F Mitch Brewe, Seattle Prep, Sr., 6-8
Metro League MVP will play at UC Santa Barbara
G Anrio Adams, Rainier Beach, Sr., 6-3
Will play at the University of Kansas
F Justin Pedley, Kamiakin, Sr., 6-6
Ratcheted up his scoring output in the postseason
C Darien Nelson-Henry, Lake Washington, Sr., 6-11
Massive man in the paint is a mismatch for all
F Mitch Penner, Kennedy Catholic, Sr., 6-5
Driving force behind surging Lancers averaging 23 ppg
1. Seattle Prep (22-5)
The Panthers enter the tournament as one of the hottest teams in the state. Prep clipped Lake Washington and Rainier Beach on the way to the Sea-King district title and walloped Mountain View in a winner-to-state game. UC Santa Barbara-bound Mitch Brewe (16.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg) and guard D.J. Fenner (18.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg) give Prep an explosive one-two scoring punch. The Panthers are a tournament favorite, but split two games this season with quarterfinal foe O’Dea.
2. Kamiakin (22-1)
A year after coming within an overtime period of reaching the state finals, the Braves are aiming for the first championship in school history. In forwards Justin Pedley, a 6-foot-6 senior, and Zach En’Wezoh, a 6-foot-7 senior, Kamiakin boasts a terrific inside presence. Pedley has picked up his game in the postseason, averaging 23.8 points per game in his last five contests.
3. Rainier Beach (24-3)
After spending most of the season atop the Class 3A state rankings, the Vikings appeared to be mortal near the end of the season. Rainier Beach fell to rival O’Dea, 56-55, on Feb. 7 and to Seattle Prep, 61-56, on Feb. 18. Guards Anrio Adams, a Kansas commit who averages more than 20 points per game, and Marquis Davis are the Vikings’ leading scorers.
4. O’Dea (20-7)
Through the first six weeks of the season, the Irish posted a very un-O’Dea-like record, stumbling to a 9-6 record. But since a loss to Franklin at the King Holiday Hoopfest, O’Dea has been nearly unstoppable, winning 11 of its past 12, including wins over Seattle Prep, Rainier Beach, Mercer Island, Lake Washington and Lincoln. Sekou Wiggs and Dana Abe are offensive threats – each average about 18 points per game. If the Irish get past Seattle Prep Thursday, they’ve got the talent and big-game experience to go the distance.
5. Mountlake Terrace (23-1)
The Hawks are a basket away from a perfect record – their only defeat is a 55-54 loss to Stanwood Feb. 4. Mountlake Terrace is balanced – guards Blake Fernandez and Marquis Armstead and wing Ryan Shannon – average low double-figures in scoring. The Hawks fared well against SPSL champion Decatur last week, winning the winner-to-state game 77-62, but the quarterfinal matchup against Rainier Beach will be their biggest challenge yet.
6. Kennedy Catholic (21-3)
Any belief that Kennedy Catholic’s glittering record was a product of playing in the usually-not-strong Seamount League was put to rest when the Lancers reeled off consecutive wins over Foss, Lincoln and Wilson en route to the bi-district tournament title and over Mercer Island in a winner-to-state contest. Forward Mitch Penner scores in bunches and can carry the team.
7. University (19-4)
With seven players capable of scoring in double-figures, the Titans are deep offensively. Not surprising, University piles up points quickly. The Titans topped 75 points in five games this season, including a 95-point output in a regulation win over Kennewick last week. Junior guard Brett Bailey, who has given an oral commitment to San Diego, averages 16.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game and forward Zech Martin averages 13.7 points and 6.1 rebounds.
8. Lake Washington (20-6)
The Kangaroos have something no teams can match – a 6-foot-11 center. Lake Washington’s offense runs through Pennsylvania-bound Darien Nelson-Henry, who averages 18 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks per game. If teams collapse on Nelson-Henry, guard Matt Staudacher and forward Guy Lynott can get to the hoop.
TNT Tourney Picks
Rainier Beach over Mountlake Terrace
University over Lake Washington
Seattle Prep over O’Dea
Kamiakin over Kennedy Catholic
Rainier Beach over University
Seattle Prep over Kamiakin
Seattle Prep over Rainier Beach