The Pullman Greyhounds return to state

CHRIS ARNESON | Evergreen columnist

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Someone tell David Stern, Howard Schultz and Clay Bennett that in the Pacific Northwest, the sport of basketball is alive and well.

The Pullman High School Greyhounds (20-5) will return to the basketball 2A State Tournament today at the Yakima Valley SunDome following a first round bye.

The No. 3 ranked Greyhounds will match up this afternoon against the No. 13 ranked Foss Falcons. The Falcons, of Tacoma, defeated the Mark Morris Monarchs 72-55 in one of the four play-in games on Wednesday.

Pullman High School is red hot, coming off an 81-57 drubbing of the North Kitsap Vikings in a de facto home game for the Greyhounds in Cheney. Six-foot-five senior forward Jared Anderson, who led the team with 22 points, steered the Greyhounds’ ship during the game. In addition, six-foot-three sophomore guard Jacob Wells posted 21 points as Pullman leapt out to a quick lead and never looked back.

The Greyhounds’ roster is also boosted by the play of six-foot-two freshman guard Isaiah Strong, son of former Seahawk Mack Strong, who paved the way for the success of Shaun Alexander.

The Greyhounds’ Head Coach Craig Brantner, who joined the program after leaving Garfield-Palouse prior to the 2006 season, led Pullman High to back-to-back 2A State Championships in 2013 and 2014. This was quite the turnaround for a program that had never won a state championship in its history. The Greyhounds were runner-ups in the state tournament in 1999 and 2003, falling to Champions Blaine and Nooksack Valley respectively.

Pullman may have already moved over its biggest hump of the season, as the Greyhounds recently beat the two-time defending State Champion, the No. 1 Clarkston Bantams in a playoff game on Feb. 14. The victory was a huge mental hurdle for the Greyhounds, who owed three of their five losses this season to the Bantams in league play.

Coming into today’s match up against the Foss Falcons, Roberto Gittens will be a name to remember for Pullman Greyhounds’ fans, coaches and players. Gittens, a six-foot-five senior forward for Foss, is a four star recruit, who will be headed to Boise State to play for Head Coach Leon Rice. The highflying youngster will bolster this Broncos (18-10) squad that will lose two of their top four scorers to graduation this offseason.

It will be of the utmost importance for the Pullman Greyhounds not to underestimate their opponent going into the game today. At this point in the season, coaches can throw their records out the window, because the games are not played on paper. It is time to throw the kitchen sink at the opposing team, because it may be the teams’ only shot at a state championship.

Now is the time for ear-rattling locker room speeches, slow claps, “One Shining Moment,” floor slaps, trash-talking and running the picket fence.

“A winner is someone who can look in the mirror at the end of the day and say, in pursuit of my goal and dreams, I gave my best,” as Dick Vitale said.

Chris Arneson is a senior sports management major from Bothell, Washington. He can be contacted at 335-2290 or by [email protected]