CLASS 4A BOYS
Wednesday-Saturday, Tacoma Dome
WEDNESDAY’S FIRST ROUND
3:45 p.m.: Kamiak (16-8) vs. No. 4 Union (20-6)
Winner vs. No. 2 Richland (23-1), 3:45 p.m. Thursday
5:30 p.m.: No. 7 Glacier Peak (21-3) vs. No. 9 Skyview (23-4)
Winner vs. No. 1 Gonzaga Prep (24-0), 5:30 p.m. Thursday
7:15 p.m.: Curtis (18-7) vs. No. 5 Davis (20-3)
Winner vs. No. 3 Federal Way (25-1), 7:15 p.m. Thursday
9 p.m.: No. 10 Lewis and Clark (17-8) vs. Sunnyside (19-4)
Winner vs. No. 8 Enumclaw (21-5), 9 p.m. Thursday
F Kaden Anderson, Enumclaw, 6-7, sr.
G/F Jaden McDaniels, Federal Way, 6-9, jr.
C Riley Sorn, Richland, 7-3, sr.
G Carson Tuttle, Kamiak, 5-11, sr.
F Anton Watson, Gonzaga Prep, 6-7, jr.
1. Gonzaga Prep (24-0): How is Gonzaga commit Anton Watson (21.9 ppg) a different player this time around in the Tacoma Dome? G-Prep coach Matty McIntyre said he’s much more aggressive – finally. And he reminded Wilson coach Dave Alwert of UW’s Mattise Thybule. Gonzaga coach Mark Few’s kid, AJ, is on the team, and Liam Lloyd’s dad is Gonzaga University assistant Tommy Lloyd.
2. Richland (23-1): Won’t be under the radar this time around to the Tacoma Dome. Now who doesn’t know about Richland’s 7-foot-3 center and 4A state player of the year Riley Sorn (16.6 ppg, 8.4 rebounds, 4 blocks)? Last year he broke the 4A tournament record for blocked shots (30 in four games) previously held by Ferris’ DeAngelo Casto.
3. Federal Way (25-1): Talk about G-Prep’s Watson getting more aggressive his junior year. So did Federal Way’s 6-foot-9 Jaden McDaniels (20.9 points, 10 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 3.3 blocks). If he keeps doing it all – defense, passing, scoring – for the Eagles, there’s a big chance they win their third state title in the past four years.
4. Union (20-6): They love the 3-ball in Vancouver. Even without reigning 4A state player of the year and last year’s 4A tournament MVP Cameron Cranston. Senior G Tyler Combs (16.5 ppg) and junior G Ethan Smith (14.7 ppg, 82 3-pointers) have thrived in coach Blake Conley’s system and the hope to take the Titans back to the title game.
5. Enumclaw (21-5): It took some time for their football players to adjust to basketball season. But now? The Hornets are back in the Dome and have posted nine consecutive wins, including the past three over Curtis, Federal Way and Skyview. Nobody in 4A rebounded better the Dome last year than F Kaden Anderson (20.3 ppg, 10.6 rebounds).
6. Davis (20-3): The Pirates have quietly been one of the state’s best 4A programs over the past decade. They won the 2012 state title and are making their seventh Tacoma Dome trip since 2009 and they brought 6-foot-7 rim protector Collin Kelly back to the Dome this year. The Pirates’ only losses this season have been against Gonzaga Prep, Richland and Union.
7. Skyview (23-4): This could be a darkhorse title contender. The Storm have a really solid starting five and a prolific scorer in junior G Alex Schumacher (16.9 ppg). But how will the big atmosphere impact them? Skyview started 17-0 on its way to reaching the state tournament for the first time in school history.
8. Glacier Peak (21-3): Senior G Bobby Martin (18.1 ppg) can score from just about anywhere, including driving baseline for the go-ahead score with 4.3 seconds left to punch the Grizzlies’ ticket to the Tacoma Dome like he did last week Skyline. And 6-5 G Trey Lawrence (10.5 ppg) poses matchup problems, too.
9. Lewis and Clark (17-8): Talk about matchup problems. How about 6-foot-7 senior guard Naje Smith (16.2 ppg)? He lit up Bellarmine Prep for 30 points to get the Tigers back to the Dome for the second time in three years. And he was one of the best players in the Dome as a sophomore. He helps set up 3-point threat Griffin Effenberger (12.8 ppg).
10. Kamiak (16-8): Some coaches say Carson Tuttle (22.6 ppg, 4.5 assists) is the best point in the Tacoma Dome this week. The Texas A&M Commerce signee has been the most electric player in Snohomish County the past two seasons, and last weekend he led the Knights to their first win in state history in knocking off defending champ Kentwood.
