Saturday, June 22, 2024

Some hope for the new year

| December 7, 2019 12:00 AM

With less than 20 shopping days until Christmas — yes, some of us still have leftovers in the fridge — there’s a few things on the list that we’d like to see under the tree in a few weeks.

IT MIGHT not be unrealistic to think that we have at least two teams that could very well challenge for state championships in February at the girls state high school basketball tournaments.

In 5A, it appears to be a three-team race for two bids to state this year.

Lake City has a big win over Boise under its belt — in the opener — and has since notched a few other wins by double digits.

Coeur d’Alene opened the season with four straight wins, beating Lakeland, Timberlake, Richland and Lewis and Clark. Both Lakeland (4A) and Timberlake (3A) qualified for state, and could be joined by the Vikings down south if everything goes right in the coming weeks.

Post Falls also notched a win over Timberlake and also beat Sandpoint and Gonzaga Prep during the regular season. The Trojans were just a play-in win away from getting to state last year.

The unfortunate thing for the 5A schools is that even though there’s no play-in game this year — the top two teams from Region 1 are guaranteed a spot at state — one of them is going to have to stay home again this year.

When Mountain View of Meridian and Boise made the trip up to face Lake City, it might have been good measuring stick to see either team also face Coeur d’Alene or Post Falls. Too bad the schedules didn’t work out this time around.

Timberlake enters today’s matchup with 5A Lewiston at 3-2 on the season, with wins over Lakeland, Sandpoint and Lewiston. The Tigers have appeared at state in eight straight seasons, winning titles in 2016 and 2017, taking second in 2014 and 2016 and finishing third in 2018 and 2019.

Don’t be shocked if a few of these teams continue to make a little noise deep into the season.

FOR THOSE on social media, when the Facebook app sends you memories of certain days from previous years, often times you just laugh and move on.

On Dec. 6, 2013, Robinson Cano signed a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Seattle Mariners. Meanwhile in Montlake that day, Chris Petersen was hired to take over the Washington football team after his time at Boise State.

It goes without saying just how the Mariners were impacted by that move.

Sign Cano, bring in Nelson Cruz, but still no playoff berths since 2001. The Mariners came close in 2018 — with Cano out serving a suspension — but faltered in September to finish out of the playoffs. That 2019 season, with Cano traded to the New York Mets, might be just better forgotten.

Meanwhile Petersen, who coached the Huskies to a College Football Playoff appearance in 2016 and a Rose Bowl in 2018, stepped down earlier this week.

It’s hard to believe that just six years later neither are in those positions.

The Mariners — believe it or not — will be better this year, probably because it can’t get much worse for them.

At least, we can hope for that, right?

Jason Elliott is a sports writer for the Coeur d’Alene Press. He can be reached by telephone at (208) 664-8176, Ext. 2020 or via email at Follow him on Twitter @JECdAPress.