Girls basketball: The Playoff Picture as the regular-season winds down

mwochnick@theolympian.comFebruary 4, 2014 

Timberline’s Juliana Salanoa (42) battles Wilson’s Desiree Ayler for a rebound Friday at Timberline High School in Lacey. The Blazers won, 64-53, to pull into a first-place tie with Wilson at 7-1 in 3A Narrows League play.

LUI KIT WONG/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

4A Narrows

Playoff spots: 4

Regular season ends: Feb. 6

West Central/Southwest bi-district tournament: Begins Feb. 17

Clinched: Bellarmine (9-0), Central Kitsap (7-2)

In the mix: Olympia (6-4), South Kitsap (6-4), Yelm (4-6)

Out: Gig Harbor (3-8), Stadium (0-11)

What’s next: While Bellarmine has already locked up the league title, Olympia can clinch a playoff berth with a win Tuesday or a Yelm loss. Speaking of Yelm, it can force a tie a three-way tie with Olympia and South Kitsap with two victories, plus two losses apiece for the Bears and Wolves this week. Olympia travels to Bellarmine Tuesday and hosts second-place Central Kitsap Thursday while Yelm travels to South Kitsap in a must-win game Tuesday.

3A Narrows

Playoff spots: 4

Regular season ends: Feb. 6

West Central/Southwest bi-district tournament: Begins Feb. 17

Clinched: Wilson (9-1), Timberline (9-1), Lincoln (6-3)

In the mix: North Thurston (5-5), Mount Tahoma (2-7), Shelton (2-7)

Out: Foss (0-9)

What’s next: Should Timberline and Wilson win out, the two would share the 3A Narrows title, but play a winner-take-all game to determine who goes as the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds to the bi-district tournament. Each team won on their home floor this season. North Thurston can secure the fourth and final playoff spot with a win over Mount Tahoma Wednesday. 

2A Evergreen Conference

Playoff spots: 5

Regular season ends: Feb. 11

Southwest 2A District IV tournament: Begins Feb. 15

Clinched: W.F. West (9-0), Black Hills (8-2), River Ridge (7-3)

In the mix: Centralia (3-6), Aberdeen (3-6), Tumwater (2-7), Capital (1-9)

Out: None

What’s next: The top three teams – W.F. West, Black Hills and River Ridge – are on pace to finish 1-2-3 for the second straight year. A Black Hills win over league-leader W.F. West Tuesday could mean the Wolves have a share of the league crown with the Bearcats should they win out. The final playoff spot could come down to the Feb. 11 showdown between Aberdeen and Centralia, both currently tied at 3-6; the winner gets W.F. West to open the district tournament. 

1A SWW Evergreen

Playoff spots: 6

Regular season ends: Feb. 7

1A District IV tournament: Begins Feb. 13 (play-in games on Feb. 10)

Clinched: Montesano (11-0), Elma (8-2), Rochester (8-2), Hoquiam (6-4), Rainier (3-8)

In the mix: Forks (1-10), Tenino (0-10)

Out: None

What’s next: Tuesday’s winner between Elma and Rochester – both tied for second place at 8-2 – will be on its way to the No. 2 seed while the loser must play a ‘play-in’ game against what Trico’s No. 6 seed. The Nos. 3-4-5-6 seeds have play-in games to determine who goes to the district tournament. And yes, despite Tenino’s winless mark in league play, it could force a tie for the sixth and final playoff spot with one-win Forks on Tuesday.

Pacific 2B

Playoff spots: 5

Regular season ends: Feb. 4

2B District IV tournament: Begins Feb. 12

Clinched: Raymond (9-1), Willapa Valley (9-1)

In the mix: Naselle (5-5), Northwest Christian (5-6), South Bend (4-6), North Beach (4-7)

Out: Ocosta (0-10)

What’s next: Depending on Tuesday’s Northwest Christian-Raymond outcome (plus what Naselle does its final two games), the Navigators could climb to as high as the third seed, or be knocked down into a four-way tie at 5-7. NWC is the first Pacific 2B team to end its regular-season Tuesday; all others wrap-up Thursday.

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