With the regular season all but over, 10 of our Whatcom County girls 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 begun District 1 play and even earned a spot in the Tri-District 1/2/3 tournament.
The Lady Blackhawks (13-8) lost a semifinal contest with Mount Vernon Christian on Saturday, 51-48, and will play in the district consolation final to determine third and fourth places. Their opponent will be Grace Academy (15-4), a team that has beaten Lummi twice this season, on Tuesday at Mount Vernon Christian.
Win or lose Tuesday, Lummi Nation would play a loser-out game to open play in the tri-district on Friday. Lummi’s opponent and the location of the game will depend on Tuesday’s results.
Should the Lady Blackhawks win their tri-district opener, they would need only one more victory to earn a berth in the regional round of the state tournament for the first time since 2012.
All four of our Northwest Conference teams have qualified for the District 1 tournament, which starts Monday.
Top-seed Lynden Christian (19-1) and second-seed Nooksack Valley (15-5) will host first-round games. The Lyncs will play South Whidbey (9-10) at 6 p.m. in the first game of a girls-boys doubleheader, and the Pioneers will play Coupeville (11-5) at 7 p.m.
“Our ability to consistently defend and rebound will be keys for us advancing to bi-district,” said Nooksack Valley coach Shane Wichers, whose team beat Coupeville by 22 earlier this season. “We have the ability to score points. We just need to be patient to find the best shot.”
Third-seeded Mount Baker (11-9) will hit the road against Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) (15-5) for a 7 p.m. contest, and fourth-seed Meridian (10-11) will travel to Seattle to play King’s (15-5) at 6 p.m. as part of a girls-boys doubleheader. The Trojans qualified by virtue of a 65-34 victory over Sultan in Saturday’s play-in game.
The top five finishers from the district tournament will advance to the Bi-District 1/2 tournament, which starts on Feb. 17.
The Lyncs, No.2 in the Class 1A state rankings, and King’s, ranked No.5, are the district favorites, but all four Whatcom County teams are aiming to reach the bi-district tournament.
All four of our Northwest Conference teams qualified for the District 1 tournament, and three of them will play in the loser-out opening round on Wednesday.
If the current district seedings hold, Sehome (13-7) would be fifth and would host the 12th seed. Ninth-seed Bellingham (11-9) and 11th-seed Blaine (5-15) would be on the road against the eighth seed and sixth-seed, respectively. All the games start at 7 p.m.
Lynden (19-1) is guaranteed the top seed and will host a quarterfinal game on Friday at 7 p.m. against the winner of the eighth and ninth seeds.
The semifinals on Feb. 17 and championship game and consolation final on Feb. 21 will all be played at Mount Vernon High School. The top three district finishers will advance to the regional round of the state tournament.
Lynden, ranked No.1 in the state, and No. 6 Burlington-Edison (17-3) are the top two seeds and district favorites. Liberty (14-6), Archbishop Murphy (11-8) and Sehome are the next three highest seeds.
Ferndale (15-5) not only qualified for the District 1 tournament but will be shooting for a top-four seeding and the right to host a first-round contest on Friday at 7 p.m.
The Golden Eagles’ final seeding and opponent will depend on games being played Monday.
While Ferndale will come in with a No.8 state ranking, the district is loaded with top teams.
No.3 Arlington (17-2), No. 4 Shorecrest (18-1) and No.13 Meadowdale (13-5) will join Ferndale as the favorites. Unfortunately, only the top three finishers in the 10-team tournament advance to the regional round of the state tournament.
The district semifinals move to Mariner High School in Everett on Feb. 18 and the championship game and consolation final are on Feb. 22 at Everett Community College
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.