You’d have a long day trying to convince the Foss High School boys basketball team that it is the 46th best team in the state’s 2A classification.
That was one of the surprising results of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s inaugural boys and girls basketball rankings — which could eventually affect other sports — published to its website Friday afternoon.
The top-ranked boys teams: 9-2 Union (4A), 10-0 Nathan Hale (3A), 7-2 Mark Morris (2A), 9-1 Freeman (1A), 7-0 Kittitas (2B), and 5-0 Lummi (1B).
The top-ranked girls teams: 9-0 Sunnyside (4A), 11-0 Bishop Blanchet (3A), 9-1 White River (2A), 9-1 Lynden Christian (1A), 7-0 Dayton (2B) and 8-1 Colton (1B).
Not all teams’ records were accurate at the time of the rankings’ release. The WIAA takes records from MaxPreps.com, and schools that don’t have their accurate record on the website can skew the rankings, which will be updated daily until the end of the regular season.
“It is the responsibility of the WIAA member schools to manage their schedules and scores using MaxPreps,” the WIAA said in a statement Friday.
They don’t mean anything until after the district playoffs near the end of February, when qualifying schools will be seeded into the regional round of the state tournament based on their ranking.
So, for now, this is a small sample size.
But why is Foss ranked 46th?
Because it is 6-4 — even though one of its losses was to 3A Timberline, and the other three were in the MaxPreps Holiday Classic against Capital Christian of Sacramento, California; Desert Pines of Las Vegas; and Pinnacle of Phoenix.
The rankings calculate all out-of-state opponents as .500 teams, regardless of whether they are the Cleveland Cavaliers or an elementary school team from Alaska.
Some other notables in the inaugural rankings:
In 4A boys, two-time defending state champion Federal Way was ranked third. At 10-0, it is the only unbeaten team in 4A and is riding a 53-game win streak dating to 2015, but it has the second-lowest opponent win percentage of schools in the top 10 behind No. 8 Glacier Peak.
The WIAA factors strength of schedule higher than any other component, weighing it at 75 percent of the team’s rating (50 percent opponent win percentage, 25 percent opponents of opponents win percentage). The other 25 percent weight is the school’s own win percentage.
Unbeaten Lincoln was ranked No. 2 in 3A boys with Timberline at No. 4 and Capital No. 10.
In 4A girls, Kentlake was ranked fifth and Kentridge was 10th. Gig Harbor was No. 4 in 3A girls, Lincoln was ninth and Peninsula was 10th.
The RPI system was approved by the WIAA executive board in September after a survey of school administrators and basketball coaches found that the stakeholders favored an RPI system to the WIAA’s previous draw criteria to seed teams into the state tournament.
The WIAA also created an RPI committee, which consists of athletic directors and coaches of multiple sports, not just basketball.
The WIAA said in a statement on Friday that it will “continuously monitor the current formula throughout the season and provide input for necessary changes in future years.”
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677