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High School Sports Blog

The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

December 3, 2008 at 8:35 AM

Girls preseason state basketball rankings

The Times’ preseason state boys basketball rankings for 4A and 3A came out in today’s paper, along with a story on loaded Federal Way (4A No. 1), and Tom will be here later today to talk about them.

The girls rankings run in tomorrow’s Times, but you get the first look this morning, so check them out below. It’s always an interesting process and we talk with numerous coaches. Much is based on what teams have back from last season as well as how they looked during the summer and fall.

If you’re surprised to see Lewis and Clark of Spokane ranked No. 1 again in 4A, you shouldn’t be. The Tigers started and finished there last year and have five of their top seven players back from last year’s unbeaten team that won a third consecutive title — including 5-11 Jeneva Anderson (UW commit) and 6-2 Sarah Kleiwer (Portland).

But Snohomish just as easily could have gotten the top spot with three players already signed — Katie Benson (SPU), Ally Schmitt (Montana State) and Karley Lampman (Portland State). Having Schmitt back from the knee injury that kept her out last year is key. The Panthers start at No. 2 in the poll.

Some say the No. 1 spot in 4A should go to Auburn Riverisde, the two-time defendning 3A champion. The Ravens still have an abundance of talent and a pair of D-1 commits in Nichole Jackson (Portland State) and Kentwood transfer Amanda Thomson (Cal State Northridge), and junior guard Mercedes Wetmore will no doubt follow in their footsteps.

The interesting factor for the Ravens is not so much the jump back to 4A, where they held their own before the two-year drop to 3A, but how the players respond to new coach Ed Rosin, who no doubt has a different approach that Adam Barrett. So, Riverside opens at No. 3 in the poll.

And if you want to see a monster preseason game, head to Snohomish tonight to see the Panthers take on Riverside.

Then during the regular season, we get to see the Ravens tangle with No. 5 Kentwood twice. Kentwood features savvy guard Lindsey Moore (Nebraska) and coach Keith Hennig says he has more talent in his top eight players than ever before. Circle your calendar for Dec. 11, which is the first Riverside-Kentwood clash.

And if you haven’t skipped ahead to see who is No. 4, it’s Moses Lake, which has two of the state’s finest players in 6-5 forward Carly Noyes (WSU) and sophomore guard Jordan Loera back from last season’s second-place team.

In Class 3A, Kennedy leads the parade after losing the 2008 title game to AR. The Lancers return every starter and you can read more about them in tomorrow’s Times.

After that, it was almost roll the dice. Not that there aren’t a lot of other great teams. Quite the contrary. There are so many, it was difficult to decide the order. You’ll notice the Metro League is stacked with three top-10 teams: No. 2 Lakeside, No. 3 Bainbridge (could have gone either way) and No. 9 Holy Names. No longer are all three in the same division — much to their relief.

I’ve heard good things about Franklin, too, so keep an eye on the Quakers.

Two teams dropping from 4A should have an immediate impact — No. 2 Shadle Park of Spokane and No. 6 Prairie of Brush Prairie (suburban Vancouver). Shadle might be too high and Prairie too low, but we’ll see. The Highlanders just missed qualifying for the 4A tournament last year (at one point they were 17-4 with three of the losses to Lewis and Clark) and they just won the 3A state volleyball tournament.

Al Aldridge always puts together a contender at Prairie and although they lost record-setting Ashley Corral to USC, they have her younger sister, Heather, who might be better as a freshman than Ashley was at that age.

I’m not quite sure what to expect in KingCo 3A — Bellevue, Mercer Island and Mount Si should battle for the title, and Juanita could factor in, too. Bellevue gets the nod at No. 10 in part because of past tradition.

So, have a look and let us know what your take is.

(2007-08 records in parentheses)

Class 4A

1. Lewis and Clark (Spokane) (29-0)

Jeneva Anderson (UW) is just one of several reasons Tigers can talk four-peat

2. Snohomish (21-7)

Trio of early college commits put Panthers clearly in the title picture

3. Auburn Riverside (25-3)*

It’s no leap of faith to expect two-time 3A champs to make successful jump in class

4. Moses Lake (23-6)

With dynamic duo of Carly Noyes and Jordan Loera, Chiefs have chance to return to title game

5. Kentwood (Covington) (22-6)

Disappointing 2007-08 season left Nebraska-bound Lindsey Moore longing for more

6. Pasco (22-7)

Powered by six four-year vets, Bulldogs have plenty of bite

7. Mead (Spokane) (19-6)

Even without 6-5 Alexis Olgard (USC volleyball commit), Panthers appear fierce

8. Bellarmine Prep (25-6)

Lions could maul most competition with help from 6-foot transfer Simmone Potts

9. Redmond (18-8)

Deep squad returns KingCo 4A’s top scorer in senior Courtney Martin

10. Issaquah (22-4)*

Young Eagles have the veteran go-to girl in 6-foot Alexa Smith

Others (alphabetically) — Auburn, Eastlake, Edmonds-Woodway, Federal Way, Garfield, Graham-Kapowsin, Heritage, Kelso, Marysville-Pilchuck, Puyallup, Roosevelt, Skyline, Walla Walla.

* 3A school in 2007-08

Class 3A

1. Kennedy (Burien) (24-3)

Athletic Lancers look to improve on last season’s second-place finish

2. Shadle Park (Spokane) (19-6) **

Drop to 3A should bring high dividends for Highlanders

3. Lakeside (23-7)

Nine players return from Lions’ eighth-place ’08 team

4. Bainbridge (19-9)

Last chance for Brittany Gray (Gonzaga) to grab a trophy

5. West Valley (Yakima) (19-11)

With four returning starters, Rams look to improve on last year’s sixth-place finish

6. Prairie (Brush Prairie) (21-4)**

Storied program (11 straight 4A trophies) has another Corral (Ashley’s sister)

7. Meadowdale (Lynnwood) (24-5)

Mavs will miss Eryn Jones, but expect to make another state appearance

8. White River (Buckley) (9-11)

Hornets have their sting back (and point guard Kristine Brons, too)

9. Holy Names (12-12)

Cougars ready for another run after a year of maturing

10. Bellevue (21-7)

When it’s all said and done, Wolverines should be showing teeth again

Others (alphabetically) — Auburn Mountainview, Capital, Enumclaw, Franklin, Hanford, Lindbergh, Mercer Island, Mount Si, Union, Yelm.

** 4A school in 2007-08

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