11. Curtis (18-7): Just when you count coach Tim Kelly out, he shows again why he’s a hall of fame coach with more than 450 career wins. The Vikings cruised past No. 6 Bothell last week in their eighth consecutive state appearance and now are in the Dome for the third year in a row behind junior F Zack Paulsen (16.8 ppg) and junior G Jordan Parker (11 ppg, 67 3-pointers).
12. Sunnyside (19-4): Another drought-busting school. The Grizzlies are in the Tacoma Dome for the first time since 1990 behind lightning-quick senior guard Trey Sanchez.
Last year’s state champion: Kentwood
TNT championship pick: Gonzaga Prep 58, Federal Way 57
CLASS 3A BOYS
Wednesday-Saturday, Tacoma Dome
WEDNESDAY’S FIRST ROUND
9 a.m.: Stanwood (17-7) vs. No. 9 Eastside Catholic (21-6)
Winner vs. No. 6 Kelso (21-4), 9 a.m. Thursday
10:30 a.m.: Mt. Spokane (18-6) vs. No. 3 O’Dea (23-4)
Winner vs. No. 1 Garfield (25-1), 10:30 a.m. Thursday
12:15 p.m.: No. 7 Seattle Prep (17-10) vs. No. 5 Timberline (19-6)
Winner vs. No. 2 Lincoln (24-1), 12:15 p.m. Thursday
2 p.m.: Prairie (20-6) vs. No. 10 Wilson (20-6)
Winner vs. No. 4 Rainier Beach (20-6), 2 p.m. Thursday
State semifinals are at 3:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Friday, championship is 7 p.m. Saturday
F J’Raan Brooks, Garfield, 6-9, sr.
G P.J. Fuller, Garfield, 6-5, jr.
G/F Emmitt Matthews Jr., Wilson, 6-7, sr.
G Kevin Porter Jr., Rainier Beach, 6-5, sr.
G Erik Stevenson, Timberline, 6-4, sr.
1. Garfield (25-1): Ranked the No. 8 team in the country by MaxPreps. The Bulldogs are powered by a lineup that includes 6-foot-9 J’Raan Brooks (11.3 ppg), who is ranked No. 79 nationally in the 2018 class by 247 Sports, and 6-5 P.J. Fuller (15.3 ppg), who is ranked No. 46 in the 2019 recruiting class. Fuller and coach Brandon Roy (the former NBA All-Star) were at Nathan Hale last year when it won the 3A title.
2. Lincoln (24-1): No nationally ranked recruits here – just a team with at least a share of six consecutive league titles that plays selfless basketball. And there’s a chip on their shoulders. The Abes return four starters from last year’s semifinal team, including two-time 3A PCL defensive MVP Willie Thomas (13 ppg, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks) and first-team guard Emmett Linton (17 ppg, 3 assists).
3. O’Dea (23-4): The last time a Metro League team not named Garfield, Rainier Beach or Nathan Hale won the 3A state title? That was Jason Kerr-coached Franklin in 2009. Now he’s at O’Dea with a young but talented squad led by junior guard Noah Williams (14.2 ppg), 6-foot-8 freshman Paolo Banchero (14.1 ppg, 10.2 rebounds) and 6-5 senior Cal Hansen (10.5 ppg, 8.9 rebounds).
4. Rainier Beach (20-6): Go watch Kevin Porter Jr.’s dunk against Chief Sealth, if you haven’t 10 times already. It even drew some praise from Kevin Garnett. Porter (23.4 ppg) is considered the No. 35 2018 recruit in the nation and is signed to USC. He and Trevante Anderson (18.7 ppg), who was the 3A PCL MVP at Lincoln last year, make for arguably the toughest backcourt in the state.5. Timberline (19-6):
A backcourt of Wichita State-bound Erik Stevenson (24 ppg, 6.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists), Eli Morton (13 ppg, 4.9 assists) and Casson Rouse (9.1 ppg)? They make the Blazers a threat to beat any team when firing on all cylinders. But Timberline’s lone Tacoma Dome victory in school history was in 2004 against Cleveland. Its 1980 state title was at the Seattle Coliseum.
6. Kelso (21-4): Kelso? In the state tournament? This hasn’t been a thing since 1993. But don’t look past the Hilanders just because they aren’t from King or Pierce counties. They have a Kevin McHale impersonator in 6-5 junior Shaw Anderson (22.4 ppg) and they have beat North Thurston, Lincoln and Timberline in consecutive games.
