G D.J. Fenner, Seattle Prep, 6-6, senior
28.2 points, 7.0 rebounds
G Brett Bailey, University, 6-6, senior
23.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.1 blocked shots
F Tre’Shaun Fletcher, Lincoln, 6-6, senior
21.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists
F Donaven Dorsey, Timberline, 6-6, junior
21.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists
G Ahmaad Rorie, Lincoln, 6-0, junior
21.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists
1. Rainier Beach (22-4): The talent pool is deep – but is that a blessing or curse? The Vikings win by overwhelming opponents with athleticism, led by junior Shaqquan Aaron (20.0 ppg), a 6-foot-7 forward who gave an oral commitment to Louisville two weeks ago. Guard Marquis Davis is a defensive stopper. To defeat the defending 3A champions, teams have to limit the Vikings’ rebounding advantage, control tempo – and hope to catch them on an off night. Four of school’s six 3A titles have come since 2002.
2. Lincoln (21-3): For the Abes, it seems like an us-versus-the-Sea-King District quest for the 3A title. The Narrows League champions have one thing the other contenders don’t – the tournament’s best point guard in Ahmaad Rorie, a California commit. He gets Lincoln in its motion offense, and finds Colorado signee Tre’Shaun Fletcher in the high post, or locates sweet-shooting Ar’Mond Davis (11.0 ppg). The biggest development for the Abes has been their shutdown half-court defense.
3. Lakeside (Seattle) (22-4): The unsung favorites of the big dance. Why? The Lions have not seriously contended for a title since 1989 (61-57 overtime loss to Chief Sealth in the championship game) — and haven’t been in the state tournament in 22 years. Lakeside has the necessary size to match anyone (center Peter French is a 7-footer), and its guards are as good as anyone’s – led by Tramaine Isabell (18.7 ppg), who is amazing off the dribble. Don’t be surprised if the Lions run the table.
4. Mountlake Terrace (21-3): It is back-to-back trips for the Hawks, who arguably are the most balanced squad in the tournament with four players scoring in double-figures. They tend to be more guard-oriented with Marquis Armstead (12.2 ppg) and Blake Fernandez (11.0 ppg) – but don’t go to sleep on 6-7 forward Greg Bowman (12.5 ppg). The 3A Wesco champions are making their third consecutive state appearance.
5. Seattle Prep (20-7): Quietly this program goes about its business, but the Panthers have played in three 3A title games since 2000, winning it all in 2006. Everything they do feeds off guard D.J. Fenner, who is built like his father (former Seahawks running back Derrick Fenner) but has one of the best first steps around. The Metro League player of the year has signed with Nevada. And the more opposing defenses send help Fenner’s way, he will pass out to play-making point guard Lawrence Hicks. A real sleeper.
6. Franklin (17-9): In a word – dangerous. And at this time of year, coach Jason Kerr usually finds a way to get his Quakers ready for the biggest stages. Forward Patrick Ball (17.9 ppg, 9.0 rpg) is a real tone-setter on offense and defense, and was an all-Metro League selection as a shooter-slasher scoring threat. If he can get his teammates to feed off his relentless energy, especially on defense, Franklin can really be a factor.
7. Timberline (16-9): What can you say about the never-say-die Blazers? They’re coming in as the Narrows 3A’s third-place squad but have played like a title-contending team in the playoffs. At midseason, they were 8-7, but the emergence of point guard Brandell Evans has freed up star forward Donaven Dorsey. The Blazers’ last state berth was in 2004.
8. University (16-7): See guard Brett Bailey score (shooting 55 percent from the floor). See Bailey set the team’s overall energy. See Bailey lead the charge defensively. It is safe to say, the University of San Diego signee will be a force at both ends, especially in transition. The Titans have struggled once teams have slowed them down and made them perform in the half-court. Junior point guard DeShaun Boswell (6.7 ppg, 3.6 apg) can be a real Xemail@example.com