State basketball: W.F. West opens with East Valley of Spokane (20-3) Thursday

mwochnick@theolympian.comMarch 2, 2014 

W.F. West opens its Class 2A state title quest Thursday at the Yakima Valley SunDome with what is known as the breakfast game: 9 a.m.

The second-ranked Bearcats (22-2) drew No. 3 East Valley of Spokane (20-3) for their opening game of the Class 2A girls basketball tournament, set for Thursday through Saturday.

The Bearcats, making their fourth straight state appearance, have won three consecutive state trophies, including a program-best second-place last year after falling to 2A District IV-rival Mark Morris, 56-44, in last year’s 2A state title game. They and East Valley are the hottest two teams entering the eight-team tournament; the Bearcats have won 18 consecutive games while the Knights have won 11 in a row dating back to Jan. 17.

Another major factor at Sunday’s state basketball draw at the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s Renton headquarters was where Mark Morris would land on the bracket. The good news for the Bearcats was when the top-ranked Monarchs (22-2) drew White River (22-5) for Thursday’s 2 p.m. game – on the opposite side of the bracket from W.F. West -- meaning should the Bearcats and Monarchs their Thursday and Friday games, they could meet for Saturday’s 5 p.m. title game.

W.F. West and Mark Morris have met six times in the past two years, including twice this season. W.F. West topped Mark Morris, 53-47, in the 2A District IV title game on Feb. 21, but the Monarchs won the teams’ nonleague game, 60-45, on Dec. 5.

Other common opponents at state include Lake Washington (13-12) and Port Angeles (19-5). W.F. West beat both of those teams in nonleague contests in December. 

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