3A District Preview: Squalicum Boys, Ferndale Girls Face Tough Tests

The Squalicum boys and Ferndale girls will represent Whatcom County in the Class 3A District 1 tournaments, which open with play-in games Thursday night.

The 10th-seeded Squalicum boys (8-12) will travel to seventh-seed Lynnwood (8-11) in one of the two play-in games starting at 7 p.m. The Royals placed eighth in the 15-team 3A/2A Western Conference (Wesco).

The winner of the Squalicum-Lynnwood game will advance to the double-elimination phase of the tournament, starting with a road game at Wesco runner-up Arlington (14-5) to face the second-seeded Eagles on Friday at 7 p.m. The loser of Thursday’s game will have its season end.

For updates on how our Whatcom County teams are doing in the 1B, 1A, 2A and 3A tournaments, be sure to check out www.whatcomhoops.com.

With only two seniors — team leader Spencer Lloyd and guard Noah Martin — the scrappy Storm survived a mid-season slump to win its final four games thanks to the play of underclassmen such as junior guard Devante Powell, junior point guard Dedrick Mitchell, and 6-foot-6 sophomore center Leland Zender.

“With a young team, you’re playing your best ball at the end of the season,” said Storm coach Dave Dickson.

But even after upsetting Lakewood in overtime in the next-to-last game, it looked like Squalicum was out of the playoffs thanks to the complicated district RPI rating system. “I got an A in calculus in college, and I still have no idea how it works,” joked Dickson.

After returning home on the bus that night, Dickson told the team its playoff quest was over, only to get a call from athletic director Patrick Brown saying the Storm still had a chance. Then, after upsetting Burlington-Edison by four points in the regular-season finale, the team still had to wait until other teams had finished playing.

Finally, they learned they had qualified for the final berth.

“I told them, ‘I think we’re playing with house money,’” said Dickson.

CLASS 3A DISTRICT 1 BOYS TOURNAMENT
First-round games (Thursday)
Squalicum (8-12) at Lynnwood (8-11), 7 p.m. (loser out)
Shorecrest (11-8) at Meadowdale (10-9), 7 p.m. (loser out)

Second-round games (Friday)
Squalicum-Lynnwood winner at Arlington (14-5), 7 p.m.

(Full schedule and bracket at nwcathletics.com)

Ferndale Girls Open Friday At Snohomish

By earning the district’s sixth seed, the Golden Eagles (14-6) avoided the play-in round and will open double-elimination play at Snohomish on Friday at 7 p.m. The Panthers (12-7) are seeded third after taking fourth in the Wesco.

The winner of Friday’s game will move into the semifinals against the winner of Friday’s contest between the Everett-Stanwood winner and second-seeded Shorecrest at Shorewood. The Ferndale-Snohomish loser will play in a loser-out game. Both games would be Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Ferndale placed sixth in the Northwest Conference and is led by its senior front court of Rylee Weg, Nicole Guessford and Kim Weden and the junior guard trio of Aleah Washington, Brianna Byrnes and Ashley Thomas.
CLASS 3A DISTRICT 1 GIRLS TOURNAMENT
First-round games (Thursday)
Everett (9-10) at Stanwood (10-9), 6 p.m. (loser out)
Meadowdale (12-7) at Lynnwood (9-10), 6 p.m. (loser out)

Second-round games (Friday)
Ferndale (14-6) at Snohomish (12-7), 7 p.m.
Everett-Stanwood winner at Shorecrest (17-2), 7 p.m.
Edmonds-Woodway (11-8) at Marysville-Getchell (14-4), 7 p.m.
Meadowdale-Lynnwood winner vs. Arlington (15-4), 6:30 p.m.

(Full schedule and bracket at nwcathletics.com)
Jim Carberry is a former Bellingham Herald sports editor and author of several books on Whatcom County prep basketball. Follow him on Twitter @whatcomhoops and visit the Whatcom Hoops Facebook page.

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