When the Sehome and Lynden boys basketball teams begin the Class 2A state playoffs, they will be looking at familiar foes.
The Mariners will open the state regional round against North Kitsap on Friday, Feb. 25, at 6 p.m. at Foss High School in Tacoma. It will be a rematch of a non-league game also played at North Kitsap on Jan. 17 that the top-seeded Vikings won, 81-58.
Check out Whatcom Hoops for previews of the Class 1B boys, Class 1A boys and girls, and Class 2A girls state regionals.
Since then, the Mariners have won eight of their last 10 games, finishing second in the District 1 tournament and earning the eighth seed at state. Ironically, the two teams Sehome lost to during that stretch — Lynden and Port Angeles — are facing each other on Friday.
The Lions, who won the District 1 tournament and are seeded second, will take on the seventh-seeded Roughriders at 8 p.m. Friday at Mount Vernon High School. Lynden comes in having won 15 of its last 16 games, while Port Angeles can claim a 16-point victory over No.1 North Kitsap.
Although the Lions didn’t play Port Angeles during the regular season, the two have faced off several times in summer tournaments and will be very familiar with each other, according to Lynden coach Brian Roper.
Because Lynden, Sehome and their two opponents are seeded in the top eight of the 16-team tournament, all four will advance to the state tournament in the Yakima SunDome.
The winners of Friday’s regionals will move straight to the state quarterfinals on Thursday. The losers of Friday’s regionals will play loser-out games on Wednesday and will need to win to advance to Thursday’s quarterfinals.
Here’s a look at both our teams and the 2A boys state tournament:
Record: 15-6 (#8 seed)
Starters: Grey Garrison, F, Jr., 6-6; Mathew Storms, G, Jr., 6-3; Gavin Ortega, C, Sr., 6-4; Dane Dominguez, G, Jr., 5-10; Grant Kepley, G, Jr., 6-4.
Reserves: Isaac Lawrence, G, Jr., 6-1; Eli Daheim, G, Jr., 5-10; Austin McKay, G, So., 6-3; Kai Swanson, G, Jr., 6-1; Braddock Duckworth, F, So., 6-4; Nathan Eises, C, Jr., 6-4; Habib Bello, C, Jr., 6-4.
Team preview: With only one senior, Sehome appears to be ahead of schedule. But the junior-dominated team has proven it has the firepower to play with anyone, including Port Angeles, which only beat the Mariners by four at home. Dynamic guards Storms and Kepley can light it up inside and outside, and if big men Garrison and Ortega hold their own against some of the tournament’s taller teams Sehome’s time could be now, not next year.
State outlook: Defending 2020 state champion North Kitsap and Lynden will be the favorites if only because they’ve won the past three state titles and come in with impressive records. But this is a wide-open tournament with at least a half-dozen squads that could claim the state crown and another half-dozen upset-minded teams that could be playing Saturday for trophies.
Record: 19-2 (#2 seed)
Starters: Kaleo Jandoc, G, Sr., 5-11; Coston Parcher, G, Jr., 6-0; Jordan Medcalf, G/F, Sr., 6-3; Dawson Adams, G/F, Sr., 6-1; Anthony Canales, G/F, So., 6-1.
Reserves: Cameron Peterson, P, Jr., 6-5; Brady Elsner, G, So., 6-0; Max Moore, G, Sr., 6-1; Trey Smiley, F, Jr., 6-3; Brant Heppner, G/F, Fr., 6-5; Kobe Baar, G/F, Jr., 6-2; Lane Simonsen, F, So., 6-1.
Team preview: Lynden has a luxury few teams in the tournament possess — two players who have started in state games. Medcalf and Janoc, who started on the 2020 team that took third, provide senior leadership, but the improvement of Dawson, Parcher and especially sophomore Canales is what makes Lynden a co-favorite. Because they rarely turn the ball over and play stifling defense, if the Lions’ shots are falling, they can beat anyone.
State outlook: Top-seed North Kitsap is considered the most talented squad and you can almost pencil in Lynden as a top-three placer since they’ve done it eight of the past nine state tournaments. But lurking away from the spotlight are R.A. Long and Pullman, two teams with height, talent and impressive resumes. There will be no easy games in Yakima.
Coach Brian Roper: “We’re thrilled to be playing in regionals and state. Last year, we didn’t have it at all (because of COVID), which makes it all the more special. You can’t take anything for granted.”
CLASS 2A STATE REGIONALS
Friday, Feb. 25
#1 North Kitsap (21-3) vs. #8 Sehome (15-6) at Foss HS, 6 p.m. (both to state tournament)
#2 Lynden (19-2) vs. #7 Port Angeles (18-5) at Mount Vernon HS, 8 p.m. (both to state tournament)
Saturday, Feb. 26
#11 Mark Morris (16-8) vs. #14 Prosser (13-10) at W.F. West HS, noon (winner to state tournament, loser out)
#12 Grandview (17-6) vs. #13 Enumclaw (14-8) at Davis HS, noon (winner to state tournament, loser out)
#4 Pullman (20-2) vs. #5 Tumwater (19-4) at University HS, 4 p.m. (both to state tournament)
#9 Lakewood (14-6) vs. #16 Sammamish (14-10) at Everett CC, 4 p.m. (winner to state tournament, loser out)
#10 Franklin Pierce (15-5) vs. #15 W.F. West (14-8) at Mount Tahoma HS 6 p.m. (winner to state tournament, loser out)
#3 R.A. Long (19-2) vs. #6 White River (19-3) at Mark Morris HS, 8 p.m. (both to state tournament)
At Yakima SunDome
Wednesday-Saturday, March 2-5