Since we are about halfway through the regular season in girls basketball (can you believe it??), I thought I’d focus this edition of Post-Ups to take a look at some of the area league races in 4A and 3A.
Mind you, while most teams have played between 9-11 games overall (out of the 20 allotted, 21 if they play the Australians), they still face the bulk of their conference schedule.
There are some interesting races, for sure. So let’s have a look. And before I do, I’ll let you know that I am not 100% sure on all records as some teams have been remiss about getting scores to The Seattle Times and other websites aren’t always totally accurate either.
We’ll start here, since that’s where the top-ranked team in the state resides. That would be Lynnwood (9-1), which just might have gotten the wake-up call it needed with the 10-point loss to Cleveland (top-ranked in 3A) on New Year’s Day.
The Royals sit atop the South Division at 5-0, but are followed closely by Edmonds-Woodway and Jackson (each 8-2, 9-1). Remember, Lynnwood hammered E-W 60-15 back on Dec. 18. That rematch is on Jan. 29. The original Lynnwood-Jackson game was snowed out and the two teams will ultimately play twice in the same week, at Jackson on Monday, Jan. 27, and at Lynnwood on Jan. 31.
Ninth-ranked Arlington (10-0) leads in the 4A North Division at 5-0, with Monroe (5-3, 3-1) and Snohomish (4-6, 2-2) next in line. The Eagles take their shot at Lynnwood on Jan. 17 and play E-W tonight with Jackson in the wings on Jan. 22. Big stretch run for Arlington.
Sixth-ranked Eastlake (9-1) holds first place in the Crest Division at 5-0. The Wolves are 9-0 since losing their opener by just four points to Mount Rainier, then ranked No. 2 in the state.
Woodinville (6-5, 4-1) stayed in hot pursuit with a key cross-division win last night over Skyline, which played well over the holiday break by winning its division in the West Coast Jamboree in California. Skyline is just 1-4 in the Crown Division, but 6-4 overall.
Let me stick with the Crest Division for a minute. Bothell (9-3, 3-3, has been a bit surprising to me and handed Issaquah it’s first KingCo loss of the season last night. And watch out for Inglemoor, which I had ranked No. 9 to start the season. After going just 2-3 out of the game, the Vikings have now won four straight to improve to 6-3, 2-2 in league play. And remember, they only lost by one point to Eastlake in early December.
In the Crown Division, Newport (7-3) now has sole possession of first place at 5-0 with Issaquah (6-4) slipping to 4-1. Garfield (6-4, 3-2) is dangerous with freshman Juanita Agosto, who leads the league in scoring at 24.3 points per game. I still think Skyline could be a factor and Ballard is no gimmee.
There will be a ton of intriguing games over the next few weeks, so I’m not going to mention them all. I think that Inglemoor-Eastlake rematch on Jan. 18 (at Inglemoor) should be one to watch (and just FYI Inglemoor then plays Mount Rainier on Jan. 20, Martin Luther King Day, at the Showare Center in Kent).
Newport and Issaquah meet twice down the stretch – at Issaquah on Jan. 17 and at Newport on Feb. 7.
The best place to find complete KingCo schedules (for 4A as well as 3A/2A) are at the KingCo website here. You can choose schedules by sport and by school.
The hottest team in the league right now is third-ranked Beamer (9-0), which improved to 7-0 in the South Division with a victory over No. 8 Puyallup on Tuesday. You can read my story on that game here.
The Titans, who flirted with a state berth with a super-young team last season, have also beaten Mount Rainier this season, knocking the Rams down to No. 5 in the latest rankings. They still start three sophomores, but 6-3 senior Megan Huff is key with the inside-outside presence she gives them.
I was very impressed with Puyallup (8-1, 6-1), especially early on. The Vikings have had to juggle lineups due to a variety of reasons and could make a strong post-season run when they settle in.
Curtis (8-2, 5-2) is a strong third-place team – but lost 62-28 to Puyallup in early December. Those Vikings get a dose of Beamer tonight.
Mount Rainier (7-2, 6-0) is still the solid favorite in the North Division. Remember, the Rams’ other loss came against Lynnwood. From there it should be an interesting race between Kentwood (7-2, 5-1), Kentridge (8-4, 6-2) and Auburn Riverside (8-3, 5-2).