7. Seattle Prep (17-10): We’ve seen size at Seattle Prep before (think 7-foot-1 Spencer Hawes). And the Panthers have plenty of it this year, too, with 6-10 Lehigh commit Nic Lynch (16.8 ppg). And he’s had them rolling lately with wins over Garfield, Rainier Beach and North Thurston their past four games.
8. Eastside Catholic (21-6): A lot to like about this team, especially with senior captain Brock Mackenzie (18.5 ppg) running point and flanked by 6-5 freshman Shane Nowell (9.5 ppg), the younger brother of UW’s Jaylen Nowell. And 6-5 freshman J.T. Tuimoloau (8.5 ppg) already has football scholarship offers from USC and UW.
9. Wilson (20-6): We’ll see how the Rams look with UConn-bound and 6-foot-7 Emmitt Matthews Jr. (22.3 ppg, 9.4 rebounds) playing with a broken wrist. He thought he was out until being cleared to play just before Saturday’s loss to Garfield. But if he’s limited, expect seniors Londrell Hamilton (9.3 ppg) and 6-8 3-point threat Nate Stokes (8.9 ppg) to step up.
10. Mt. Spokane (18-6): It should be telling enough that the 3A Wildcats took fourth in the GSL, just behind 4A Gonzaga Prep, 4A Ferris and 4A Lewis and Clark. And it beat Post Falls, a favorite for Idaho’s 5A state title. 6-3 junior Jerry Twenge (15.6 ppg) has made 54 3-pointers this season.
11. Prairie (20-6): They’ll have a lot of confidence in a rematch against Wilson, which the Falcons held to 40 points in a win three weeks ago. That was after holding Capital to 40. Noticing a theme? Prairie is in state for the first time since 2008 because of defense, and first-team GSHL guards Kameron Osborn (21.5 ppg) and Dante Heischmidt (14.4 ppg).
12. Stanwood (17-7): Thought the Spartans were rebuilding after last year’s talented Tacoma Dome team? Not on coach Zach Ward’s watch. They beat Kamiakin last week to clinch their fourth trip to Tacoma in the past five years. G Nate Kummer (14.1 ppg) has stepped up as the top scoring presence after Stanwood graduated AJ Martinka and Chase Strieby.
Last year’s state champion: Nathan Hale
TNT championship pick: Garfield 65, Lincoln 61
CLASS 4A GIRLS
Wednesday-Saturday, Tacoma Dome
WEDNESDAY’S FIRST ROUND
9 a.m.: University (16-8) vs. No. 7 Bellarmine Prep (20-5)
Winner vs. No. 2 Moses Lake (23-0), 9 a.m. Thursday
10:30 a.m.: No. 8 Kentlake (19-7) vs. No. 6 Lake Stevens (19-4)
Winner vs. No. 1 Central Valley (24-0), 10:30 a.m. Thursday
12:15 p.m.: Lewis and Clark (16-8) vs. No. 5 Woodinville (19-4)
Winner vs. No. 3 Kentridge (24-2), 12:15 p.m. Thursday
2 p.m.: Union (19-7) vs. Camas (16-8)
Winner vs. No. 4 Eastlake (22-2), 2 p.m. Thursday
State semifinals are at 3:45 and 5:30 p.m on Friday. Championship is at 5 p.m. Saturday.
F Kylee Griffen, Lake Stevens, 6-2, sr.
F Lexie Hull, Central Valley, 6-1, sr.
C Jordyn Jenkins, Kentridge, 6-1, so.
PG Jamie Loera, Moses Lake, 5-9, sr.
F Shalyse Smith, Bellarmine Prep, 6-1, sr.
1. Central Valley: Can anyone even hang with the GSL champions? Last year, Bellarmine ended the Bears’ 52-game winning streak in the 4A quarterfinals. They are better – way better, especially defensively. With Stanford-bound Lexie (21.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg) and Lacie Hull (9.5 ppg, 4.8 apg) leading the way, it would take a superhuman effort to knock the 2016 state champions off again.
2. Kentridge: It is the Chargers’ state crown until somebody ends their reign. And with C Jordyn Jenkins (17.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and PF Jaquaya Miller (8.9 ppg, 8.7 rpg), the 4A NPSL player of the year, manning the interior, Kentridge has the best power post-playing tandem in the tournament. Last school to repeat as 4A champion was Gonzaga Prep in 2015.
