Post-season girls basketball play is in full swing, so I want to devote this edition of my weekly blog to some of the key playoff matchups.
Before I go any further, you’ve got to remember to bookmark this site, where you can find brackets for pretty much all of the tournaments state-wide.
Josh Liebeskind was at the KingCo 3A girls semifinals at Bellevue College on Tuesday, while I got to see the top girls seeds square off in the SPSL 4A tournament at the ShoWare Center in Kent (crossover games between the division champions and second-place teams).
Josh led the roundup with No. 9 Bellevue’s upset of No. 5 Juanita, and you can read it here. We weren’t given much room for the whole package, so everything else was just tacked on.
I wish I could have written more about the SPSL championship game, where No. 6 Mount Rainier knocked off No. 3 Beamer, 70-58. The Titans were the last unbeaten team in any of the top three classifications at 20, including a 64-59 win over Mount Rainier back on Dec. 27.
After a big comeback by the Titans, who took a 52-51 lead with 5:48 to play after trailing by 12 at halftime, they suffered a blow when Quinessa Caylao-Do went down with a scarry ankle injury. It looked bad (and at first I feared it was her knee) but the update I received from coach Corey Alexander is promising.
Caylao-Do, a sophomore, is a smooth shooter and had nine points through the first nine minutes of the game and is their second leading scorer at 11.5 (Megan Huff averages 13.5 and Nia Alexander comes in at 10.3).
The good news from Alexander is that Caylao-Do is cleared to play, although he said she likely will sit out tonight when the Titans open West Central District play at home against Olympia, the No. 4 seed out of the Narrows League.
Alexander called the loss “an eye opener” and expects his team to learn from it. The Titans haven’t had many close games this season and didn’t respond well. They trailled just 63-58 with 2:33 to play, then went scoreless the rest of the way.
Mount Rainier’s Brittany McPhee was her usual stellar self with 32 points. They didn’t have complete stats available, but she had an array of rebounds, assists, steals and blocks as well.
Aqeelah Williams scored 11, but the difference in this one, to me, was Kati Freeberg, who contributed nine key points, tying her season high. She averages just 2.8. Jordan McPhee and Emily Fiso added eight apiece.
For Beamer, Huff (24) and Alexander (17) were impressive as usual.
That should be an interesting district tournament. I would be surprised not to see the Titans in the championship game, although Bellarmine Prep, the Narrows champion, is a bit of an unknown to me. That could be an interesting quarterfinal game Saturday between the Lions and Kentwood, which sometimes looks oh-so-good and other times not so much.
In the other half of the bracket, Mount Rainier could end up facing No. 4 Skyview in the semis — and I’ll look forward to seeing that one next Thursday (both girls semis are that night at Puyallup, with the championship game Saturday at PLU).
Tomorrow I plan to be at the Northwest 4A District semifinals at Mountlake Terrace, where top-ranked Lynnwood faces Edmonds-Woodway at 6 p.m. and No. 10 Arlington plays Jackson at 8 p.m.
Both winners clinch regional berths. The losers face a tough road with three potential loser-out games. The third-place team out of the Northwest District plays the No. 3 KingCo team on Feb. 22 for a regional berth.
The KingCo 4A semis are this Saturday, with No. 5 Inglemoor taking on Woodinville (a rematch of the regular-season finale last Friday, which Inglemoor won 66-50) and Eastlake squaring off against Newport. Both of those games are at Juanita and again the winners will advance to regionals.
The Metro League tourney heats up tonight (three seeding games in the the SeaKing District tournament) and tomorrow (championship game between No. 1 Cleveland and No. 3 Bishop Blanchet).
The KingCo 3A title game is tonight between Bellevue and Mercer Island, while Juanita and Liberty play for the third and fourth seeds into SeaKing — which begins Saturday.
I have not heard an update on Juanita’s Tea Adams, who has been battling a bad shoulder and went down again in the game against Bellevue.
I hope to get out to see some of those SeaKing games on Tuesday.
My basketball schedule this time of the year gets interrupted a bit by wrestling. I’ll be at a regional wrestling tournament Saturday, then back to basketball during next week, until switching back to wrestling for state Feb. 21-22.
Then it’s all hoops, baby!
I’ll touch on the Northwest 3A District tourney for a minute before closing up the notebook. Those semifinals are set for Saturday with No. 7 Glacier Peak playing Ferndale and No. 10 Mountlake Terrace taking on Meadowdale, which knocked Everett into the loser-s bracket last night, 51-45.
The semifinal winners are assured if regional berths and play for the district title on Feb. 22. Only one other team will move one from that tournament.
Be sure to check on the brackets in the other classifications as well, and I’ll try to touch on some of the local smaller schools again next week.
Until then, get out and see some games!