Essential Fans Guide: Class 1B State Tournaments

Once again, as they did four years ago, both the Lummi Nation boys and girls basketball teams are headed to the Spokane Arena for the Class 1B state tournaments.

And like the last time, they will be on different paths in their quest for top-six trophies.

The Blackhawks come into the boys tournament riding a 22-game winning streak and owning the top seed and No.1 ranking. Their seeding and impressive regional victory over eighth seed Naselle on Saturday put Lummi Nation in Thursday’s quarterfinals.

The Lady Blackhawks, who also put together a big win Saturday over Taholah in regionals, are seeded 11th and will have to play a loser-out contest on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals and the double-elimination portion of the tournament.

Here’s a look at both Lummi Nation teams and both tournaments:

Whatcom Hoops February-26-2024
Coach Krista Mahle has the Lady Blackhawks excited.


Record: 18-8 (#11 seed)

First game: Wednesday, 3:45 p.m., versus Oakesdale in a loser-out game

Starters: Keyonee Morris, G, Sr., 5-3; Serena Jo Pantalia, F, Sr., 5-5; Zeta Landsem, C, Sr., 5-11; Jemma James, G, Fr., 5-3; Ailina Rabang, G, So., 5-5

Reserves: Makaya Morris, G, So., 5-3; Robyn Jones, G, Jr., 5-3; Malinia Morris, G, 8, 5-3; Brianna Metteba, G, So., 5-3; Celestine James, F, 8, 5-8; Laraya Dennis, G, 8, 5-4; Graciella Kapuni-Lopez, G, Jr., 5-3

Team preview: Lummi Nation plays Blackhawks basketball, which means fast-pace pressing on defense and getting up lots of shots on offense. Although only a freshman, Jemma James is already a standout point guard who can hurt you with the 3-pointer, but the addition of transfer Ailina Rabang at mid-season makes the Lady Blackhawks a dangerous team. 

State outlook: Even though only Keyonee Morris and Pantalia have played in Spokane, and then only as eighth-graders, the Lady Blackhawks shouldn’t be intimidated by the teams at state since they’ve already played the best. Defending champion Neah Bay is the big favorite, and second seed Mount Vernon Christian and fourth seed Crosspoint are among the contenders — and Lummi faced all three in the district and tri-district playoffs. The Lady Blackhawks might have a tough time getting a trophy in a crowded field, but they’ll be fun to watch. 

Coach Krista Mahle: “Our Lady Blackhawks are excited to have advanced into the next round of tournament play. We leave on Tuesday to get settled and will be ready to play Wednesday at 3:45 p.m.”


Friday, Feb. 23

Neah Bay 44, Curlew 23 (both to state tournament)

Mount Vernon Christian 55, Wilbur-Creston-Keller 43 (both to state tournament)

Sunnyside Christian 55, Pe Ell 28 (winner to state tournament, loser out)

Mossyrock 53, Evergreen Lutheran 31 (winner to state tournament, loser out)

Saturday, Feb. 24

Lummi Nation 53, Taholah 42 (winner to state tournament, loser out)

Crosspoint 53, Almira-Coulee-Hartline 29 (both to state tournament)

Waterville-Mansfield 56, Oakesdale 33 (both to state tournament)

Garfield-Palouse 52, Pateros 36 (winner to state tournament, loser out)


At Spokane Arena

Wednesday, Feb. 28

First round

#11 Lummi Nation (18-8) vs. #6 Oakesdale (17-4), 3:45 p.m. (loser out)

#10 Mossyrock (17-6) vs. #7 Wilbur-Creston-Keller (18-5), 5:30 p.m. (loser out)

#12 Garfield-Palouse (16-6) vs. #5 Almira-Coulee-Hartline (15-7), 7:15 p.m. (loser out)

#9 Sunnyside Christian (21-4) vs. #8 Curlew (20-4), 9 p.m. (loser out)

Thursday, Feb. 29

Lummi Nation-Oakesdale winner vs. #4 Crosspoint (23-3), 3:45 p.m.

Mossyrock vs. Wilbur-Creston-Keller winner vs. #1 Neah Bay (19-2), 5:30 p.m.

Garfield-Palouse vs. Almira-Coulee-Hartline winner vs. #3 Waterville-Mansfield (18-4), 7:15 p.m.

Sunnyside Christian-Curlew winner vs. #2 Mount Vernon Christian (23-5), 9 p.m.

