Happy holidays and welcome to the second edition of Post-Ups, my weekly blog notebook dedicated to high-school girls basketball.
This will be an abbreviated version and will have to get you through until Thursday, Jan. 9, when I’ll have the next installment as I am taking a few days off next week. There will be no new rankings until after the New Year as well. You can look for those on Monday, Jan. 6.
But you certainly don’t have to go through any hoop withdrawals between now and then. Sure, some teams are traveling to out-of-town tournaments. But there are several girls events on the docket in the area, including the massive Rebel Challenge at Juanita, which starts tomorrow.
There are tournaments at Snohomish and Kennedy Catholic as well. And you can check The Times website to find all kinds of games over the next week and a half.
One game that jumps out at me in the Snohomish event today is Jackson vs. Everett. I had the Timberwolves ranked No. 7 in the first Class 4A poll of the season, then dropped them to my watch list after losing 78-71 to Edmonds-Woodway in the second game of the season.
But I still really like that team. They’re tough even without UW-bound Kelli Kingma in the lineup. They’ve won the last two games without her as she apparently rested a sore knee she banged up in practice – this according to a tweet Kingma sent out.
First-year coach Mark Haner had originally told me she was out ill. We exchanged some e-mails about her status and he made it clear his policy is to not discuss medical information about players, in part because he believes if violates privacy rights established under the HIPAA.
Kingma, who missed the majority of her junior season with a knee injury, scored 24 and 29 points in the first two games of this year. Hopefully she’s back in action soon. But Jackson (3-1) has plenty of firepower without her as three others average in double-figures – Sierra Anderson (17.5), Faithaleen Lopez-Flores (16.0) and Imari Clinton (12.0).
Unbeaten Everett (5-0) has moved up to No. 3 in the 3A rankings and Jackson should be a great test. The Seagulls feature high-scoring Sidney Rielly, who is averaging 23.4 points per game and has scored 20 or more in four of their five games, including 33 against Mount Vernon. She has signed with Santa Clara.
Rielly is the only Everett player consistently in double figures, but five others average between 5.2 and 8.4.
In the Rebel Challenge, host Juanita has an interesting schedule with W.F. West of Chehalis on Friday, Lake City from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on Saturday and Auburn Riverside on Monday.
I’ve got unbeaten Juanita (7-0) ranked No. 2 in 3A behind Cleveland, the defending state champion. W.F. West (4-1) at No. 3 in 2A with its lone loss coming to Mark Morris, the defending 2A champ currently ranked No. 1. Lake City brings in a 7-3, while Auburn Riverside is 5-1, after falling last week to a solid Kentwood team.
Other ranked teams in that event are Glacier Peak (3A No. 4), Holy Names (3A No. 10) and Lake Washington (2A No. 8). And a good Ferndale team will be there, too.
Glacier Peak didn’t land any blockbusters, going against Roosevelt Friday, Kent-Meridian Saturday and Foster Monday. Holy Names has Meadowdale, Kamiak and Lake City. LW opens with K-M, then gets a crack at W.F. West Saturday, so that should be a telling game, and finishes with Enumclaw.
And here are two Friday games definitely worth getting out to see: Beamer at Mount Rainier and Mountlake Terrace at Bishop Blanchet.
Powered by the McPhee twins, Mount Rainier (6-1) is ranked No. 2 in 4A and nearly knocked off No. 1 Lynnwood a week and a half ago before losing in double-overtime. Brittany McPhee, who has signed with Stanford, is the two-time Gatorade Player of the Year and currently averages 23 points and better than 12 rebounds per game. Jordan McPhee averages 13.3 points and four assists per outing and two other starters are in double-figures as well – Aqueelah Williams (12.1) and Emily Fiso (10.4).
This will be the first beat test of the season for fourth-ranked Beamer (5-0), which nearly upset the Rams in last year’s SPSL championship game before losing 57-56.
The Titans are still young with a core group of sophomores, but also feature 6-2 senior Megan Huff, who will play volleyball next year at the University of Hawaii. We have only had individual scoring reported for two of the team’s five games, so can’t give you any accurate scoring averages, but watch out for Nia Alexander, Bria Rice and Quinessa Caylao-Do, all sophs.
Mountlake Terrace (6-1) is ranked No. 8 in 3A and has lost only to Arlington, now No. 9 in 4A. We have scoring from six games with Sam Romanowski leading the way at 21.3, followed by Nikki Froehlich (12.5) and Maddy Kristjanson (11.2).
Blanchet (7-0) has jumped up to No. 6 in the 3A rankings and has been keyed by freshmen Jadyn Bush (16.4) and Taylor Changers (11.4). The Braves knocked off previously unbeaten Holy Names last week.
And of course on New Year’s Day you’ve got the titanic clash between Lynnwood (4A No. 1) and Cleveland (3A No. 1) at Cleveland. I wrote about that one in an earlier blog, so you can check out details there. What better way to start 2014!
Hope you can celebrate the holidays by getting out to see some great girls games.