3. Moses Lake: Yes, there is another undefeated squad from Eastern Washington in the field. And it should come as no surprise it is the Chiefs, given they have made three 4A semifinal appearances over the past four seasons. PG Jordan Loera (20.5 ppg) is playing like a veteran, and C Abby Rathbun (11.1 ppg, 8.8 rpg) could be most underrated post player in the tournament.
4. Woodinville: Watch out, these Falcons can fly. The two-time defending 4A KingCo champions will go as far as speedy PG Regan Schenck (12.1 ppg, 8.1 apg) can take them. Her penetration to the basket sets up the likes of PF Mia Hughes (19.3 ppg. 6.9 rpg), the team’s leading scorer as a ninth grader, for easy buckets. A true title-game threat.
5. Eastlake: The Wolves certainly have all the pieces to make a run. The 4A KingCo regular season champions are loaded with outside shooters, a reliable post player in C Keeli Burton and arguably the tournament’s best pure distributor in PG Gina Marxen (14.8 ppg, 6.5 apg), the two-time league MVP who has signed with Idaho. Both losses are to Woodinville.
6. Lake Stevens: There are some who think the biggest threat to favorite Central Valley lives further north. The 4A Wesco champions certainly have a ultra-talented scoring tandem in PF Kylee Griffen (21.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg), a Gonzaga signee, and PG Raigen Reed (15.9 ppg), a sophomore who shoots deep 3-pointers with ease. This is Lake Stevens’ first Tacoma Dome appearance since 2013.
7. Bellarmine Prep: Much of the 4A SPSL champions’ tournament fate rests on the health of PF Shalyse Smith (16.4 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 3.6 steals), who has missed the past two playoff games with Kentridge with a sprained ankle. The Arizona signee is the area’s best two-way player. If she is out, or not fully healthy, the Lions will have to rely even more on their sturdy team defense.
8. Lewis and Clark: Hey, we remember you. It wasn’t long ago that the Tigers were the state’s top program, winning four 4A titles (2006-08, 2011). But they had not been back to Tacoma since that 2011 championship. SF Jacinta Buckley (15.2 ppg, 9.6 rpg), a junior, leads the defense-first charge, but is versatile enough to post other forwards up, but also step back to shoot 3-pointers.
9. Kentlake: Is the Falcons’ grind-it-out style bearish? It can be. But coach GC Hillburn has tried to get this squad to be a little more offensive-minded this season, taking open shots when they come. PF Aniston Denckla (11.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg) directs the action on both ends, and needs to win one-on-one matchups against bigger forwards. Kentlake’s last state win in Tacoma was 2005.
10. University: As if it wasn’t this way already – the GSL certainly flexed its muscle as the state’s top league by putting three schools in the tournament for the first time since 2007. PG Ellie Boni (16.5 ppg) is a high-effort distributor who gives this group energy. The Titans are much more up-tempo and defensive-oriented than they were a decade ago.
11. Camas: The Papermakers can be a frustrating team to play because of all the different defenses they will unleash. And the 4A GSHL champions can afford to with a paint protector like C Courtney Clemmer (9.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg), the league MVP. Clemmer also is tough to defend on Camas’ pick-and-roll plays. This is the Papermakers’ second trip ever to the Tacoma Dome.
12. Union: Here’s a real feel-good story. The Titans had never won a playoff game until defeating Beamer (48-37) in the regional round. PG Mason Oberg (14.4 ppg), a Washougal transfer, has been a steady perimeter presence, but sophomore Mackenzie Lewis scored 20 points in the state-clinching win.
Last year’s state champion: Kentridge
TNT championship pick: Central Valley 65, Kentridge 55
CLASS 3A GIRLS
Wednesday-Saturday, Tacoma Dome
WEDNESDAY’S FIRST ROUND
3:45 p.m.: Mount Spokane (14-10) vs. No. 9 Garfield (20-7)
Winner vs. No. 2 Kamiakin (21-2), 3:45 p.m. Thursday
5:30 p.m.: Stanwood (17-6) vs. No. 3 Prairie (21-4)
Winner vs. No. 1 Lincoln (24-1), 5:30 p.m. Thursday
7:15 p.m.: Shorecrest (17-7) vs. No. 7 Seattle Prep (18-5)
Winner vs. No. 6 West Seattle (22-5), 7:15 p.m. Thursday
9 p.m.: No. 8 Bellevue (21-5) vs. No. 4 Bethel (21-4)
Winner vs. No. 5 Gig Harbor (19-6), 9 p.m. Thursday
State semifinals are at 7:15 and 9 p.m. on Friday. Championship is at 9 p.m. Saturday.
F Dalayah Daniels, Garfield, 6-4, so.
G Brynna Maxwell, Gig Harbor, 5-11, jr.
