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High School Sports Blog

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

February 28, 2009 at 2:16 PM

Friday night recap: Conked out

One very good team was not going to make it.

In this year’s Class 4A field, the winner of Kentwood and Kentridge last night would be walking into the state tournament with as just as good of a chance to win it as anyone. The district bracket just shook out this way, the same way it did for Kentwood a year ago, when it faced eventual runner-up Federal Way in the same winner-to-state, loser-out game.

For the second straight year, that game ended the Conks’ season. As Sandy Ringer wrote last night, Kentridge did what every team has been doing this season: smother Josh Smith down low, and make sure he doesn’t beat you. And with great guard play from Gary Bell and Shaquille McKissic, Kentridge won 51-41.

For Kentridge, the Chargers enter the tournament knowing they can play against anyone, including the current favorite, Federal Way. For Kentwood, it’s another heartbreaking loss, and though it’s a bummer that we won’t see Smith in the state tournament — where he shined so much as a freshman — the Conks once again were claimed by the depth of the West Central District. Kentwood lost to two very good teams, Foss and Kentridge, and while they surely are disappointed, I would hardly call the Conquerors’ season a disappointment.

Rainier Beach and Bellevue won their Sea-King quarterfinals last night, setting up one of the more anticipated games of the postseason. Beach is playing better than it was even two weeks ago, finally jelling with a lineup that has been renovated because of several crucial injuries. After losing to Chief Sealth two weeks ago, the Vikings came out motivated and just swept the Seahawks right off the floor. It was over before some fans even got across the lake, with the Vikings leading 26-5 after one quarter.

Bellevue got a glimpse at its future last night, playing a physical Metro League team, but first it wanted to exorcise its past. Remember last year, the Wolverines lost to upstart West Seattle in the quarterfinals, leading to their district demise.

“We just knew we had to get this game to prove we’ve matured since last year,” Bellevue’s Colton Christian said.

But Cleveland didn’t make things easy. With relentless pressure, the Eagles hung all over Bellevue all night. The Wolverines know they’ll have to win two more of these games, except against even better teams, to win this district. They have to win at least one more to go to state.

“We really haven’t faced a pressure team like that since we were in San Diego,” point guard Aaron Bright said, referring to the team’s championship in a California tournament in December.

Garfield takes KingCo 4A. The Bulldogs followed up their undefeated KingCo 4A season with the district/league tournament championship, with a 60-55 win against Inglemoor. Along with Federal Way, Foss and Eisenhower, Garfield is one of the teams that has separated itself this season, every so slightly, from the deep Class 4A tournament field.

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