A glance at the teams as they try to earn their way to Tacoma and Yakima for state tournaments.
Kamiak (17-6) vs. No. 2 Curtis (23-3), Saturday, 8 p.m., Rogers High School
The skinny: The Kamiak Knights are one win away from returning to the state tournament proper for the first time since 2005, but face a tall order in the tradition-rich Vikings. Curtis, which creates havoc on defense by forcing 19.1 turnovers a game, seeks its 25th berth into state tournament play and goes for its third state title after winning 4A most recently in 2013.
Players to watch: Sophomore point guard Carson Tuttle makes Kamiak go and he brings in team-high averages of 15.3 points and 5.8 assists. The Knights’ bigs face a tough task in limiting lefty 6-2 Aushanti Potts-Woods (24.3 ppg, 41.7 % 3 pt.). Potts-Woods is a two-time SPSL South MVP but gets supports from the likes of senior guard Glenn Jordan (15.1 ppg, 2.6 apg), an All-SPSL South first team pick.
Timberline (16-8) vs. No. 7 Issaquah (20-3) Saturday, 10 a.m., Bellevue College
The skinny: The Issaquah Eagles won the KingCo 4A regular season and KingCo 4A tournament, but they want more after taking fourth at state in 2015 and third in 2014. The Eagles average nine steals per game, but might be meeting their match in up-tempo Timberline. “They can compete with any team in the state,” Issaquah coach Jason Griffith said of the Blazers. “They have had several good games against high-quality opponents.”
Players to watch: The guard-powered Eagles are led by All-KingCo first team selections junior Trevon Ary-Turner (18.9 ppg, 4 apg) and Scott Kellum (15.7 ppg, 44% from 3 pt.). Timberline’s 6-3 Jarryn Bush (10.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg) is a matchup nightmare with his strength and three-point shooting. Sophomore guard Erik Stevenson leads the way with 17.6 ppg for the Blazers. Bush has averaged 21 points and is shooting close to 60 percent in the team’s last six contests.
Kentridge (15-11) vs. Central Valley (Spokane) (19-5) Saturday, 8 p.m., University High School (Spokane)
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The skinny: The Kentridge Chargers reached regionals for the third season in a row and seventh time in 10 seasons. KR must contend with the Bears, a team that coach Dave Jamison says possesses “great defense, rebounding and shooting.” CV finished third in the regular-season standings of the Greater Spokane League (GSL), but beat Lewis & Clark 67-57 for the district title on Saturday.
Players to watch: The 6-7 Joran Ticeson (15 ppg) and 6-4 Ethan Walker (13 ppg) are a good one-two combination inside for the Chargers. Ryan Rehkow and Cameron Tucker lead the Bears.
No. 6 Bellarmine Prep (20-4) vs. Union (Vancouver) (21-2) Friday, 8 p.m., Battle Ground High School
The skinny: The Bellarmine Prep Lions feature one of the high-scoring players in the state in senior guard Malachi Flynn (30 ppg, 6 rpg, 4 apg), who is headed to University of the Pacific. The Lions, Narrows League 4A champions, are seeking their first state bid since 2014 and highest finish since taking third in 2008. Union seeks its best finish since winning the 3A state title in 2010 and hopes to eclipse last season’s third-place showing in 4A.
Players to watch: BP is not a one-man show with Narrows 4A MVP Flynn as Joey Bodoia (12 ppg, 6 rpg) and Christian Moore (11 ppg, 11 rpg) do their fair share of work. Union is led by Greater St. Helen’s League Most Valuable Player Cameron Cranston, a 6-5 junior guard who averages 18 ppg, 5.8 rpg and 3.0 apg, and Denis Kirichenko, 6-6 senior forward who averages 12.3 ppg, 11.1 rpg and 1.5 blocks. Kirichenko set a school record for rebounds in a season.
