Breakdown of Friday and Saturday's WIAA regional basketball games

mwochnick@theolympian.comFebruary 27, 2014 

Black Hills River Ridge during Friday night's girls basketball game at Black Hills High School in Tumwater on Jan. 3, 2013.

TONY OVERMAN — Staff Photographer Buy Photo

A look at this weekend’s WIAA regional basketball games


Class 3A boys regional

At Bellevue College

Timberline (13-11) v. Eastside Catholic (20-5), 6 p.m.

About the Blazers: The 3A Narrows’ third-place team is the considered the underdog, but the Blazers do just fine in that role. In last year’s regional, they upset Mercer Island to make the Class 3A state tournament at the Tacoma Dome. A win puts Timberline at state in back-to-back years for the first time since the 1980 and ‘81 seasons when it played in two consecutive state title games. With sophomore Jarryn Bush averaging better than 12 points a game during the playoffs, but Blazers have averaged 68 points a game in four playoff games; two of them were against league-foes Lincoln and Foss.

Key players: W Donaven Dorsey (20 ppg, 10 rpg, 5 apg), G Brandell Evans (13 ppg, 6 apg, 5 rpg).

About the Crusaders: No doubt, the Crusaders are battle-tested coming from a brutal 3A Metro League, led by powerhouse Rainier Beach. Leading scorer Mandrell Worthy, their all-league 6-3 forward, had a season-high 33 points in a game late last month, but he didn’t play in the Sea-King District title game last week because of an ankle injury. The result: a season-low 38 points.


Class 2A boys regional

At Puyallup High School

River Ridge (14-10) v. White River (19-7), 8 p.m. (on radio, KGY 95.3-FM)

About the Hawks: Can the Hawks ride Jason Kananin’s momentum to Yakima? The emergence of Kananin in the past two playoff games -- 54 combined points in two loser-out games -- have the Hawks another win away from the Dome, where it hasn’t been since 2011. If the Hawks have a halftime lead, there’s a good chance they’ll win. In all 14 season victories, the Hawks have led at the half. This game also is a preview for next season; River Ridge joins the 2A SPSL, which features White River.

Key players: G Jason Kananin (16 ppg, 2.5 rpg), G Kobe Key (12 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2 apg).

About the Hornets: Balanced is the key with White River. If there’s a weakness, it might be ballhandling, but wings Brandon Dove and Spencer Swigart were two of four White River players in double figures in their West central District title-game win over 2A SPSL-rival Fife.

Class 2A girls regional

At Puyallup High School

Black Hills (18-5) v. White River (21-5), 6 p.m. (on radio, KGY 95.3-FM)

About the Wolves: A spot in regionals marks the first time since 2010 the Wolves have made it out of districts; the senior class, which has never made the state tournament, is hungry to cap their careers with a trip to Yakima. And for the second straight week, the No. 5-ranked Wolves face another top 10-ranked team in a win-or-go-home game. Black Hills has yet to lose to a 2A team not in their conference; four of their five losses have come against top 5-ranked teams in the EvCo: W.F. West (three times) and River Ridge (once). The other loss? At 4A Puyallup, 53-51, to open the season.

Key players: W/P Sarah McGee (11 ppg, 13 rpg), P Shayla Smothers (10 ppg, 7 rpg), Sydney Sauls (8 ppg), Taylor Sauls (8 ppg).

About the Hornets: For the second straight year, the Hornets are facing an 2A EvCo team (River Ridge in ‘13) in a regional game, and defeated 2A SPSL-rival Sumner, 48-45, to win the West Central District III title and a No. 1 seed. White River coach Chris Gibson called the Wolves “tough” and “battle tested.”

Class 2A girls regional

At Tumwater High School

W.F. West (21-2) v. Bellingham (13-11), 2 p.m.

About the Bearcats: With four players 6 feet or taller -- including 2A EvCo and WSU-bound Nike McClure -- lot of the Bearcats’ offense runs through the paint. W.F. West hasn’t lost since a Dec. 27 nonleague loss to 3A Juanita and last Friday’s 2A District IV title-game win over Mark Morris was a statement as the Bearcats hope to make it four straight trip to Yakima.

Key players: P Nike McClure (12.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg), P Julie Spencer (10 ppg, 9.5 rpg), G Tori Weeks (6.8 ppg, 3.5 apg).

About the Red Raiders: At 13-11, Bellingham’s overall record might not be spectacular, but they’re finding their winning ways at the right time. With no player taller than 5-foot-9, they do it with speed: leading scorer Ashley Porter (11.7 ppg) is the defending 100-meter state champion in track and field.

Class 1B girls regional

At Tumwater High School

Mary M. Knight (16-4) v. Tulalip Heritage (16-4), 4 p.m.

About the Owls: If MMK can hit their perimeter shots, watch out. That’s what happened in their district title-game win over Taholah to snap the Chitwins’ streak of four straight district titles. The Owls’ lack of size means they must rely on the 3, which has led to a 16-win season behind Jaycee Valley -- the coach Lance Valley’s daughter -- and Ashley Kiliz.

About the Hawks: One name -- 6-foot sophomore post Adiya Jones -- is all you’ll need to know. Not only is she the team’s leading scorer, she had 40 of her team’s 50 points in a 50-34 regional-clinching win over Shoreline Christian on Feb. 21.

Class 1B boys regional

At W.F. West High School

Oakville (17-7) v. Shorewood Christian (18-6), 2 p.m.

About the Acorns: In their second year as an independent, the Acorns have had a 10-win turnaround from a season ago, and are a win away from Spokane since 2010. As District IV’s No. 1 seed, sharp-shooter Ray Lopez, whom second-year coach Cliff Harris described as an “outstanding 3-pointer shooter”, is the focal point of Oakville’s offense, averaging 20 points a game. He also shoots 43 percent from 3-point range.  

About the Lions: Shorewood Christian’s bench is small -- just seven players, but they’re effective. Stan Domingo had 30 points in the Lions’ regional-bound victory last week over Lummi. 


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