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Washington, SoCal Lead the Way in GNC

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Washington, SoCal Lead the Way in GNC

Washington and Southern California led the field of Boys Varsity teams Saturday at the Great Northwest Challenge Regional All-Star Tournament in Portland.

In a very competitive bracket, Washington won both of their games in Pool B, but had to work for it. The Loggers weathered some early attacks from Northern California, before scoring one first-half try. Washington’s superior work in the rucks and their methodical offensive work with the forwards got them started, and a nifty kicking game helped them gain some territory.

Led by a strong game from loose forward Brian Nault, and with the defense working all through the lineup, Washington scored three more tries to win 24-5. NorCal had already beaten Hawaii 22-12 in a game that was way too close for comfort, but Hawaii didn’t capitulate.

Showcasing athleticism and plenty of resiliency, Hawaii pushed Washington and were in it until the end - Washington won 12-5.

“It’s about playing together,” said Nault. “We have been training together and we’re a family. We kept to our patterns and we don’t let things get us down.”

In Pool A, Southern California was just too much for everyone, working their forward smartly and spinning the ball wide.

“We have a lot of experience and talent in this team,” said Head Coach Jeff Bonnett. “We’ve been able to create something that eliminates the lines between the players. No one rooms with someone from the same club. Forwards room with backs. We had guys driving three hours to practice. The commitment has been great.”

Hawaii were a somewhat unlucky 0-2, while Northern California was 1-1 in Pool B. In Pool A, Oregon played well in pushing Southern California and beat Montana, who finished 0-2.

So in the semis, it will be Washington against Oregon in a rematch of the warmup game earlier this spring, which Washington won comfortable, and Southern California against Northern California. NorCal and SoCal used to play each other regularly, with the Northerners winning every time, often by large margins. But it looks like Southern California might be a little stronger this year.

In JV, Southern California and Washington ended the day 2-0 and will finish their round-robin tomorrow, facing each other.