No. 10 Kentwood (19-6) vs. No. 4 Cascade (Everett) (21-1) Saturday, 4 p.m., Everett Community College
The skinny: The Kentwood Conquerors rely on strong defense to win and yield a stingy 53.2 points per game, second-lowest among teams in West Central District. The Bruins, who are looking to reach state for the first time since 2006, counter with strong defense of their own, limiting opponents to 56.3 points per game. Cascade’s lone loss came against Kamiak 65-59 on Feb. 9 in a WesCo 4A regular-season finale.
Players to watch: The Conks are led by the talented backcourt of SPSL Northeast Division co-MVP Darius LuBom (17 ppg) and another first-team pick, Rayvaughn Bolton (13 ppg). KW, which won state crowns in 2004 and 2010, hopes to build off last season’s sixth-place finish at 4A state. Isaiah Gotell, a 6-5 center, leads Cascade with 18 ppg.
Davis (Yakima) (14-7) vs. Lewis & Clark (Spokane) (19-6) Saturday, 6 p.m., West Valley (Spokane) High School
The skinny: The Tigers of Lewis & Clark are going for the school’s first state berth since 1996 and their first state title since 1949. The regular-season runner-up in the Greater Spokane League (GSL) has good size (6-9, 6-8, 6-7, 6-6), shoots the three-pointer well and has a group of six seniors who have played together for years. The Pirates come off a 4A state runner-up showing last season and won a 4A title in 2012.
Players to watch: The Tigers are balanced for sure, but led by talented and rapidly maturing 6-6 sophomore Naje Smith (12.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and 6-2 senior guard Isaiah Hernandez (11.4 ppg, 54% FG). Dominick Oliveri, a 6-8 senior, supplies 8.5 ppg and 9.0 rpg. The Pirates go with the senior backcourt duo of 6-1 Nick Navarro (19 ppg) and 5-10 Dominic Wise (14 ppg).
No. 5 Gonzaga Prep (22-2) vs. Wenatchee (18-4) Saturday, 8 p.m., Eastmont (Wenatchee) High School
The skinny: The Bullpups of Gonzaga Prep possess a lot of the same traits of the school’s only state title team, which won the 4A trophy 2011. The regular-season GSL champion Bullpups possess depth, solid team defense, balance and timely shooting. The Panthers lost at G-Prep 45-43 in a nonleague game on Dec. 5. “They are much different team than what we saw in early December,” Bullpups coach said Matty McIntyre, whose team claimed the third and final district berth with a 70-54 win over Richland on Saturday.
Players to watch: G-Prep is led by senior guard Logan Adams (12 ppg, 4 apg) and sophomore forward Devin Culp (10 ppg, 5 rpg, 3 apg). A pair of 6-4 wings Gavin Long and Brady Miller are key players for the Panthers.
Woodinville (19-4) vs. No. 1 Federal Way (25-0) Saturday, 8 p.m., Puyallup High School
The skinny: To win this game, the Woodinville Falcons are going to have to outsmart the high-flying and defending 4A state champion Eagles. The Falcons, who qualified for state for the first time in 2015, can’t afford to get into a track-meet, up-and-down contest if they want to advance to their second state tournament. Federal Way, winners of 39 games in a row, seeks the school’s third state crown.
Players to watch: Woodinville will need a big game from both 6-6 senior forward Tony Miller (28.3 ppg, 12.5 rpg) and 6-3 senior guard Jesse Davis (11.9 ppg). Jalen McDaniels, a senior committed to San Diego State, is Federal Way’s most versatile player at 6-10 and averages 17 points, 7 rebound and 2.5 blocks to lead five players in double-figure scoring. Guards Ferron Flavors (14 ppg) and Marcus Stephens (12 ppg) are key for the Eagles.
No. 6 Lincoln (21-4) vs. Kamiakin (19-6) Saturday, Sunnyside High, 4 p.m.
