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High School Sports Blog

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

December 5, 2012 at 9:57 PM

The five-minute guide to boys’ basketball, including third-team all-state and more rankings

Football is officially done (sorry to those hoping for a Skyline-Bellevue showdown), which means only one thing: Hoops season is here.

I’m a little late to the party on this one because of the overlap between the start of the basketball season and the end of the football season. While I’ve started to learn about teams and meet coaches, I’ll still continue to dive into that over the next couple weeks.

But I also can’t tell you how excited I am for basketball in Seattle. Since moving to the city three months ago, I’ve heard a ton about the great teams, the great traditions at some schools and the great atmospheres at most games. I love football, but I also went to the University of Kansas and one thing we do really, really well is basketball.

I know that’s a a lengthy bit of background information, but I wanted to explain why the basketball coverage has been a little slow to get off the ground while also letting you know I’m really pumped to dive right in. I’ll continue doing The Fifth Quarter every Monday. We’ll cover boys and girls games throughout the week. And I’ll post interesting notes and videos on the blog (Amy Bergstrom actually posted a great highlight video of Seattle Prep’s win against Cleveland that you should check out).

And so without anymore delay, here’s a quick look at some teams and players to watch this basketball season.

All-state teams:

First-team all-state:

Zach LaVine, Bothell, 6-4, Sr.

Spot-on shooter who averaged 26 points last year and will play at UCLA next year

Brett Bailey, University, 6-6, Sr.

Versatile wing with a pretty jump shot averaged 16 points; signed with San Diego

Tre’Shaun Fletcher, Lincoln, 6-6, Sr.

Colorado-bound Fletcher (formerly Lexing) averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds

D.J. Fenner, Seattle Prep, 6-6, Sr.

Physical forward who can also shoot averaged 18.3 points and is signed with Nevada

Shaqquan Aaron, Rainier Beach, 6-7, Jr.

Skilled forward with offers from UConn, Arizona and Syracuse moved from California

Second-team all-state:

Ahmaad Rorie, Lincoln, 6-0, Jr.

Named the Tacoma News-Tribune’s all-area player of the year last year and is committed to Cal

Tucker Haymond, Garfield, 6-5, Sr.

Big-time competitor who averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds last year

Seth Berger, Ballard, 6-7, Sr.

Slasher and versatile scorer who signed with Massachusetts

Josh Martin, Bothell, 6-8, Jr.

Powerful force inside who is working on expanding his range; has offer from UW

Luke Meikle, Bellarmine Prep, 6-8, Sr.

Skilled big man and Gonzaga signee averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds as a junior

Third team:

Arell Hennings, Franklin, 5-7, Sr.

He’s not a big guard, but Hennings has a knack for making plays

Marquis Davis, Rainier Beach, 5-9, Sr.

Scored 30 points in 3A championship game and was named the tournament’s MVP

Dezmyn Trent, Foss, 6-4, Sr.

Averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds a year ago and was co-MVP of Narrows 3A League

Corey Langerveld, Pullman, 6-6, Sr.

ESPN has the left-handed Langerveld as the state’s 8th-best player in the Class of 2013

Jason Todd, Jackson, 6-6, Jr.

Hard-nosed forward is an all-around good player

In the mix:

– Brad Wallace, River Ridge, Sr.: Named The Olympian’s all-area player of the year as a junior after averaging 20 points per game

– Brayon Blake, Federal Way, Sr.: Has the all the tools to become a big-time player

– DeeShawn Tucker, Federal way, Jr.: Ranked as sixth-best player by ESPN in Class of 2014; – Kaleb Warner, Mercer Island, Jr.: Opened the year with a 30-point performance.

– Jacob Lampkin, O’Dea, Jr.: A 6-8 big man with some skill.

Teams to keep an eye on…

Here’s a completely subjective list of rankings for some individual leagues. Again, this is just one of those things to give you an idea of where teams stand at this really early stage of the season.

