G Isiah Brown, Lakeside of Seattle, 6-3, junior
Had an offer from the University of Washington in the eighth grade.
G Kyle Foreman, Bellevue, 6-2, senior
Boston University commit makes Wolverines tick.
F Dejounte Murray, Rainier Beach, 6-5, senior
Had about as many dunks as Columbia River had field goals last week.
G Jaylen Nowell, Garfield, 6-5, sophomore
Sophomore on track to be state’s next great talent.
F Matisse Thybulle, Eastside Catholic, 6-6, senior
Had an incredible 360 dunk against Ingraham.
1. Rainier Beach (23-3): The Vikings suffered a tough blow when they lost junior Keith Smith (22 points, 10 rebounds) for the season with a torn meniscus. UW-bound Dejounte Murray stepped up, but so did senior guards Shadeed Shabazz and Wilson-transfer Ivy Smith Jr. Garfield is the lone in-state opponent to beat Beach this season.
2. Bellevue (23-3): The Wolverines potential road to the state title: Rainier Beach, Eastside Catholic, Garfield. That would be brutal. But when Kyle Foreman (10.6 points) is setting up open 3-pointers for Sharif Khan (10.9 points) and Zack Moore (12.6 points), they are near unbeatable. Beach is the lone in-state opponent to beat Bellevue this season.
3. Garfield (24-2): Rainier Beach isn’t the only defending state champion in this loaded tournament. Defending 4A champion Garfield has been a 3A force this season with a big-time Big Three with sophomore scorer Jaylen Nowell (23.5 points), junior Wilson-transfer Alphonso Anderson (16.7 points, 10.2 rebounds), and senior point guard Jashaun Agosto (14.6 points).
4. Eastside Catholic (23-6): This one-two punch of UW-bound Matisse Thybulle (20.4 points, 6.7 rebounds) and Montana State-bound Mandrell Worthy (19.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists) nearly stunned Rainier Beach in last year’s state title game, losing 47-45. Worthy has battled a high ankle sprain but appears to be getting healthy at the right time.
5. Seattle Prep (20-7): A lot to like with the Panthers’ frontcourt – 6-foot-8 freshman J’raan Brooks (11.8 points) 6-7 senior Jordan Kitchen (8.0 points, 7.1 rebounds) and 6-8 sophomore Collin Welp (9.7 points), son of the late UW all-time leading scorer Christian Welp, who died of heart failure Sunday.
6. Lakeside of Seattle (21-7): We knew last year that junior guard and Alaska transplant Isiah Brown could light up the box score, scoring 53 points against O’Dea last season. But this year, he’s showed he can do so (averaging 28.2 points) and also lead his team to wins. The emergence of sophomore guard Daejon Davis (20.1 points) has been instrumental in those efforts.
7. Kennedy Catholic (23-3): The Lancers has used the same staring five each of the past two years, led by senior guard A.J. McGrew (12.0 points). He’s one of four players averaging in double figures – alongside Parker Diller (13.8 points), Michael Sasonoff (11.1 points) and Emilio Mancol (10.9 points).
8. Marysville-Pilchuck (20-6): Oh yeah, there’s a non-King County team in this tournament. Marysville-Pilchuck edged Kennewick in regionals to join this King County bash. The Tomahawks are led by 6-foot-4 senior guard Michael Painter (16 points). He’s the tallest player on the team, which is making its first state-tournament appearance since the 1992-93 season.