How dominant were Rainier Beach and Ferris this basketball season? Both teams won the overwhelming majority of their games by double digits. Nobody even touched Ferris, which stretched its win streak to 29 games, in the 4A tournament. Rainier Beach won all of its 3A games by at least six points.
But if you’re looking for this kind of dominating run next year, don’t count on it.
In Class 4A, Ferris loses all of its main rotation. The Saxons will be an entirely different team next year, and there’s not clear team that can say it’s primed to take Ferris’ spot. In Class 3A, Rainier Beach loses a lot but still returns many promising players, but that class is about to get a lot more interesting with a powerhouse on its way to the Metro League.
Before we close the book on basketball (which we’ll do Tuesday with our all-state teams), I want to take a look at the teams that should contend next year:
Franklin. The Quakers are moving to Class 3A, and they’re bringing back their entire rotation, including star guard Peyton Siva, point guard Vionte Reid, wings Freddy Wilson and Sterling Carter, hard-working forward Chris Holmes and promising freshman L.C. White. Thought the Metro League was tough before?
Shadle Park. The Highlanders lose sharpshooter Zack Humphrey, but Wazzu signee Anthony Brown returns, as do starters Robby Douglas and Aaron Dunn (both sophomores). The Highlanders should be the Greater Spokane League favorites.
Rainier Beach. The Viking lose four-fifths of their starting rotation, but that last fifth, Aaron Dotson, should have an interesting senior season. Dotson should be one of the most sought-after players in the state this summer. D’Vonne Pickett, Jaamon Echols and Lee Monsegur all will take on bigger roles.
Bellevue. You can’t slip up in the Sea-King District tournament and expect to get to state, as Bellevue found out this year. But with almost all of its starters returning this season, including guard Aaron Bright and forward Colton Christian, the Wolverines will be the KingCo 3A favorites (especially with rivals Issaquah and Skyline moving to 4A).
Columbia River. The top two players for the Chieftans, big man Steven Bjornstad and shooter Kyle Thurston, are both juniors. If Bjornstad is 6-foot-9, as he’s listed, then I’m Dikembe Mutombo. OK, so I just really wanted to get that link in. But this kid’s gotta be 6-11 — and he’s growing. He’s going to be a force next season.
Other teams to watch: O’Dea, Peninsula, Mt. Spokane, Seattle Prep, Renton.
Bellarmine Prep. Meet your de facto 4A favorite. With two of the state’s top juniors, Abdul Gaddy and Avery Bradley, the Lions placed third this year. Next year, don’t be surprised if they begin the year ranked first in 4A. The question will be what kind of supporting cast will round this team out.
Garfield. Rumors have been swirling about this program from the day the Bulldogs were knocked out of the 4A tournament and coach Dan Finkley resigned. But with freshman Tony Wroten, junior De’Andre Taylor, sophomore Wilson Platt and a lot more young talent returning, there’s a reason so many will have an eye on who gets this job.
Federal Way. The popular opinion after the Eagles took second at the 4A tourney was that they would be one of the top teams next season. And with four-fifths of the starting rotation coming back, there’s a reason for all of the optimism. How they live on without that one missing fifth, Seattle U signee and ultimate glue guy Aaron Broussard, could have a lot to do with what kind of push the Eagles make.
Kentwood. Sophomore Josh Smith will come back even bigger and better. But ultimately, the Conquerors will have to find a way to beat teams that simply pack the middle, as most teams did in the second half of the season.
Other notable teams: Decatur, Curtis, Mariner.
But remember: this summer would be a rarity if at least one of the state’s top players didn’t switch schools, so all of this could change by the time the season tips off next December.
I’ll have the girls outlook on Sunday.
1. Katy Kirschner, Interlake, softball. Went 3-for-5 with a double and the winning hit in Interlake’s 8-7 win against Skyline.
2. David Steenson, O’Dea, boys soccer. Had a goal and two assists for the Irish, which also had help from Ben Traub, who scored a pair of goals.
3. Andy Chriscaden, Montroe, baseball. Went 3-for-4 with five RBIs in Monroe’s 14-5 win against Shorecrest.
Tonight’s top games
Everett vs. Jackson, softball, 6 p.m. at Park Place. A pair of WesCo teams that made last year’s state tournaments (Everett in 3A, Jackson in 4A) face off.
Beamer at Federal Way, boys soccer, 7:30 p.m. Federal Way, last year’s 4A runner-up, goes up against another 4A tournament team from last spring.