G Khadidja Toure, Kamiakin, Sr., 5-9
Set school record for points in a game with 48 this season
G Heather Corral, Prairie, Sr., 6-1
UW recruit will play at state for first time since a freshman
C Michaela Carew, Seattle Prep, Jr., 6-2
Averages a double-double (12 ppg, 10 rpg)
G Bri Lasconia, Shorecrest, Sr., 5-9
Dynamite scorer averages 17.4 ppg
G Patrice Toston, Franklin, Sr., 5-8
Quakers’ leading scorer helped team to 18-game win streak
1. Prairie (24-1)
Making its 15th straight trip state tournament– the Falcons have three titles and seven finals appearances in that span – coach Al Aldridge’s team is loaded for a run at another championship. Prairie reached the title game last year without Washington-bound guard Heather Corral, but the senior is healthy and gives the balanced Falcons’ title hopes a boost. Guards Megan Lindsley, Cori Woodward and Jackie Lanz all average double-figures in scoring.
2. Kamiakin (23-0)
Star guard Khadidja Toure will attract plenty of attention – rightfully so, the Oregon State commit is averaging 21.2 points per game and scored a school record 48 against Yakima West Valley this season. But if forward Courtney Nelson is left unattended, she’ll bury opponents quick. Nelson is averaging 23.3 points per game in the postseason. Kamiakin has won all but five of it games by double digits. It’s reasonable to assume the Braves will face their biggest challenge in the quarterfinals against Franklin.
3. Franklin (22-3)
The Quakers have perhaps the glossiest résumé of the eight teams in the field. Franklin emerged from the rugged Metro League as conference champions and successfully navigated the Sea-King District tournament and enter the quarterfinals on an 18-game winning streak. Franklin is balanced with all five starters averaging between eight and 13 points per game, led by senior guard Patrice Toston’s 12.6 point-per-game average.
4. Seattle Prep (21-6)
All of the Panthers’ six losses have come to state tournament teams – Lakeside, Cleveland (twice) and Franklin (twice) in 3A and 4A qualifier Gonzaga Prep. Seattle Prep has reached state in each of the past seven seasons, but have never placed higher than fourth in that span. The Panthers have good post play with center Michaela Hall and forwards Nicola Hall and Quinn Glosniak – each of that trio stands 6-foot or taller.
5. Cleveland (20-6)
After sprinting to a 16-2 start, the Eagles hit a rough patch, splitting their next eight games. Don’t count out Cleveland, though. The Eagles were a surprise state champion in 2010 and coach Stephanie Wheeler-Smith has kept the team on track. Cleveland’s bench is deep, but Makayla Roper and MyMy Ladd provide the bulk of the scoring.
6. Shorecrest (20-4)
The Highlanders don’t have much history when it comes to the state tournament – they hadn’t qualified before 2010 – but they’re making their third straight appearance with a senior-heavy group so experience won’t be in short supply. Senior guard Bri Lasconia leads Shorecrest in scoring, averaging 17.4 points per game, and sophomore guard Onyie Chibuogwu dazzled in a winner-to-state game when she poured in a career-high 34 points.
7. Lakeside (20-7)
Flip the result of the Lions’ ugly 30-24 loss to Franklin in the Sea-King District finals on Feb. 18 and Lakeside would be riding an 11-game winning streak. The Lions don’t light up the scoreboard – they average 46.2 points per game – but their in-your-face defense is effective, holding opponents to 37.1 points per game. Kaylee Best and Danielle Estelle are the team’s leading scorers.
8. University (16-7)
The Titans enter the quarterfinals precariously. In their last nine games, they’ve lost four. University stumbled in the Greater Spokane League playoffs, but bounced back, winning two straight loser-out games to reach the Tacoma Dome. University is at its best when its winning with defense. The Titans rarely rout teams and rely on wings Hallie Gennett (14 ppg) and Kayleigh Valley (13.5 ppg) for scoring.
TNT Tourney Picks
Kamiakin over Franklin
Cleveland over Shorecrest
Prairie over Lakeside
Seattle Prep over University
Kamiakin over Cleveland
Prairie over Seattle Prep
Prairie over Kamiakin