It’s that time of year again, when Whatcom Hoops fans ask, “How do those state tournaments work again?”
With state regionals, play-in games, and weird seedings, the format is complicated but the bottom line isn’t: Nine Whatcom teams will be getting their shots at state glory.
From largest to smallest, the Lynden and Sehome boys and girls teams are in the Class 2A state tournament; the Lynden Christian boys and girls, the Nooksack Valley girls, and the Blaine boys are in the Class 1A state tourney; and the Lummi Nation boys are in the Class 1B state playoffs.
So here’s how it works:
A seeding committee ranked the 16 teams in each classifications on Sunday and all of them move on to state regionals this Friday or Saturday.
The top eight play each other with all advancing to their respective state tournaments on March 1-4 (the 2A and 1A in Yakima, the 1B in Spokane). The regional winners, however, move directly to Thursday’s quarterfinals while the losers must win a Wednesday play-in game to continue.
The ninth through 16th seeds play each other in regionals with only the winners advancing to Wednesday’s play-in state tournament games.
Below is the seeding and schedules for our nine teams. Whatcom Hoops will give you full previews later in the week so be watching and keep rooting for our favorite teams.
Friday at Mount Vernon High School
6 p.m.: No.1 Nooksack Valley girls vs. No.8 Bellevue Christian (both to 1A state tournament)
8 p.m.: No.9 Sehome girls vs. No.16 Sammamish (winner to 2A state tournament, loser out)
Friday at Auburn Mountainview High School
8 p.m.: No.6 Lynden boys vs. No.3 Renton (both to 1A state tournament)
Saturday at Mount Vernon High School
4 p.m.: No.2 Lynden Christian girls vs. No.7 Cashmere (both to 1A state tournament)
6 p.m.: No.1 Lynden Christian boys vs. No.8 Overlake (both to 1A state tournament)
8 p.m.: No.2 Lynden girls vs. No.7 White River (both to 2A state tournament)
Saturday at WF West High School in Chehalis
4 p.m.: No.5 Sehome boys vs. No.4 Mark Morris (both to 2A state tournament)
Saturday at Richland High School
4 p.m.: No.6 Lummi Nation vs. No.3 DeSales (both to 1B state tournament)
Saturday at Davis High School in Yakima
6 p.m.: No.7 Blaine boys vs. No.2 Zillah (both to 1A state tournament)
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.