It’s no surprise that Columbia Basin’s women are leading the East Region, or even that they’re ranked No. 1 in the NWAACC.
After all, the Hawks figured to be very good this season under coach Cheryl Holden, the Zillah product who’s in her 13th year at CBC after leading West Valley’s girls to a state title in 2001.
But Columbia Basin’s men?
Few imagined prior to the season that this squad, coached for former Grandview great Rolando Garcia (MVP of the 1989 Class 1A state tournament, which was won by the Greyhounds), would also top the region standings.
But there the Hawks are, in first place with an 8-1 record, a 15-6 overall mark and a No. 4 NWAACC ranking. They’ve won eight straight.
Both CBC teams will be in Yakima at Sherar Gym on Saturday to meet Yakima Valley, with the women scheduled to start at 2 p.m. and the men following at 4 p.m.
Columbia Basin’s men, who claimed a 93-86 win over YVCC (4-5, 13-10) on Jan. 18 in Pasco, have been bolstered by several Yakima Valley players. Zillah alum Mitchell Zapien is the No. 2 scorer at 15.28 points a game, Granger’s Andrew Reddout is averaging 14.24 and is the team’s top rebounder at 6.19, ex-Eisenhower point guard James Lopez is scoring 12.43 and another Granger alum, Brandon Oswalt, is at 4.65. Davis’ Michael Acosta is listed on CBC’s roster, but according to the team’s statistics has played in only five games.
The team’s leading scorer is Stephen Walter, a 6-foot-4 sophomore guard from Chiawana High School, at 15.2.
The Hawks women, 9-0 in the region, 19-3 overall and riding a 13-game winning streak, include two Prosser products, Sydney Mercer (10.55 ppg) and former Yak Lacie French (5.23). They also feature Ellensburg’s Shannon Bland (6.95), Granger’s Lyndsay Oswalt (6.68), East Valley’s Kellie Ross (4.06) and West Valley’s Courtney Weber (2.10).
Courtney Nelson, a 5-10 freshman from Kamiakin, tops CBC at 12.59 with Sierra Higheagle, a 5-8 sophomore from Clarkston, second at 11.10. Mercer ranks third.
The Hawks beat Yakima Valley (3-6, 7-15) 93-45 earlier this year on their homecourt.
Holden has compiled a record of 260-116 (.691) at CBC with NWAACC championships in 2005, 2008 and 2012.