The skinny: The Abes spent all season at or near the top of the Narrows League. After a district-opening loss to Peninsula, Lincoln needed to win to stay in. The Abes have, winning three in a row over Prairie, Auburn Riverside and Kennedy Catholic to get to this position. The Braves also opened districts with a 55-52 loss to Kennewick. After Kamiakin beat Rogers (Spokane), it then beat crosstown rival Kennewick, 70-51, to advance to the regionals.
Players to watch: Garrett Paxton, a 6-2 sophomore, is capable of going for 20-plus points on any given night for the Braves. Lincoln gets contributions from many quarters, including Trevion Brown.
No. 7 Wilson (18-6) vs. No. 1 Garfield (23-2) Saturday, Bellevue College, 8 p.m.
The skinny: The Rams beat Sumner and Kennedy Catholic to earn their spot in regionals, but enter on a two-game losing streak after dropping later-round District 3 games to Auburn Mountainview in the semifinals and Peninsula in the third-place game. The Bulldogs are the defending 3A state champs, and that title followed the 4A title Garfield won in 2014. This squad looks to become the first team in school history to win three consecutive championships.
Players to watch: For the Rams, it’s all about David Jenkins. The 6-1 guard can score from anywhere on the floor, and already has posted a game of 50 points this season, in a 90-88 win earlier this season at Capital. The Bulldogs can beat you from all over the floor. In one game this season, seven Garfield players scored in double figures. Junior Jaylen Nowell leads the scoring parade, averaging 17.7 points a game.
Stanwood (18-6) vs. Enumclaw (13-11) Saturday, Rogers (Puyallup) High, Noon
The skinny: The Spartans held off Glacier Peak, 66-65, in a loser-out game last Saturday in district play to get here after winning the Wesco 3A North division. The Hornets were just fourth in the SPSL 3A standings during the regular season, but got hot during districts and advanced all the way to the WCD championship game before falling to Auburn Mountainview.
Players to watch: Chase Strieby and AJ Martinka each score right around 13 points a game for Stanwood. Josh Erickson scores just a tick under 17 points a game and has added about two steals an outing for the Hornets. Justus Rainwater chips in 11.6 points and 6.7 rebounds a game for Enumclaw.
No. 10 O’Dea (19-7) vs. No. 8 Edmonds-Woodway (21-2) Saturday, Mountlake Terrace High, 8 p.m.
The skinny: The Fighting Irish got the one win they needed to get here under first-year coach Jason Kerr, upsetting No. 2 Rainier Beach in the district quarterfinals before losing in the semis and again to Cleveland in the third-fourth place game. The Warriors, meanwhile, cruised through most of their Wesco League season and won the District 1 title.
Players to watch: Michael Carter III (17.0 points) and Quin Barnard (16.7) lead the O’Dea attack from the outside. Cal Hansen in the middle is averaging about 13 rebounds a game. David Woodard fills the stat sheet for Edmonds-Woodway, averaging about 21 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Mountlake Terrace (16-7) vs. No. 3 Bellevue (22-2) Saturday, Bellevue College, 4 p.m.
The skinny: The Wolverines ran into the buzzsaw known as Garfield in the District 2 championship game, but even before that game was played coach Chris O’Connor had a philosophical outlook, saying that Bellevue just strived to play as many big games as possible. The Wolverines face a Hawks team that has beaten Wesco South champ Edmonds-Woodway this season, but lost to the Warriors for the second time this season in the District 1 title game.
Players to watch: Derek Anyimah averages nearly a double-double for Mountlake Terrace with 12.1 points and 9.5 rebounds a game. Teammate Shimron Masih adds almost 10 boards. Kingco 3A/2A MVP Mikey Henn scores 20.6 points and grabs nine rebounds a game for the Wolverines, while Sharif Khan adds 17 points a game.
No. 2 Rainier Beach (19-6) vs. No. 4 Auburn Mountainview (23-1) Friday, Rogers (Puyallup) High, 8 p.m.
