With the regular season just completed, 10 of our 11 of our Whatcom County girls basketball teams are preparing for the postseason, and the 11th — Lummi Nation — has already begun its playoff run.
While the final seedings and dates were officially announced Sunday, Feb. 6, the venues and times are still tentative, so if in doubt where to watch your favorite teams, check the websites of the Northwest Conference or the Northwest 1B League.
For a look at the boys playoff previews, click on Boys District Previews.
Here’s a look at each classification’s district girls tournament:
CLASS 1B: Lummi Nation Moving On To Semis
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 (8-3) won their quarterfinal contest with Darrington on Saturday, 54-39. The victory advanced them to the semifinals and also guaranteed them a spot in the tri-districts.
Lummi Nation will travel to Mount Vernon Christian (14-3) on Tuesday, Feb. 8, for a semifinal matchup. The Hurricanes are the Northwest 1B-2B League’s top seed and ranked third in the latest Associated Press state poll. The Blackhawks are the Northwest 1B League’s second seed and tied for 10th in the state.
Should Lummi Nation win Tuesday, it would advance to the district championship game against either eighth-ranked Grace Academy, the Northwest 1B League’s top seed, or Orcas Island. A semifinal loss would put the Blackhawks in the consolation final against the loser of Tuesday’s Grace Academy-Orcas Island game playing for third and fourth place.
Both the district title game and consolation final are on Thursday, Feb. 10, in the Lummi gym. The top five finishers in the district tournament move on to tri-districts. The top five in the tri-district tourney move on to the state regionals.
CLASS 1A: It’s Nooksack vs. LC For District Title
All five of our Northwest Conference teams automatically qualified for the District 1 tournament, which turns out to be a modified league tournament. All games are part of doubleheaders with the boys counterparts and will be played at the highest-seeded girls team’s gym.
Top-seed Nooksack Valley (16-2) will host second-seed Lynden Christian (15-5) in the district championship game on Friday, Feb. 11. The Pioneers and Lyncs are No.1 and 2 in the latest AP state poll, and the winner of the game advances to the bi-district crossover round.
Before that happens, though, there will be two games. The first round will pit fifth-seed Mount Baker (4-13) at fourth-seed Blaine (8-9) on Tuesday, Feb. 8, in a loser-out game.
The winner moves on to the second-round to face third-seed and ninth-ranked Meridian (14-5) on Thursday, Feb. 10, on the Trojans’ home court in another loser-out contest.
The winner of that game will take on the loser of the Nooksack Valley-Lynden Christian game on the road on Feb. 15 in the consolation final. That, too, is a loser-out game with the winner earning the district’s second berth in the bi-district crossover round.
The two county teams that advance to the bi-district will play the fourth- and fifth-place finishers of the District 2 tournament at King’s on Feb. 19. The winners of those two games will then move on to the state regionals.
CLASS 2A: Lynden, Squalicum To Square Off
All four of our Northwest Conference teams qualified for the District 1 tournament that includes eight NWC teams and Archbishop Murphy and Cedarcrest of the WesCo.
Bellingham (5-12) is seeded eighth and will host ninth-seed Lakewood (5-11) in a loser-out, play-in game on Thursday, Feb. 10. Should the Bayhawks win, they would advance to the double-elimination portion of the tournament to play top seed and eighth-ranked Burlington-Edison (14-6) on the road on Saturday, Feb 12.
In other quarterfinal games on Feb. 12, sixth-seed Squalicum (6-9) will travel to third-seed and 10th-ranked Lynden (12-5) and fourth-seed Sehome (7-9) will host fifth-seed Anacortes (8-10).
The quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals, which will be played at Mount Vernon High School along with two consolation games on Feb. 15. The championship game and consolation final will be played on Feb. 19 also at Mount Vernon.
The top three finishers will advance to the state regionals.
CLASS 3A: Ferndale Faces Snohomish In Opener
Ferndale, Mount Vernon and Oak Harbor of the Northwest Conference will join 13 teams from the WesCo at district. Ferndale is seeded seventh and will open district play on Monday, Feb. 7.
The good news is that the Golden Eagles (9-7) are in the top eight, which means they avoid the loser-out play-in games. The bad news is that they will face second-seed and sixth-ranked Snohomish (12-2) on the road in their opener.
Should Ferndale win, it would advance to the quarterfinals on Friday, Feb. 11. If the Golden Eagles were to lose their opener, they would host on Wednesday, Feb. 9, the winner of the play-in game between 10th-seed Shorewood (6-10) and 15th-seed Marysville-Getchell (7-9).
The district semifinals and consolation games will be on Feb. 15 with the championship game and consolation semifinals on Feb. 19. The top four teams will advance to the state regionals
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.