Top 5 in KingCo 4A:

1. Bothell

2. Garfield

3. Issaquah

4. Ballard

5. Newport

Top 5 in Metro:

1. Rainier Beach

2. Franklin

3. O’Dea

4. Seattle Prep

5. Eastside Catholic

Top 5 in WesCo 4A:

1. Jackson

2. Arlington

3. Mariner

4. Edmonds-Woodway

5. Snohomish

Top 5 in WesCo 3A:

1. Mountlake Terrace

2. Glacier Peak

3. Stanwood

4. Meadowdale

5. Shorecrest

Top 5 in SPSL 4A:

1. Federal Way

2. Tahoma

3. Curtis

4. Beamer

5. Mount Rainier

Top 2 in KingCo 3A/2A:

1. Mercer Island

2. Bellevue

Top 2 in SPSL 3A:

1. Decatur

2. Lakes

Five games to watch:

*This is not a complete list. We, at the Times, are still in the process of tracking down all schedules for teams, a massive undertaking that takes many, many hours. But I wanted to give people at least some idea of a few fun games worth keeping an eye on as we really get rolling into the basketball season.

– Rainier Beach vs. Bothell on Jan. 21: A monster game pitting 3A’s top team (Beach) vs. 4A’s top team (Bothell).

– Garfield vs. Franklin on Jan. 21: A great rivalry game between two deep teams that could contend for state title’s this year.

– Mountlake Terrace vs. Glacier Peak on Jan. 31: This one could very well decide WesCo 3A South.

– Issaquah vs. Ballard on Dec. 21: Two very solid teams that could surprise people this year.

– Federal Way vs. Curtis on Dec. 11: It will be the first test for Federal Way, and we’ll get an early idea of how good the Eagles are.

Rankings:

*I’ll be the first to admit that preseason rankings (or rankings really early in a season) are about as imperfect as a science as there is. There’s just no way to know how teams will develop, what players will step up, what teams will have chemistry issues or injuries. But that’s part of the fun of rankings. So while these are my first rankings of the year, I expect them to change a whole lot over the next few weeks until I can get a better idea of how teams are.

Class 4A

1. Bothell 17-11

2. Federal Way 16-9

3. Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma) 24-5

4. Garfield (Seattle) 20-7

5. Jackson (Mill Creek) 19-7

6. Central Valley (Spokane Valley) 22-4

7. Richland 15-10

8. Union (Vancouver) 21-8

9. Issaquah 14-10

10. Gonzaga Prep (Spokane) 16-8

Brief explanation: This was the trickiest of them all. In 4A, I think there are clearly a top three and then everybody else. I’m just not sure exactly how to sort the top three. I went with Bothell No. 1 because the Cougars big three are just too talented. Zach LaVine is about as smooth a player as there is, and his shooting has only gotten better. I went Federal Way next because the Eagles have such good guard play, although they don’t have great scoring inside. And Bellarmine Prep might end up being as good as either of them with Sefo Liufau, Isaiah Flynn and Luke Meikle. After that, I think it’s a jumble. Garfield lost to Beamer to open the year, but the Bulldogs are a deep team that will get it figured out while Jackson has an elite player in Jason Todd.

Class 3A

1. Rainier Beach (Seattle) 27-3

2. Lincoln (Tacoma) 18-9

3. Franklin (Seattle) 17-8

4. University (Spokane) 21-5

5. Kamiakin (Kennewick) 23-3

6. O’Dea (Seattle) 21-9

7. Foss (Tacoma) 13-8

8. Seattle Prep 24-6

9. Mountlake Terrace 23-3

10. Mercer Island 21-9

Brief explanation: Rainier Beach goes 12-players deep and features one of the best basketball players in the state in Shaqquan Aaron. Lincoln is a very close second. After that, you could make an argument for any of the other teams to be slotted anywhere. I like Franklin’s depth, and I’ve heard only good things about coach Jason Kerr. I went University fourth because of Brett Bailey and their experience of getting to the state tournament last year. Watch out for Mountlake Terrace. I’ve heard good things about the Hawks.

Class 2A

1. Lynden 24-4

2. Clover Park (Lakewood) 23-6

3. White River (Buckley) 25-6

4. Mark Morris (Longview) 18-6

5. Pullman 22-4

6. West Valley (Yakima) 15-10

7. Renton 10-14

8. River Ridge (Lacey) 15-9

9. Ellensburg 19-6

10. Sammamish (Bellevue) 15-9

Brief explanation: One thing I was told from people since I’ve been here: Don’t bet against Lynden. So I won’t. Even without Ahmaad Rorie (now at Lincoln) I’ve heard Clover Park is still clearly the second-best team. And I’ve also heard good things about Mark Morris and Pullman from reporters who cover both teams.

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