You won’t hear Mark Lovelady complaining this week.
His Life Christian Academy Eagles needed to emerge from a loser-out, winner-to-state game just to get into the Class 2B state basketball championships in Spokane.
And as the last seed out of District 1/2/3, the Eagles will face Davenport High on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in a first-round game.
The Gorillas are led by 6-foot-9 center Morgan Scharff.
“We’ve done actually a pretty good job on defending (big men),” Lovelday said. “We tend to struggle more with guard-oriented teams. Athletically, I think we match up well with them.”
Life Christian, which has made the state tournament in 10 of Lovelady’s 14 seasons, has an all-underclassmen starting lineup, led by center Bryant Diggs (14.5 ppg).
• Eric Smith not only is new to the 2B tournament, he’s a relatively new coach at Chief Leschi, in his second season.
The Warriors come in as the No. 2 team from District 1/2/3, and will face Willapa Valley at 7:30 p.m. at the Spokane Arena.
Asked what he knew about Willapa Valley’s team, Smith – a former The Evergreen State College player from California – softly responded: “Nothing. I’ll be doing a lot of research on the Internet.”
Forward Nate Bisson, a sophomore, leads Chief Leschi at 15.8 ppg.
• There are two certainties on the 2B side.
One, Evergreen Lutheran is a participant. This is the school’s eighth consecutive appearance in the 2B bracket, and it will see a familiar foe in the opening round at 2 p.m. Wednesday – LaSalle, the No. 1 team in the state.
Two, a Laete sister usually leads the way. In this case, it’s Melanie Laete, a senior.
“We play very good defense,” Evergreen Lutheran coach Jeff Kurbis said. “It will be nonstop.”
• By now, coaches in the small-school classification have had to at least heard of Tacoma Baptist Melanie Shank. She’s scored 1,478 points for her career.
And she’ll be one to watch for the Crusaders, who open against Toutle Lake at 7:30 p.m.
“I know Toutle Lake has quick guards, but their No. 1 post player is out with a bad ankle,” TBS coach Josh Narayan said.
Shank is averaging 18.9 ppg and 10.0 rpg this season.