PG Kondalia Montgomery, Lincoln, 5-7, sr.
G Oumou Toure, Kamiakin, 5-11, jr.
F Brooke Walling, Prairie, 6-3, jr.
1. Kamiakin: The Braves are the slight favorite because they have the most dominant player in the tournament – SG Oumou Toure (26.1 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 3.0 apg). Pair this slashing scorer with PG Alexa Hazel (16.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg), and you have a scary backcourt duo. Kamiakin placed fifth and fourth the past two 3A tournaments.
2. Lincoln: Is this the Abes’ year? They have passed all tests so far, winning the WCD title playing aggressive man-to-man defense. PG Kondalia Montgomery (10.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.0 apg, 3.0 steals) is the sparkplug on both ends, but watch out for C Sharayah Johnson (14.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg) as a real interior factor. Lincoln lost to Bishop Blanchet a year ago in its first semifinal trip since 1980.
3. West Seattle: The two-time defending Sea-King District champions just keep coming at you. G Grace Sarver (13.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.0 steals) sets an aggressive tone on both ends, and leads group of quality outside shooters. F Meghan Fiso is versatile enough to roll to the basket or back up and shoot 3-pointers. West Seattle has never won a state-tournament opening game.
4. Seattle Prep: With just two seniors, the Panthers have arrived ahead of schedule. PG Bea Franklin (15.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 5.0 apg, 3.0 steals), a Notre Dame soccer commit, gives this young group a reliable ball-handler – and leader. She has a pair of talented post players to feed in ninth graders Molly Moffitt and Tamia Stricklin.
5. Prairie: Can the high-scoring Falcons add a seventh state title to their haul? Absolutely. But they’ve been up and down in the playoffs. C Brooke Walling (17.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg) needs her touches inside, and that should do well to set up SG Cassidy Gardner (11.8 ppg, 4.3 apg) on the perimeter. Prairie last won the 3A title in 2012.
6. Gig Harbor: This is a fun team, even though it is one with little margin for error. The Tides are hot (won 13 of past 15 games), they seemingly have a good bracket – and they have two players capable of carrying them in SG Brynna Maxwell (20.4 ppg, 8.0 rpg) and PF Maddie Willett (15.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg). Gig Harbor’s last state opening-round win was 1994.
7. Garfield: This could be the start of something really good again for the three-time state champions. And much of it has to do with the high-ceiling potential of C Dalayah Daniels (14.2 ppg. 11.3 rpg, 2.7 blocks), a 6-foot-4 sophomore. She is an inconsistent scorer, but dominates on defense. SG Samaiyah Tolliver (12.5 ppg) is the Bulldogs’ best shooter. This is Garfield’s first state trip since 2010.
8. Bethel: What a career for longtime coach John Ainslie, who has only one thing left to check off – get a state-tournament victory in the Dome (0-14 record). If PG Esmeralda Morales (16.8 ppg, 3.5 steals) is allowed to roam freely on both ends, she can change a game. Both Brown sisters, Tianna and Tiarra, average 12.4 points per game. All four losses are to Lincoln.
9. Bellevue: The Wolverines might not be loaded with the same number of high-flying athletes from the 2016 state championship squad, but they still have smart, skilled players. PG Kara Choi (14.2 ppg), the 3A KingCo MVP, continues the program’s run of quality floor generals. SG Annika Prins (14.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg), the team’s point guard last year, can also run the show.
10. Stanwood: Talk about peaking at the right time, this experienced group (four senior starters) won its first district title in two decades by upending 3A Wesco champion Snohomish. SF Ashley Alter (16.3 ppg, 3.7 steals) gets it all rolling from the wing, and has PF Kaitlin Larson (12.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg) to rely on inside. Stanwood’s last opening win in the Tacoma Dome was 1998.
11. Mount Spokane: Two years ago, when the Wildcats placed a school-best fourth, they were senior-dominated. The only returning starter off that squad still playing is PG Aspyn Adams (18.0 ppg), who moved back to her natural position after her sister, Averi, suffered a season-ending knee injury. With an all-junior starting lineup, this could be the start of a two-year run.
12. Shorecrest: In 2016, the Scots captured the Class 2A title. Now, they are back in the 3A tournament. PF Julia Strand (13.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.0 steals) is back fully healthy after missing last season with a serious knee injury. PG Kira Wood (10.6 ppg) is a spark off the bench. Just like Stanwood, team finished third in 3A Wesco, and got going at the right time.
Last year’s state champion: Mercer Island
TNT championship pick: West Seattle 55, Lincoln 50