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

March 9, 2010 at 4:24 PM

Some more thoughts on the 3A girls tournament

Now that my pre-tournament writing assignments are out of the way, I wanted to take a little time to talk more about the girls bracket.

I am not going to break down each first-round game for you like Mason did on the boys side. Usually, I try to replicate what he does to equal out the coverage, but he did that last week for the 4A boys tournament before I knew anything about it.

So I will continue to be different this week.

In addition to making our bracket predictions (posted Monday), we have to rank the teams 1-16 (I’m gonna make you wait until Wednesday, or at least until the capsules are posted, to see how that turned out).

I found that really, really difficult. And that’s because I see a bunch of teams that appear to be pretty balanced — maybe even as many as 12 to 13 of them. I wound up changing the order of the bottom half several times. I mean, who is the 16th best team in this field? Really hard to say, in my book.

As you know, I have picked Holy Names and Kennedy Catholic to meet in the final, but I’m not ruling out any upsets. The best teams don’t always win at state, and there are several other talented teams in this field. Mercer Island, for one, comes to mind, and the Islanders will clash with Kennedy in the quarterfinals if both take care of business Wednesday.

Do you see a sleeper out there?

I will never rule out an Al Aldridge-coached team — even this year’s version, which keeps finding ways to get things done without the usual talent. Remember, the Falcons lost sophomore Heather Corral to a season-ending knee injury earlier this year. They played Kennedy tough in the West Central/Southwest bi-district championship game, losing 65-56. Take away the 25-9 second quarter, and that one might have turnout out differently.

I expect Shadle Park to be tough again, but remember the Highlanders lost to East Valley last month. All the more reason to throw out East Valley’s 9-17 record. And the highlanders face a Capital team that features one of the top players in the tournament, Tonya Hollingsworth, who averages 22.8 points per game.

I’m looking forward to watching Cleveland play. I’ve heard about the Wilson sisters all season and believe me this is a team that has been on my radar from day one. But a lack of consistency during Metro League play kept me wondering.

If the Eagles get past fifth-ranked White River in their opener, they could make their way to the semifinals.

And coach Michelle Hall likes the chances of her Seattle Prep team, so I’m anxious to see them play No. 7 Bonney Lake. Panthers vs. Panthers. Bonney Lake has another of the tournament’s most prolific scorers in Marcel Pounds (20.8 ppg).

It seems strange not to have Meadowdale here, which means Shorecrest and Lynnwood should be able to handle their own as the WesCo representatives.

Lakes, Mount Rainier, Capital, Yelm — I see no reason to think any of them will go 0-2, although it could happen. It will happen to four teams in this tournament, just by nature of the bracket.

I think we’ll see some good basketball. And I hope you’ll follow along here in the blog.

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