The skinny: The Lions have won 12 in a row since a January 8 loss at home to Peninsula. Auburn Mountainview won the West Central District 3A championship for the first time with a 62-49 win over Enumclaw on Saturday. The Vikings were upset by O’Dea in the District 2 quarterfinal round and had to come back through the consolation bracket to claim the fifth and final regional berth out of the district.
Players to watch: Ryan Lacey averages 19.6 points for the Lions, while teammate Tristan Miguel is averaging a double-double with just over 11 points and 10.5 rebounds. Rainier Beach has myriad weapons, but none are more lethal than Arizona State-bound Sam Cunliffe, who averages more than 17 points and nine rebounds.
No. 9 Cleveland (21-6) vs. No. 5 Peninsula (21-3) Saturday, Mount Tahoma High, 4 p.m.
The skinny: The Eagles are enjoying their first winning season since the 2007-08 campaign. Second-year coach Jerry Petty has quickly turned around a program that won a combined seven games the three seasons before his arrival. The Seahawks have been flying high most of the season, though a shocking district semifinal loss, 69-67, in overtime to upstart Enumclaw kept Peninsula from a potential tiebreaking shot at Auburn Mountainview in the district title game (the teams split in the regular season).
Players to watch: JaQuori McLaughlin leads the Peninsula scoring attack at 16.7 points a game. Garrett Kingman adds just over 15 points and seven rebounds a game for the Seahawks. For Cleveland, C.J. Elleby has developed into a dynamic scorer at 16.3 points a game, and he had 19 in a win over O’Dea in the third-place game at districts. Davon Bolton adds 15.8 points for the Eagles.
Kennedy Catholic (17-8) vs. Shadle Park (16-6) Saturday, Sunnyside High
The skinny: The Lancers again won the Seamount, but were not a big factor at the District 3 tournament. Kennedy Catholic lost to Wilson to open WCD play, won two in the middle, then lost to Lincoln on the last night of that tournament leading into regionals. The Highlanders rolled into the regional round fresh off a district crown after slipping by Kennewick, 66-65, last week in the title game of that tournament.
Players to watch: Emilio Mancol is the scoring threat for the Lancers at 17.2 points a game. James Jolly and Jared Thurber pull down 7.7 and 6.3 rebounds a game, respectively. Tanner Groves, a 6-8 post, is tough to stop inside for the Highlanders. Groves had 24 points in the district title win.
CLASS 2A (Games involving locals)
No. 2 Lynden (22-2) vs. Liberty (Issaquah) (13-11) Saturday, 4 p.m., Renton High School
The skinny: The Liberty Patriots didn’t get an easy draw in the Northwest League co-champion Lions. Lynden has won eight state titles combined in 1A and 2A. Liberty was tested in the tough KingCo 3A/2A, but haven’t qualified for state since 2013 and would be a longshot to do so here. However, the Pats come in on the upswing after finishing as the 2A West Central/Sea-King district runner-up. Both teams feature big shooting guards and that could provide an interesting subplot.
Players to watch: Lynden leans heavily on 6-5 senior guard Sterling Somers, who averages 18.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.2 steals. Noah King shoots 41 percent from 3-point range for the Lions. Noble Cooper, a 6-foot-6 senior guard, leads the Patriots at just under 20 points per game.
Lindbergh (16-8) vs. No. 10 Wapato (18-4) Saturday, 8 p.m., Eisenhower (Yakima) High School
The skinny: The Eagles of Lindbergh are bidding to get to state for just the third time and first time since 2012, but to do so they must get past the high-scoring, up-tempo Wolves (76.3 ppg). Wapato was the runner-up in the Central Washington Athletic Conference (CWAC), but won the district title and scored 80 or more points nine times and once hit 110. Lindbergh averages 62.1 points, but is a defensive-minded team and led the Seamount League in points allowed.