Friday, March 1

Consolation game, 12:15 p.m. (loser out)

Consolation game, 2 p.m. (loser out)

Semifinal, 7:15 p.m.

Semifinal, 9 p.m.

Saturday, March 2

Consolation game, 9:30 a.m. (winner fourth, loser sixth)

Consolation final, 1 p.m. (winner third, loser fifth)

Championship final, 9 p.m. (winner first, loser second)

Whatcom Hoops February-26-2024
Listen up: Coach Toby has the Blackhawks headed to Spokane.


Record: 22-1 (#1 seed)

First game: Thursday, 10:30 a.m., versus winner of Wednesday’s Summit Classical Christian and Mossyrock game

Starters: Jerome Toby Jr., G, So., 5-7; Tony Abrams, F, Jr., 6-1; Tobias Francis, G, Sr., 5-8; Desmond Bailey, F, Sr., 5-10; Dyson Edwards, G, Fr., 6-0

Reserves: Landon LaFontaine, G, Fr., 5-10; Mathias Johnson, G, Sr., 5-8; Raymond Perkins, G, Sr., 6-0; Landon Day, F, Sr., 6-1; Trevon Lee, F, Jr., 6-2; Karson Revey, F, Jr., 6-0; Deandre James, C, Fr., 6-4

Team preview: This is a typical Blackhawks team that plays pressure defense all over the court, is great at the transition game, and has a flock of 3-point shooters. But there’s something special about this Lummi Nation squad. They’re not big but they play physical inside. They like to fastbreak but they’re also effective being patient. And maybe most telling, they are deep and unselfish, which means they don’t care who scores as long as they win, which they’ve done 22 times in a row.

State outlook: The Blackhawks come in as the top seed and deservedly so, but this is a wide-open tournament. Defending champion Wellpinit graduated its size but is on a 14-game winning streak, Moses Lake Christian-Covenant Christian and DeSales have both won 20 games in a row, and Neah Bay had a 15-game winning streak until losing to Lummi in a tight tri-district title game. Don’t be surprised if there are some surprises.

Coach Jerome Toby Sr.: “Our boys and girls are excited to be playing in the state B basketball tournament. Our community is behind both teams, and Blackhawk Nation will be strong in Spokane next week. The boys field has some talented and loaded teams. Any one of them is capable of winning the gold ball. The Blackhawks need to be at their best on both ends of the court for 32 minutes to accomplish our team goal.”


Tuesday, Feb. 20

Wilbur-Creston-Keller 68, Oakville 46 (loser out)

Sound Christian Academy 66, Liberty Christian 47 (loser out)

Columbia Adventist 43, Mount Vernon Christian 30 (loser out)

Summit Classical Christian 78, Northport 66 (loser out)

Friday, Feb. 23

Summit Classical Christian 78, Soap Lake 71 (winner to state tournament, loser out)

Moses Lake Christian-Covenant Christian 64, Cusick 54 (both to state tournament)

Oakesdale 56, Sound Christian Academy 44 (winner to state tournament, loser out)

Saturday, Feb. 24

Lummi Nation 59, Naselle 31 (both to state tournament)

DeSales 65, Neah Bay 60 (both to state tournament)

Muckleshoot Tribal 59, Wilbur-Creston-Keller 58 (winner to state tournament, loser out)

Wellpinit 58, Mossyrock 47 (both to state tournament)

Columbia Adventist 70, Tulalip Heritage 63 (winner to state tournament, loser out)


At Spokane Arena

Wednesday, Feb. 28

#11 Muckleshoot Tribal (20-6) vs. #6 Cusick (19-4), 9 a.m. (loser out)

#15 Summit Classical Christian (19-7) vs. #7 Mossyrock (16-7), 10:30 a.m. (loser out)

#12 Oakesdale (17-7) vs. #5 Neah Bay (17-5), 12:15 p.m. (loser out)

#16 Columbia Adventist (17-8) vs. #8 Naselle (19-4), 2 p.m. (loser out)

Thursday, Feb. 29

Muckleshoot Tribal-Cusick winner vs. #4 DeSales (21-4), 9 a.m.

Summit Classical Christian-Mossyrock winner vs. #1 Lummi Nation (22-1), 10:30 a.m.

Oakesdale-Neah Bay winner vs. #3 Moses Lake Christian-Covenant Christian (21-1), 12:15 p.m.

Columbia Adventist-Naselle winner vs. #2 Wellpinit (21-2), 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 2

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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