All across the area — and even in places far from Seattle — basketball teams clashed in games that won’t factor into their chances of making the state playoffs. Yet those games still carried importance.
They served as measuring sticks and challenges, and they presented teams with the opportunity to discover where they stood (good or bad) as they inch deeper into the season.
League games will start becoming more important, and the playoff picture will slowly begin being painted. But before any of that happened, Seattle-area teams took to playing in tournaments that helped prepare them for what is ahead.
Here’s how they did:
Disclaimer: There is a good chance that I missed a championship team or a performance of note. There are a ton of tournaments to keep track of. If I did miss something, please point it out and I’ll add that team to the list (firstname.lastname@example.org).
– Shorewood (8-3) beat Archbishop Murphy in the championship game of the Archbishop Murphy Christmas Tournament. Josh Hawkinson scored 22 points to lead Shorewood.
– Renton (11-0) beat Kentwood in the championship game of the Bellevue College Holiday Tournament. It marked Renton’s fourth win against a 4A school this year; the Indians are 2A.
– Bothell (Record) beat Issaquah in the championship game of the Bothell Christmas Tournament. Zach Lavine averaged 28.3 points per game while Perrion Callandret averaged 19.7 points per game.
– Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) beat Lake Washington in the championship game of the Cactus Jam “Cactus” Division. The Eagles are 8-0 this season.
– Glacier Peak beat Coeur d’Alene in the championship game of the Coeur d’Alene Invitational Holiday Classic. The Grizzlies have rattled off four straight wins since losing to Shorewood, including impressive wins against tough Mountlake Terrace and Chief Sealth teams.
– Garfield beat Lake City (Idaho) in the championship game of the Lake City Invitational. Garfield is 8-1 this season and has won eight straight since losing its season-opener to Beamer by one point.
– Ballard, which had lost three straight heading into the tournament, beat Kennedy in the championship game of the Les Schwab Christmas Classic. Johnny Verduin averaged 20 points in Ballard’s final two games of the tournament.
– Newport beat Mountain View in the championship game of the Les Schwab Holiday Hoopfest. Isaac Dotson, who missed part of the season with an injury, and Miles Ferris each scored 12 points in the championship for Newport.
– Mercer Island (10-1) lost its first game of the season, but the Islanders had perhaps one of the most impressive outings from an area team. They won three of four games in the VisitMesa.com Basketball Challenge. Mercer Island’s only loss came to St. John’s Jesuit from Ohio, which featured a player committed to Ohio State. But the Islanders beat three teams from Arizona, including one that had a D-I center and another that was ranked in the top five in Arizona’s largest classification.
– Lakeside (8-1) won two games during the holiday break, handing Eastmont its first loss of the season and beating 4A Wenatchee. D’Marques Tyson had 25 of his team’s 48 points in the Wenatchee win and Tremaine Isabell had 20 in the win against Eastmont.
– Bellevue (6-3) lost its first two games of the Max Preps Holiday Classic against two teams from California. But the Wolverines rebounded with a win against a team from Mississippi and then beat O’Dea. That sets up a showdown with rival Mercer Island (10-1) on Friday.
– Jackson (9-0), 4A’s fourth-ranked team, remained perfect this season with two wins in the Crush in the Slush tournament. Dan Kingma averaged 21.5 points per game while Jason Todd averaged 20.5 points.
– Franklin lost its first game of the season against Union in the final of the Tournament of Champions. Franklin (9-1) is the fourth-ranked team in Class 3A. Union (6-3) beat Franklin 68-55. It was the fewest points Franklin has scored this season, and it came a day after the Quakers put up a season-high 93.
– Rainier Beach went 2-2 and finished in seventh place in the Max Preps Holiday Classic, one of the toughest tournaments around. The Vikings, ranked third in 3A, beat Dorsey from California and then lost to perennially tough Harvard Westlake from California by five and to Miller Grove from Georgia by two. Beach ended the tournament with a four-point win against Antelope from California for seventh.