High school winter sports in Klickitat County got underway this week, tipping off with Columbia High boys and girls basketball games on Tuesday and the B school jamboree at Klickitat on Wednesday.
But that was just the start of the first week of the 2004-05 season that wraps up this weekend with a full slate of basketball and wrestling action.
Trout Lake, which opened the boys basketball season at home on Tuesday against Vancouver Christian, hosts the Mt. Adams Shootout this Friday and Saturday. Trout Lake and Glenwood make up one half of the boys' tournament field.
Glenwood and Columbia High's girls junior varsity comprise half of the girls'. (The CHS jayvee replaced Trout Lake, which does not have a girls team this year.)
Lyle's boys and girls basketball teams, meanwhile, will take to the road Friday and Saturday for the Sherman County Tip-off Tournament in Moro, Ore.
Klickitat's boys and girls basketball also will be away on opening weekend, traveling to Dufur, Ore., Friday and Saturday for a tournament.
In White Salmon, Columbia High's wrestling team will entertain Stevenson and Goldendale on Saturday for the first Bruin Invitational, which starts at 11 a.m. in Miller Memorial Gym.
The Columbia Gorge Officials Association will employ three-person crews for all varsity basketball--and some junior varsity basketball--games this season.
According GCOA official (and past president) Dave VanLaar, three-man mechanics are being used statewide for the first time under a three-year agreement between the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association and the Washington Officials Association.
The reasoning behind institution of three-man mechanics? "The WIAA wants to clean up the rough play," said VanLaar, "which I'm totally in favor of because it has no place in the game of basketball."
In theory, three-man mechanics should temper rough play because "it puts another set of eyes on the court to watch the off-ball action," VanLaar noted.
Whether three-man mechanics proves in practice to be more advantageous in that respect than two-man mechanics remains to be seen, however.
"Columbia Gorge is dedicated to calling rough play," VanLaar said. "But that's not the case with all associations. Until we, as officials, are all on the same page and willing to call what we see, I'm not sure we're going to see that much of an improvement."