With the regular season all but over, 10 of our Whatcom County boys basketball teams have qualified for the postseason. With final seeding still to be determined for a few tournaments, here’s a look at each classification:
Our county’s smallest school, Lummi Nation, already has completed district play and earned a spot in the Tri-District 1/2/3 tournament. The top five teams from the tri-district will qualify for state.
As District 1 champions, the Blackhawks (20-3) will host a quarterfinal contest on Tuesday, Feb. 18, against a team that will be determined by a play-in game this Saturday.
A victory in the quarterfinals would qualify the Blackhawks for the regional round of the state tournament. Lummi Nation is third in the state’s 1B RPI rankings, the highest ranking among the tri-district teams.
All four of our Northwest Conference teams have qualified for the District 1 tournament, which starts Monday.
Top-seed Lynden Christian (16-4) and second-seed Meridian (13-7) will host first-round games. The Trojans will play Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) (13-7) at 7 p.m., and the Lyncs will play Sultan (5-14) at 7:45 p.m. in the second game of a girls-boys doubleheader.
Third-seeded Nooksack Valley (9-11) will hit the road against South Whidbey (15-5) for a 7 p.m. contest, and fourth-seed Mount Baker (4-15), which qualified by virtue of a 69-48 victory over Coupeville in Saturday’s play-in game, will travel to Seattle to play King’s (11-9) at 7:45 p.m. as part of a doubleheader.
The top five finishers from the district tournament will advance to the Bi-District 1/2 tournament, which starts on Feb. 17.
Lynden Christian, ranked sixth in the state, and King’s are again favorites. The Knights own a deceiving 17th state ranking in part because of losses to strong out-of-state teams.
Three of our Northwest Conference teams qualified for the District 1 tournament, which opens on Thursday with four loser-out games.
Eighth-seed Blaine (11-9) will host ninth-seed Sehome (8-12) in one of the loser-out contests at 7 p.m. It is a rematch of Saturday’s regular-season finale for both teams, which the Borderites won, 61-57.
The Blaine-Sehome will advances to the double-elimination portion of the tournament and travels to top-seed Burlington-Edison (19-1) on Saturday for a 6 p.m. quarterfinal.
Second-seed Lynden (18-2) earned a bye into the quarterfinals, and will host the winner of a play-in game on Saturday at 6 p.m.
The top three district finishers will advance to the regional round of the state tournament.
Burlington-Edison and Lynden, ranked first and second in the state, are the district favorites. Lakewood (12-8), the No.3 team from the Northwest Conference, as well as Mountlake Terrace of the WesCo (14-5 with a game Monday) and Liberty of the KingCo (15-5) are among the dark horse teams.
Both Squalicum and Ferndale qualified for Wednesday play-in games that they need to win to advance to the District 1 tournament, which starts on Friday.
Although final seeding has yet to be set with the WesCo still playing regular-season games, right now the Storm (10-10) is seeded eighth and would host the ninth seed, which currently is Shorewood (8-10).
The Golden Eagles (10-9), who still have a game to play, currently are the 10th seeded and would travel to the seventh seed, which right now is Marysville-Getchell (12-7). Both play-in games start at 7 p.m.
The top three finishers in the 10-team district tournament advance to the regional round of the state tournament.
The favorites are the WesCo’s top teams — Marysville-Pilchuck (17-2), Stanwood (15-4), Shorecrest (15-4), Meadowdale (11-8) and Edmonds-Woodway (13-6).
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.