Here are previews and predicted winners from seven of the eight regional games this weekend, all featuring at least one local team. The other game is Columbia River vs. Lincoln, and I like Lincoln in that game. All games are on Saturday.
No. 8 Franklin (16-9) vs. No. 5 Stanwood (18-5), Glacier Peak High School, 6 p.m.
- The Quakers are a team capable of hanging with anyone; they lost by just two points to then-No. 2 Garfield earlier this season and beat Seattle Prep by five. Franklin enters having lost two straight games, although both came against teams ranked in the top four in 3A. Patrick Ball has scored more than 20 points 10 times. Arell Hennings (11.4 points per game) and Eugene Artison (9.8) are also capable of big games. Stanwood enters on a nine-game winning streak, including wins against Glacier Peak and ranked Mountlake Terrace. Cannen Roberson averages 15 points and erupted for 41 earlier in the year. Josh Thayer averages 11.4 points per game, but the Spartans have been so successful of late because they’ve been so balanced.
- Predicted winner: Franklin
No. 6 Mountlake Terrace (20-3) vs. No. 7 Foss (17-6), Glacier Peak High School, 4 p.m.
- Mountlake Terrace is a solid and balanced team. Greg Bowman, Loren Lacasse, Marquis Armstead and Blake Fernandez all average between 10 and 13 points per game. All are also capable of having big games. Foss is led by Dezmyn Trent, one of the area’s most potent scorers. Trent had a stretch of scoring 40 points three times in less than two weeks.
- Predicted winner: Mountlake Terrace
Glacier Peak (19-5) vs. No. 2 Rainier Beach (21-4), Bellevue College, 4 p.m.
- Zach Pederson, a 6-foot-6 senior forward, averages 17.3 points for the Grizzlies and and has scored in double figures in all but one game this season. Fellow seniors Dreu Vader (12.7) and Ramsey Rosales (13.4) are Glacier Peak’s other two big scoring threats. Glacier Peak has lost three of its last five games. Rainier Beach is the defending 3A state champs. The Vikings are the deepest team in the state and are led by Shaqquan Aaron, Marquis Davis and Dajuan Piper. But what makes Beach so deadly is the fact that on any night, one of 10 guys can lead the team in scoring.
- Predicted winner: Rainier Beach
Kennedy Catholic vs. No. 1 Lakeside (21-4), Bellevue College, 6 p.m.
- Lakeside is playing in its first playoff game since 1991, and the Lions are a real threat this year. Tramaine Isabell, a junior guard, has turned into one of the area’s best players in the second half of the season. D’Marques Tyson and Matthew Poplawski are also threats to score, particularly on the outside. Kennedy Catholic is led by Josh Sierhuis and Anthony McCluskey. The Lancers have lost three of their last four games.
- Predicted winner: Lakeside
No. 4 Mercer Island vs. Timberline, Mt. Tahoma High School, 4 p.m.
- Mercer Island relies on a big three of its own: Joe Rasmussen (15.6 points per game), Nick Nordale (14.6) and Kaleb Warner (14.0). Rasmussen had a stretch where he scored at least 24 points in three of four games. Warner scored 30 in the season opener. Nordale had 31 in another game. The Islanders are long and athletic and can be a handful. Timberline upset Foss last Saturday and lost to No. 3 Lincoln by just a point, so the Blazers are certainly capable of hanging with anyone. Donovan Dorsey, a 6-foot-5 guard, leads Timberline and receiving plenty of D-I interest.
- Predicted winner: Mercer Island
No. 10 Seattle Prep (19-7) vs. Shadle Park (13-10), University High School, 4 p.m.
- Seattle Prep stumbled down the stretch, going 6-6 in the Panthers final 12 games. But Prep won two loser-out games in the Sea-King 3A District tournament to advance, and 6-foot-6 senior D.J. Fenner had a lot to do with it. One of the best players in the state, Fenner combined for 75 points in those games and is averaging 28.2 points per game. Laurence Hicks is Prep’s secondary option at 9.3 points per game. Shadle Park closed the season with six wins in seven games – the only loss was to a ranked University team by three – but the Highlanders have been up and down all year.
- Predicted winner: Seattle Prep
Enumclaw (16-10) vs. No. 9 University (15-7), University High School, 6 p.m.
- Tony Chynoweth, a 6-foot-3 senior, scored 30 points in a win against Inglemoor earlier this year and has scored in double figures more often than he hasn’t. Drake Rademacher is alsa dangerous – he had 23 against Bonney Lake. University, which made noise in the state tournament a year ago, is once again led by Brett Bailey, who will play at San Diego next year. Bailey is averaging more than 20 points per game.
- Predicted winner: University