The Prep Blog

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

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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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Boys Basketball: Class 3A state tournament capsules, predictions


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.
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Boys Basketball: Class 4A state tournament capsules

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.
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Basketball: 4A, 3A state title games will not be televised

If you want to watch the 4A and 3A boys and girls basketball championship games on March 3, you’ll have to be at the Tacoma Dome or go online.

The games will not be televised.

Click here to read my story why.

There’s plenty of blame to go around.

Prep basketball coaches are nearly unanimous in their discontent with the WIAA over the changes that have been made to the state tournaments in the past two seasons. Taking the most important games of the season off of television won’t help repair that relationship.

Adding to the friction is that most coaches were surprised by the news. I spoke to a few coaches Saturday about the games not being televised and they weren’t aware of it until I tweeted it Friday afternoon.

I learned of it shortly before, but this change wasn’t completely out of the blue.
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Girls Basketball: State tournament qualifiers

The girls basketball regional round is complete.

There were some upsets — No. 5 Skyview thumped No. 2 Lake Stevens 72-56 — and thrillers — Seattle Prep and Shorecrest won tight games over Auburn Mountainview and Timberline — and routs — Prairie pounded Juanita 65-28.

You can find a list of state-qualifying teams in each classification by clicking here.

I’ll be at the draw Sunday at WIAA headquarters in Renton. You can watch the draw online here.

You’ll also be able to watch the 4A and 3A boys and girls championship games online. But you won’t

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Basketball: Statewide regional tournament schedule for all classifications

Below are schedules for boys and girls basketball regional tournaments for all classifications. You can see the matchups on the WIAA site here.

Also, the WIAA will webcast the state tournament draws on Sunday. I think it’s great that the public will have the opportunity to view the draw. The procedure and process is always a hot topic in the days leading up to and following the draw. Now

As someone who’s attended a few draws, I think most people that watch will fall into one of two categories. You’ll be fascinated by the process or bored out of your skull. Either way, it should be informative.


All games will be played Friday, Feb. 24

All games are winner-to-Tacoma Dome, loser-out

At Juanita HS
Game 1: Issaquah (14-9) vs. Mount Rainier (17-10), 6 p.m.
Game 2: Kentwood (18-7) vs. Garfield (18-5), 8 p.m.

At Kent-Meridian HS
Game 1: Federal Way (16-8) vs. Jackson (18-5), 6 p.m.
Game 2: Snohomish (17-6) vs. Bellarmine Prep (22-3), 8 p.m.

At Auburn HS
Game 1: Bothell (16-9) vs. Olympia (20-5), 6 p.m.
Game 2: Union (17-7) vs. Curtis (20-6), 8 p.m.
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State Basketball: Locations of regional games

I’ve been focusing on football recruiting for most of the past few weeks, so this might be old news to many of you, but it’s new to me.

You can find the locations of the boys and girls basketball regional games here.

Remember, the state hoops tournaments took on a new format last year. The first-round games are played at regional sites across the state, while the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals are in one location — 4A, 3A at the Tacoma Dome; 2A, 1A at the Yakima SunDome; and 2B, 1B at Spokane Arena.

A major complaint about the

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WIAA: Rep Assembly amendments revealed

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association released the 2012 Rep Assembly amendments today.

Click here to view the amendments.

Only one of the 16 amendments piqued my interest. Amendment No. 1 deals with how schools are classified. Here’s how it reads:

classifications able to demonstrate (via the P223) that enrollment in their school district
for the next two-year classification cycle is below the cutoff point determined by the
classification process for both years will have the option to participate in the lower
classification. Movement by a school will not force another school into a higher
classification to replace the school with declining enrollment. Utilizing this procedure
would override 4.2.0 for the two classifications affected.

NOTE: All subsequent subsections of Article 4 would be renumbered.

1. The current classification system does not address declining enrollment.

2. The current classification system counts two graduating classes that never participate
during the following two-year cycle.
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