I’ve been a pretty big Kentwood advocate, but the Conquerors took a 75-39 whipping from Inglemoor over the holidays. They have beaten AR 60-36. Riverside was schooled 61-39 by Mount Rainier, and also took a lopsided loss over the break from Juanita (75-47), a contender for the 3A state title.
As mentioned earlier, Cleveland is ranked No. 1 in the state in 3A. The Eagles (8-2, 6-0 Valley Division) are the defending state champs and that recent win over Lynnwood was classic. Their two losses came in an out-of-state tourney, and both were close. They hammered fourth-ranked Bishop Blanchet last night, 75-37. I thought that one might be a little closer, but the Braves (8-2, 5-1 Mountain Division) showed their youth.
Our Metro standings may be lacking, but hopefully close for most teams.
The Mountain Division should be a battle between Blanchet and No. 8 Holy Names (9-1, 5-1). The Braves beat the Cougars in a defensive battle back on Dec. 18, 34-27, and the rematch is set for Jan. 27 at Holy Names. The Cougars close out the regular season at Cleveland on Feb. 7.
One Metro team that has flown a little under the radar is West Seattle (7-3, 4-1 Sound Division). The Wildcats have a one-game lead in the division over Bainbridge (4-3, 3-2 – although that overall record seems light). They started the season just 1-3 – but two of those losses were to 4A ranked teams from Spokane, No. 2 Gonzaga Prep and No. 7 Mead). They then lost the league opener to Lakeside, 42-39. But West Seattle is 6-0 since, including a key win last night against Seattle Prep (not sure when the last time that happened).
West Seattle beat Bainbridge at home 48-28 last month and travels to Bainbridge on Jan. 18.
That should be a fun Metro League tournament, and an even better Sea-King District event!
Just when we all thought the league title would come down to a home-and-home series between No. 2 Juanita and No. 3 Bellevue, Liberty stepped in last night and said not so fast. The Patriots (8-3, 4-1) pulled off their second straight upset, 50-47 in overtime. They were coming off a 59-48 win over Everett, which was No. 3 at the time and this week dropped to ninth.
Time to give the Pats a harder look!
Their lone league loss came against Juanita in the third game of the season, 68-64. Their other defeats came against 4A teams, Newport and Monroe. Their rematch with Juanita, at Liberty, is Jan. 15 and they travel to Bellevue on Jan. 31.
Bellevue (9-2, 4-1) had won eight in a row since losing to No. 5 Glacier Peak in the second game of the season.
Juanita (11-0, 5-0) has been playing like a well-oiled machine and should contend for the state title. The original Juanita-Bellevue game has been postponed twice and is now set for Jan. 13 at Juanita with the rematch at Bellevue on Jan. 24.
Here’s a score from last night that caught my eye: Mountlake Terrace 50, Glacier Peak 48. I dropped the Hawks (8-3, 3-1 South Division) from this week’s rankings after their 59-43 loss to Shorecrest last Friday and said in my Monday blog they’d have a chance to prove worthy in this game.
They will get another look, as will Shorecrest (also 8-3, 3-1 in the South). The Scots’ lone league loss came to GP back on Dec. 18, 52-41.
Fifth-ranked GP (9-2, 2-2) has now lost two in a row after falling to Shorewood by two last Friday. You can read the Everett Herald’s account of the game with Mountlake Terrace here.
There is mention of the first Associated Press rankings of the season in that story and for some reason we didn’t get them. But we will find and post them for those interested. The nice thing about the AP rankings, to me, is that all classifications are included.
I’ll talk about key upcoming WesCo. 3A games after catching you up on the North Division. Everett (7-3, 3-0) is in front there, followed by Marsyvlille-Pilchuck (2-0, 5-4) and Stanwood (5-4, 2-1).
Shorecrest faces Everett on Jan. 17, Glacier Peak on Jan. 29 and Mountlake Terrace on Feb. 4. Mountlake Terrace gets Everett on Jan. 21 and Glacier Peak on Feb. 6. For full WesCo schedules, go to their website here.
With just six 3A teams in the SPSL, league play just started on Tuesday. Bonney Lake (9-2, 1-0) and Auburn Mountainview (8-3, 1-0) are the clear favorites and they meet Friday at Bonney Lake, a game I plan to cover. Enumclaw (4-6, 0-1) proved it could be a factor after playing Mountainview tough Tuesday, losing just 36-35.
So that’s it for this week. Check back in Monday for a new set of rankings. And get out to see some games the next few nights!