinals.
A loss would drop Pomeroy into the consolation bracket, where the Pirates would be able to take, at best, fourth place.
To win a Washington state Class 1B title, Pomeroy needs to win three consecutive games.
The tournament concludes with the championship game Saturday at 5 p.m.