Players to watch: Lindbergh’s attack is fueled by 6-5 sophomore forward Jalen Green (13.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg) and 5-9 junior guard Kelton Williams (13.9 ppg, 6.0 apg, 4.0 stpg). Both were named All-Seamount first team. Wapato counters with an explosive backcourt of 5-8 senior Jordan Blodgett (24 ppg, 4 apg) and 6-0 junior Hunter Jacob (21 ppg, 8 rpg, 3 apg), both All-CWAC first team selections.
Steilacoom (16-8) vs. Shorecrest (16-8) Friday, 7 p.m., Mountlake Terrace High School
The skinny: The Scots of Shorecrest are shooting for just their second state berth in 22 years. The Sentinels are hoping to return to state for the first time since 2010. Something has to give here. The Scots, who played in the tough WesCo South 3A/2A, are coming off a Northwest District 2A title with a 62-56 win over Squalicum on Saturday. One of the Scots’ biggest wins of the season was over Lynden 63-44 in the district semifinals.
Players to watch: Shorecrest is led by Malcolm Rosier-Butler (15 ppg, 4 apg) and Philip Pepple (13 ppg, 7 rpg) and both were WesCo South 3A/2A first-team all-league selections. Steilacoom’s success starts with Lajon Enis-Carter, a 6-2 center named All-SPSL 2A first team.
Renton (15-11) vs. No. 3 Clarkston (22-1) Friday, 6 p.m., Ellensburg High School
The skinny: Renton goes for its first state berth since 2013 and hopes it can get on a roll to go after the school’s fifth state title in boys basketball, but this regional matchup will be a stiff test. Renton, which enters regionals as the No. 5 seed from the 2A West Central/Sea-King district, finished tied for third in the Seamount League in the regular season. The Bantams, who held opponents to 49.9 points, won the Great Northern League (GNL) regular-season title and then won the league tournament and a loser-out crossover game of GNL/Central Washington Athletic Conference (CWAC) 79-34 over Toppenish on Saturday.
Players to watch: Shandon Powell leads Renton with just under 15 points per game. Trevon Allen, a 6-2 senior guard, is a key player for Clarkston and he supplied 24 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a 63-55 GNL title win over Pullman.
Seattle Academy (16-5) vs. Kalama (14-8) Saturday, Rogers (Puyallup) High, 4 p.m.
The skinny: Both teams come in off losses in their respective district championship games. The Cardinals played for the Tri-District title against defending 1A state champ King’s, but got beat 71-52. The Chinooks beat Hoquiam, but lost to King’s Way Christian for the district title, 64-58.
Players to watch: Marcus Austin scores 12.5 points and Drummond Sweeney adds 10.8 for the Cardinals. Hunter Esary and Blake Stemkoski each had 14 points in the district title game loss.
Hoquiam (19-5) vs. Seattle Christian (13-10) Saturday, Renton High, Noon
The skinny: Despite going just 4-4 in the Nisqually during regular-league play, the Warriors advanced and beat Cascade Christian to earn the 1A WCD title, 57-50. Hoquiam got by LaCenter, lost to Kalama in the district semifinal, but got to the regionals nonetheless.
Players to watch: Juniors Gregory Dick (14 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks in district game against LaCenter), Jack Adams III (17 points) and Jace Varner (15 points, nine rebounds) fill up the stat sheet for the Grizzlies.
Vashon Island (17-5) vs. King’s (20-3) Saturday, Mountlake Terrace High, 4 p.m.
The skinny: The Knights are the defending champs, and have played in three consecutive 1A title contests. After losing in 2013 and 2014, King’s broke through to win the title a year ago even after the team suffered through a bus accident after a district game leading to state. The Pirates lost in the district semifinal to Seattle Christian, but beat Chimacum, 65-44, to earn the third slot for regionals.
Players to watch: King’s junior Corey Kispert is garnering all sorts of attention from colleges, including the likes of Gonzaga. Kispert already has an offer to play for the Bulldogs, though the 6-6 forward who averages around 20 points still has another year of high school.