G Zach LaVine, Bothell, Jr., 6-3
Electrifying underclassman might be best player in the state
G Tucker Haymond, Garfield, Jr., 6-5
KingCo 4A MVP averages 22 points, 10 rebounds per game
F Sefo Liufau, Bellarmine Prep, Jr., 6-4
All-around player can score, rebound, pass and block shots
G/F Jason Todd, Jackson, Soph., 6-5
Tourney will be his coming out party as one of the state’s best
G David Trimble, Davis, Sr., 6-2
Lightning quick 3-time league MVP has Pirates eyeing the title
1. Yakima Davis (20-2)
Making their third straight trip to state, the Pirates are primed to make a run at what would be their first championship since 1965. Davis’ losses have been to 3A No. 1 Kamiakin and Post Falls, the second-ranked Class 5A team in Idaho. With no players taller than 6-foot-4, the Pirates push the ball on offense and apply pressure on defense. Davis is balanced, with guards David Trimble and Raymond Navarro and forward Devonte Luckett averaging double-figures in scoring, and guard Cooper Kupp and Levonte Allen aren’t far behind.
2. Bellarmine Prep (23-3)
Maybe the most balanced team in the tournament, four Lions average double-figures in scoring – forward Lucas Meikle (14), guard David Smith (13), forward Sefo Liufau 911) and guard Isaiah Flynn (10). Bellarmine Prep can beat teams inside with the 6-foot-5 Liufau and 6-foot-8 Meikle and outside with shooters Smith, Flynn and Conner Jensen. The Lions face Mount Rainier in the quarterfinals, a team they beat 67-61 only 10 days ago.
3. Spokane Central Valley (20-3)
The undersized Bears enter the tournament on a 17-game winning streak that dates to Dec. 28. Guard Austin Rehkow (12.3 ppg) leads the Greater Spokane League champions in scoring. Gavin Deyarmin, a 6-foot-2 guard, and Anthony Brommer, a 6-foot-3 forward, might not match the size of some opponents, but both play a physical style and won’t back down. A GSL team has won state three of the past five seasons; Central Valley is capable of adding to the league’s legacy.
4. Garfield (19-5)
No Tony Wroten? No problem. Even without Wroten, the Bulldogs continue to win and remain a force in Class 4A. Guard Tucker Haymond and win Trevaunte Williams are Garfields main contributors. The two juniors average double-doubles in scoring and rebounds. Coach Ed Haskins says the team’s strengths are defense, team work, rebounding and athleticism.
5. Union (18-7)
BYU-bound guard Jordan Chatman, who’s averaging more than 20 points per game, attracts a lot of attention, but he’s not the only Titan teams should worry about. Guards Tanner Nelson and Tyler Copp can also take over games offensively. Union’s full-court pressing defense can humiliate and fluster opponents, leading to easy baskets in transition. If the Titans can keep the pressure ratcheted up throughout the tournament, they could add a 4A title to the 3A crown they won in 2010.
6. Jackson (19-5)
The Timberwolves made a stunning run to the state finals in 2010. No one should be surprised if Jackson finds its way back to title game this week. Sophomore guard/forward Jason Todd (19 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists per game) is complemented by a trio of guards in Don Kingma (9 ppg), Sam Brown (9 ppg) and Andrew Graff (7 ppg).
7. Mount Rainier (18-10)
There’s no scoring shortage here. Athletic guards Adrian Davis (17 ppg) and Malik Rodgers (14 ppg) can shred defenses, sharpshooter Caden Rowland (17 ppg) is a perimeter threat and forward Dwane Clay (10 ppg, 9 rpg) cleans up inside. The Rams will push the tempo and teams that can’t keep up or slow them down will crumble quickly.
8. Bothell (17-9)
The up-and-down Cougars enter state on their longest winning streak of the season – four games. Don’t be surprised if Bothell extends it to seven and claims its first title since 1927. Guard Zach LaVine is capable of giving an Isaiah Thomas-like performance – remember when Thomas erupted for 51 points in a single game at state in 2006? – and talented guard Perrion Callandret will keep opposing defenses honest.
TNT Tournament Picks
Davis over Bothell
Bellarmine Prep over Mount Rainier
Union over Jackson
Central Valley over Garfield
Bellarmine Prep over Davis
Union over Central Valley
Bellarmine Prep over Union