G Steven Beo, Richland, 6-3, junior
Broke onto the scene with 22 points in last year’s state title game.
G Viont’e Daniels, Federal Way, 6-3, senior
Never miss a local story.
Fadeaway jumper from the free-throw line is almost automatic.
G Ty Gibson, Issaquah, 6-3, senior
Can create shot from anywhere on the court.
G Nikhil Lizotte, Davis, 5-9, senior
Great speed, agility and ball handling helps him create creases to the basket.
G/F Tony Miller, Woodinville, 6-6, junior
Averaged KingCo best 23.7 points, 11.4 rebounds this year.
1. Federal Way (24-2): You might as well call them the Showtime Eagles. Every fastbreak is an opportunity for a slick pass, acrobatic finish or crowd-rocking off-the-backboard dunk. But what sets the Eagles over the top is TNT All-Area player of the year Viont’e Daniels (21.4 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) who can take over when needed.
2. Union (22-1): The Titans went 2-2 in 2009 at the state tournament, won it all in 2010 and reached the semis in 2011. This year they’ve got another all-around group led by Greater Saint Helens League most valuable player Micah Paulson (12.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists) and 6-foot-6 senior Riley Hawken (14.0 points, 10 rebounds).
3. Kentwood (22-3): The Conquerors were cruising against Camas last week before settling for jump shots, taking their foot off of the pedal and barely coming out with the W. But when SPSL Northeast MVP Malik Sanchez (14 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.8 steals) is getting to the basket and collecting offensive rebounds, Kentwood really comes to life.
4. Issaquah (20-5): The Eagles suffered a tough blow when sophomore Trevon Ary-Turner (17.2 points, 4.5 assists) broke his knuckle in his shooting hand in a win over Skyline on Feb. 5. But he could return for the state tournament. He forms a tough 1-2 punch with KingCo MVP Ty Gibson (23.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3 assists).
5. Richland (19-4): Sure, these Bombers aren’t the same that rolled into the state championship game last year without a loss. And sure, Steven Beo (27.7 points, 7.3 rebounds) was the only significant contributor returning. But as Beo lit teams up early in the season, the supporting cast, led by Landon Radliff (10.5 points) and Carson Miller (9.8 points), have come around in the second half.
6. Davis (19-4): Senior guard Nikhil Lizotte (18.7 ppg) might be 5-foot-9, but the Humboldt State signee more than holds his own finishing in traffic. Davis has won 15 of its past 16 games, including last week’s come-from-behind win over Gig Harbor. The last time the Pirates were in the Tacoma Dome they won the state title (2011-12 season).
7. Woodinville (18-6): Rule No. 1: Game plan for Tony Miller. The 6-foot-6 junior was the only player in Falcons history to make varsity as a freshman, and this year led the 4A KingCo in points (23.7) and rebounds (11.4). He has Woodinville in the state tournament for the first time in school history.
8. Moses Lake (16-5): No frontcourt is as big as the Chiefs’ with junior Cesar Sandoval at 6-foot-4, 270 pounds and 6-4 senior Tyson Karstetter. Moses Lake is making its first state appearance since the 1997-98 season and has a player on the roster named Isaiah Thomas. The last time a player named Isaiah Thomas played in the state tournament, the Curtis star set the 4A tournament career points record (241).