The Prep Blog

Covering high school sports in Tacoma, Pierce County and the South Sound

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Tag: State Tournaments


Basketball: Four things to watch at the 4A, 3A state tournaments

Used to be, it seemed like the Class 3A boys basketball state tournament was an extension of the Metro League playoffs and teams from around the state were invited as fodder for early rounds in the tourney.

From 1997 to 2009, a Metro team won state 11 times and played in the finals the two years it didn’t win.

But since a Peyton Siva-led Franklin team was crowned in 2009, Metro teams haven’t been able to get past the semifinals. Can second-ranked Seattle Prep, No. 3 Rainier Beach or No. 4 O’Dea end that trend?

Remember when everyone could point to Ferris being the clear-cut favorite to win the Class 4A boys basketball championship in 2007 and 2008? Or Federal Way in 2009?

That’s not the case this week.

The consensus among coaches at the tournament draw on Sunday was the state trophy is up for grabs.

“It’s wide open,” Bellarmine Prep coach Bernie Salazar said.

Sure, Davis of Yakima and Bellarmine Prep have spent time atop the state rankings this season, but neither is a lock reach the finals. Strong cases can be made for all eight teams, including unranked Bothell and Union.
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Basketball: Road to the Tacoma Dome, Class 4A edition

Gonzaga Prep held off Curtis and DaVonte Lacy (center) in the finals of the Class 4A boys basketball state tournament in 2011.

Just as I did during football season, I’ll break down how teams can qualify for the basketball state tournaments. Because the current state tournament format has been used only once, here’s a brief primer.

For instance, when I refer to the “regional round of the state tournament,” I mean the games that will be played on Feb. 24-25. These games will be played at sites around the state and you can see the venues for each classification here. Teams will not play in the Tacoma Dome, Yakima SunDome or Spokane Arena, depending on their classification, until the quarterfinals of the state tournament, which begin on Thursday, March 1.

That out of the way, here’s how teams will qualify for state:


CLASS 4A: Boys Basketball

Teams to state: Two, plus one to pigtail game with KingCo
Lowdown: The double-elimination tournament begins Wednesday (tonight). The top four teams from WesCo North and top four teams from WesCo South qualified. Two teams from this tournament will receive automatic berths to the regional round of the state tournament, while the third-place team will host KingCo No. 3 in a winner-to-state game on Feb. 21.
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Volleyball: Wall-to-wall state tournament coverage

With the 4A, 3A and 2A volleyball state tournaments in our backyard this year, we’re devoting plenty of resources to covering it. We’ve got three reporters and a photographer at Saint Martin’s College and The Evergreen State College for the two-day tournaments.

Stay updated on the match results by clicking here. Check back late-Friday night for recaps of the first-day action.

Here are massive preview capsules for Class 4A, Class 3A and Class 2A.

Here’s a feature on the best volleyball team in the state, regardless of classification.

For those that want to keep tabs

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