Take two……Previewing and picking Mount Si’s first round game of the state 4A boys’ high school basketball tournament, and we hope Mother Nature stays the hell out of the way this time, right, Richland?

All right. Now with this morning’s news out of the way, let’s try this again. Thanks to the weather and a pass closure, last night’s first attempt at playing the state high school 4A boys’ basketball regional between Mount Si and Richland in Issaquah didn’t get off. So they’ll try again today, hoping that the weather is a little more friendly this time for the boys from the Tri-Cities.

KINGCO 4A BOYS BASKETBALL
WIAA 4A HARDWOOD CLASSIC – REGIONALS (BOTH ADVANCE TO TACOMA DOME NEXT WEEK)
MOUNT SI WILDCATS VS. RICHLAND BOMBERS
ISSAQUAH HIGH SCHOOL, 4:00 P.M.

If you read our preview yesterday, we did allude to the exact possibility that ended up occurring yesterday afternoon – Richland unable to get across Snoqualmie Pass in time because of heavy snow, resulting wrecks and a closure of westbound I-90 that stranded the Bomber team and rooter buses for a time at one of the many rest stops along the route. So they, according to the Tri-City Herald, returned back to Richland last night and at least for the team, they’ll try again today, and with the forecast expected to be better, they should be able to get across and we should have some basketball for you today. Whether the rooter bus comes again we don’t know, but we liked this reply on our Twitter feed from the folks who run Evans Rankings, one of the many ranking services we have followed for you this season as the Wildcats have made their push for a title.

Of the Richland students, Evans told us, “Those kids are crazy enough though that they’ll cross country ski through the pass to get to the game.” And they almost had to yesterday. If you didn’t see our Twitter coverage or late writeup last night, essentially what happened is that the heavy snow did come in over the Cascades as expected around lunchtime, and as has been the case it seems the past three weekends, once again Snoqualmie Pass took the brunt of it and the westbound lanes going up the hill out of Easton toward Lake Keechelus and the summit became ground zero for numerous spin-out and other wrecks, forcing a closure of the highway that started around 2:30 and lasted a good two hours, right when the Richland people were expected through on their way to last night’s game.

We saw a video of the line of cars waiting to get through the closure zone on our Twitter feed, messaged to us by an Eastlake High School girls’ basketball supporter who had it relayed to her from someone aboard Newport High School’s girls’ basketball bus as it was headed east to their regional today in eastern Washington. And it was a long line for sure, probably all the way back to Cle Elum and beyond at its worst point.

So with that all said, Richland decided, according to the Herald, to turn around and return home – perhaps two hours on top of the two hours they had already been in the bus – only to have to do this again today. So that moves us now into discussion of another potential factor that could favor Mount Si: fatigue.

Long bus rides are nothing new for Richland – the Mid-Columbia Conference, of which they are part of, is full of them, especially in the postseason. But this long bus ride today – three hours, on top of perhaps upward of four hours round trip on the busses yesterday – could create some lethargic legs early in this one, and with Mount Si’s defense being strong throughout these playoffs, if the Wildcat “D”, led by senior Jonny Barrett, is able to take advantage of that if it occurs, Mount Si might be able to set the tempo and control things to their advantage. As Evans also told us, “If Mount Si can control the tempo and keep it close, they’ll have a chance. Otherwise Richland is going to run them out of the gym.”

So that will be the thing to watch today. The first five minutes. How will Richland respond to having sat in busses on long rides for two straight days. Especially when all Mount Si has to do is hop on a bus and travel 15 minutes down to Issaquah for the game.

Everything else we talked about yesterday remains the same today, and we continue to believe the factors do favor Mount Si and we continue to expect a win today.

We went 65-60 Wildcats as you know yesterday, and we stick with that this afternoon.

MOUNT SI 65, RICHLAND 60

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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