After watching 17 games in five days last week, I decided to start from scratch on my Class 3A rankings.
I tried to look beyond records and judge teams by the way they are playing heading into the regional round of the state playoffs.
After thinking about it over the weekend, I didn’t see a team play better basketball than Seattle Prep in district tournament play — although O’Dea was close and Rainier Beach showed flashes.
The Panthers, though, have come together at the right time. Senior Mitch Brewe brings the toughness — he’s got the hole in his lip to prove it. D.J. Fenner is a versatile scorer, who can take over when the team is in trouble. Michael Phillips is a strong ball handler, who showed Saturday he can knock down big shots.
And Josh Martin is on the verge of becoming the state’s most exciting player. The sophomore played one of the best games of his short career in the district semifinals against Lake Washington, scoring 20 points to go with double figure rebounds.
The Panthers are a complete team that has found their rhythm at the right time. They beat a Rainier Beach team Saturday that I thought was as balanced as it has been all year. Djuan Piper, Naim Ladd, Elijah Foster and Anrio Adams all took turns contributing.
If the Vikings play that brand of team basketball, they are as good as any team in the state and can regain their spot as the state’s best with a strong run through the tournament.
This weekend, though, Seattle Prep was a little bit better, so the Panthers go from unranked to No. 1, back to where they started the season.
Some will argue that there are teams with better records that should be No. 1, but the Metro League was the toughest in the state this year. The Panthers remind me a lot of Bellevue in 2011.
O’Dea climbs all the way to No. 4, while Lincoln climbs back into the rankings at No. 10. I almost went with Mercer Island here. In fact, I had the Islanders typed into that spot for a while. It was a tough call, but I went with the Abes.
In 4A, Davis remains solid at No. 1, but Bellarmine Prep falls to No. 4. Garfield climbs to No. 3, while Jackson jumps to No. 7. Mount Rainier climbs back into the rankings as well this week.
At this point, most of the teams seem pretty evenly matched. We’ll see how this weekend’s regional round shapes up. There could be plenty of surprises.
Here are the final Class 4A and 3A boys basketball rankings of the season:
1. Davis (Yakima) (19-2)
2. Central Valley (Spokane) (19-3)
3. Garfield (18-5)
4. Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma) (22-3)
5. Curtis (University Place) (20-6)
6. Olympia (20-5)
7. Jackson (Mill Creek) (18-5)
8. Snohomish (17-6)
9. Mount Rainier (17-10)
10. Kentwood (18-7)
Keep an eye on: Bothell, Evergreen, Federal Way, Gonzaga Prep, Issaquah, Lake Stevens, Union.
1. Seattle Prep (21-5)
2. Kamiakin (Kennewick) (21-1)
3. Rainier Beach (23-3)
4. O’Dea (19-7)
5. Mountlake Terrace (22-1)
6. Kennedy Catholic (Burien) (20-3)
7. Wilson (Tacoma) (20-3)
8. University (Spokane) (17-4)
9. Lake Washington (Kirkland) (19-6)
10. Lincoln (Tacoma) (18-8)
Keep an eye on: Decatur, Foss, Kennewick, Mercer Island, Mountain View, Shadle Park.