Essential Fans Guide: Class 1A Boys State Tournament

The Lynden Christian and King’s boys basketball teams have played each other in the past three Class 1A state championship games, but there won’t be a fourth finals meeting when the tournament starts up Wednesday, Feb. 28, in the Yakima SunDome.

That’s because the two teams — barring a major upset on Wednesday — will be playing each other in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Lynden Christian will be aiming for its third straight 1A state title when it faces the winner of Wednesday’s loser-out contest between King’s and Tenino.

Meridian, Whatcom County’s other representative, will open its quest for state glory on Wednesday in a loser-out contest against Seton Catholic. The winner will advance to the quarterfinals against top-ranked Zillah on Thursday.

Although nothing is certain in the wild and crazy 1A tournament, history points at LC, Zillah, or King’s winning it all since one of the three has taken the state championship all but once since 2012 and seven times taken second.

Here’s a look at our two teams, the rest of the field, and the tournament schedule:

Whatcom Hoops February-26-2024
Tim Zylstra hopes to have LC playing its best this week.


Record: 22-2 (#2 seed)

First game: Thursday, 2 p.m., versus Wednesday’s King’s-Tenino winner

Starters: Gannon Dykstra, G, Jr., 6-0; Dawson Bouma, G, Sr., 6-1; Trey Bosman, F, Jr., 6-2; Jeremiah Wright, F, Sr., 6-5; Kayden Stuit, F, Sr., 6-4

Reserves: Dawson Hintz, G, Fr., 6-0; Treven Blair, G/F, Sr., 6-1; Oak Howell, F, Jr., 6-3; Luke Van Kooten, F, Jr., 6-3; Kaden Veldman, F, Fr., 6-2; Boyce Robertson, G, So., 6-1; Brody Bouwman, F, Sr., 6-3; Eli Maberry, G, So., 6-1

Team preview: While the pieces may be different, this year’s version of the Lyncs is much the same as those that won the past two state titles. They have mobile yet physical posts, sharp-shooting guards, and a team that emphasizes defense and rebounding. Last year’s state tournament MVP, 6-foot-5 post Jeremiah Wright, is a difference maker in a tournament that usually features lots of teams with quick, pressing guards. And, as always seems to be the case, LC is peaking at the right time.

State outlook: Lynden Christian is one of the favorites along with unbeaten Zillah and super-athletic Annie Wright, but a couple of familiar foes lurk as dark horses: King’s and Seattle Academy. Barring major upsets, the Lyncs will probably have to beat three of the four if they want to win a third straight crown, something no 1A boys team has ever done. 

Coach Tim Zylstra: “We feel good now that we got a game in (at regionals after a two-week layoff). We’ll have a tough road. You can’t rely on tradition. You’ve got to play the game. When you get to the last three days, you get the top teams, and you’ve got to be ready to go.”

Whatcom Hoops February-26-2024
Coach Shane Stacy has the Trojans back in Yakima.


Record: 13-11 (#10 seed)

First game: Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., versus Seton Catholic

Starters: Talon Jenkins, G, Jr., 6-5; Jaeger Fyfe, G, Jr., 6-1; Jacob Amundson, G, Sr., 6-0; Taran Burks, G, Sr., 6-0; Christian Clawson, P, Sr., 6-5

Reserves: Cohen Fuller, G, Sr., 5-9; Alex Short, G, Sr., 6-3; Canyon James, G, Jr, 5-9; Damion Hayes, G, So., 5-9; Pierce Brzozowski, G, Fr., 5-9; James Hedahl, P, Jr., 6-5; Nate Payne, P, Fr., 6-3 

Team preview: The Trojans are survivors, having taken their lumps (and dished some out) against some of the best teams in the state. But after surviving the Northwest Conference gauntlet and after beating state-worthy Nooksack Valley in the thrilling district finale, Meridian is looking to capture its first trophy since 2010’s runner-up finish. With two of the NWC’s best offensive players — Jenkins and Fyfe — and an athletic and deep defense, the Trojans will be dangerous in Yakima.

State outlook: The road is never easy when it’s down to the final 12 but to bring home hardware, Meridian will need to pull off some upsets starting with seventh-seeded Seton Catholic in Wednesday morning’s loser-out game. Should they win that, the Trojans would face No.1-ranked and undefeated Zillah on Thursday and then another top-six team on Friday. 

Coach Shane Stacy: “This is not a surprise to us nor is it (the team’s success) unexpected. We knew what we had back in June and due to the strong leadership we have on this team, we haven’t let the ups and downs of this conference blur our confidence in ourselves and each other.”


Friday, Feb. 23

Meridian 63, Life Christian Academy 57 (winner to state tournament, loser out)

Zillah 65, Tenino 39 (both to state tournament)

Saturday, Feb. 24

Lynden Christian 71, Seton Catholic 39 (both to state tournament)

Seattle Academy 68, Freeman 65 (both to state tournament)

Annie Wright 79, Royal 51 (both to state tournament)

King’s 43, Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) 25 (winner to state tournament, loser out)

Sultan 69, Montesano 54 (winner to state tournament, loser out)

Riverside 63, Bellevue Christian 52 (winner to state tournament, loser out)


At Yakima SunDome

Wednesday, Feb. 28

#11 Riverside (17-6) vs. #6 Royal (20-6), 9 a.m. (loser out)

#10 Meridian (13-11) vs. #7 Seton Catholic (17-6), 10:30 a.m. (loser out)

#13 Sultan (16-6) vs. #4  Freeman (20-3), 12:15 p.m. (loser out)

#9 King’s (16-8) vs. #8 Tenino (16-7), 2 p.m. (loser out)

Thursday, Feb. 29

Riverside-Royal winner vs. #5 Seattle Academy (16-6), 9 a.m.

Meridian-Seton Catholic winner vs. #1 Zillah (24-0), 10:30 a.m.

Sultan-Freeman winner vs. #3 Annie Wright (22-1), 12:15 p.m.

King’s-Tenino winner vs. #2 Lynden Christian (22-2), 2 p.m.

Friday, March 1

Consolation game, 9 a.m. (loser out)

Consolation game, 10:30 a.m. (loser out)

Semifinal, 3:45 p.m.

Semifinal, 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 4

Consolation game, 8 a.m. (winner fourth, loser sixth)

Consolation final, 11:15 a.m. (winner third, loser fifth)

Championship game, 7 p.m. (winner first, loser second)

Jim Carberry of Whatcom Hoops

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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