Here is a breakdown of Saturday’s Class 4A girls basketball regional games:
Winners to quarterfinals March 1-3 at Tacoma Dome, losers out
At Juanita H.S. (Kirkland)
Eastlake (14-9) vs. Rogers (Puyallup) (13-11), 4 p.m.
Senior Kendra Morrison, a KingCo 4A first-teamer, averages better than 13 points and eight rebounds per game for the Wolves, who are back in the round of 16 for only the second time since 1997 (first since 2007). Jordan Asher (15.1 ppg) leads the Rams, which were a surprise semifinalist in the West Central/Southwest Bi-District tourney. She was voted to the SPSL South first team.
Emerald Ridge (19-5) vs. No. 3 Woodinville (21-2), 6 p.m.
ER’s Taylor Buie, the SPSL South Co-Player of the Year, is one of the most proficient scorers in the state (25.3 ppg), but the undersized Jaguars have been inconsistent since their 9-0 start to the season. Woodinville, fifth in last year’s tourney, has lost just once in-state and features a dynamic athlete in senior Ali Forde (Idaho State for volleyball and basketball), who is a double-double threat every game and was named the KingCo 4A Player of the Year. Four others average 7.5 ppg or better.
At Kent-Meridian H.S.
No. 6 Skyview (23-3) vs. No. 1 Lake Stevens (22-1), 4 p.m.
This might be the toughest regional matchup and it’s really a shame both of these teams won’t have the opportunity to make the quarterfinals. The Storm’s only two in-state losses are to Woodinville and Mount Rainier. They feature a balanced offense (five different players scored 10 or more during bi-district games) led by seniors Brooke Bowen (11 ppg) and Delaney Keser (10 ppg). Lake Stevens, which split with Stanwood this season, is sparked by junior Brooke Pahukoa and senior Katie Goddard, both averaging around 15 ppg. The Vikings placed fourth at state last year.
No. 5 Jackson (19-4) vs. Kentwood (21-5), 6 p.m.
Both teams feature some young talent that makes the future bright. Jackson sophomore Kelli Kingma, an early UW commit, is one of three players average 11.5 or better, joining senior Kristin Stoffel (14 ppg) and sophomore Sierra Anderson (13 ppg). Kentwood, which won the 2009 title and fell one game short of the final eight last season, starts just one senior, Maddison Rankin, who is scrappy at both ends of the court. Sophomores Sarah Toeaina and Jenny Johnson both average around 11 per game and were named to the All-SPSL North first team.
At Auburn H.S.
No. 7 Stanwood (23-2) vs. No. 4 Federal Way (21-4), 4 p.m.
The Spartans are in the round of 16 for the first time since 1998 and are one of the toughest matchups in the state with their size and balance. While 5-7 guard Renee Lucero is their leading scorer (12.2 ppg), they get around 10 a night from 6-foot Paisley Heckman and 6-3 Rachel Swartz, plus 6-foot frosh Tristen Murphy is coming on. Federal Way reached the title game last season and is responsible for Mount Rainier’s lone loss this year (although the Rams won the rematch by 20 last Monday). Senior Darah Huertas-Vining, the SPSL South Co-Player of the Year, can fill it up from three-point land (she averages 16 points), while junior Raven Benton is a double-double threat, averaging about 15 points and 10 boards, which landed her on the All-SPSL South first team.
Bethel (15-10) vs. No. 2 Mount Rainier (24-1), 6 p.m.
Defense has been the Braves’ forte all season (they allow just over 40 ppg), but they will have their hands full with the talented Rams, who have a legitimate chance to win it all. Sophomore Brittany McPhee, the two-time SPSL North MVP, is a prolific scorer (22.5) and tenacious rebounder (11.5), but she doesn’t have to do it all for Mount Rainier as twin Jordan McPhee is averaging 10.3 and senior Kiana Gandy is at 14.3. Gandy was another first-team choice. Bethel, which is 0-12 in the round of 16, has a pair of scoring threats in senior Karina Farr (12.5), a first-team selection in the SPSL South, and junior Sweets Battle (11.2).
At Spokane Falls CC
No. 9 Central Valley (22-2) vs. No. 10 Chiawana (17-3), 4 p.m.
The Bears spent much of the season ranked No. 1 in the state and won their first 15 games before falling to Shadle Park. They had another hiccup at district, losing to Gonzaga Prep, and survived a one-point game with Mead before destroying Wenatchee to advance. Senior Brooke Gallaway averaged 17.7 in the regular season, while freshman Madison Hovren checked in at 11.1. Chiawana, which lost by 20 to CV back in early December, took third in last year’s tournament with a senior-laden team. The Riverhawks have won their past 11 and feature the Big 9 Player of the Year in Sadie Sparks.
Olympia (10-14) vs. No. 8 Gonzaga Prep (17-5), 6 p.m.
Senior guard Lindsay Stockton, daughter of former NBA star John Stockton, averaged 11.9 ppg in GSL play and keyed the upset of CV with 24 points. Her freshman sister, Laura Stockton, is also on the team, which has won four in a row and seven of its past eight (losing to Mead). The Bullpups are favored to return to the final eight for the first time since 1997 (Chiawana beat them out last year). Olympia, which last qualified in 2003, won a pair of loser-out bi-district games to get here and has an impressive freshman in Jona Spiller. Senior Alex Bassett is another to watch.