Richland boys, Kamiakin girls set for state tournament in Tacoma - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Richland boys, Kamiakin girls set for state tournament in Tacoma

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- Thursday the WIAA basketball tournaments begin. For the first time since 2008 the Richland Bombers are in the elite eight. Richland starts its run through Tacoma with Arlington--not as tough a draw as the 2008 Bellarmine Prep team with Avery Bradley (Boston Celtics) and Abdul Gaddy (UW Huskies). The new group of Bombers are ready to take advantage of this opportunity.

"The guys are really anxious to get there. They've been very focused on getting to Tacoma for so long, and now it's finally here. Getting that itinerary set and all those little things taken care of. They're just anxious to get there. I don't know how many times they stopped me. You look at them and they look different. They're just excited to get out there and get it done," Richland boys' head coach Earl Streufert said.

The Kamiakin girls will join Richland in Tacoma, familiar territory for many of the Lady Braves who went last season. Now is the time they want to show they can go all the way. Kamiakin draws a tall Seattle Prep squad with three different starters standing at least six feet tall. The Braves talk about the excitement level of the state tournament.

"In the locker room they're thrilling to be going. As a coach you get concerned about trying to keep a routine. We have such a routine. We had no games where we've spent the night, not staying in your own bed. So you try to stay in a routine, shooting practice," Kamiakin girls' head coach Lane Schumacher said.

"I think we have a good chance up there. If we can play our game, we should do well. It's a matter of if we come with fundamentals and we come with our heart and play tough," added senior Courtney Nelson, Mid-Columbia Conference girls' player of the year.