By Aaron Swaney Herald Writer
First round: Lake Washington at Anacortes, Burlington-Edison at Cedarcrest, Sehome at Archbishop Murphy, Sultan at Lynden, all Friday night, 7 p.m.
Semifinals: Feb. 11, 7 p.m. at higher seeds
Championship: Feb. 15, 8 p.m. at Mount Vernon H.S.
Advancing: Top three advance to regionals.
Big storylines: With three different leagues funneling into this a tournament, it’s a bit of an enigma. One thing known is the Cascade Conference teams are definitely the underdogs. Lynden (19-1) and Anacortes (16-4) finished first and second, respectively, in the Northwest Conference and Lake Washington, playing in the hyper-competitive Kingco 3A/2A, was in the middle of the pack as the lone 2A team. To put it into perspective, Cedarcrest, the co-champ of the Cascade Conference, lost to Squalicum, which didn’t even make the tournament out of the Northwest Conference, in the season opener and Lake Washington (62-48 loss on Dec. 5). That said, Cedarcrest has improved as the season has gone along, winning 12 of it final 16 games.
Favorite: Lynden. The Lions are 19-1 with their only loss of the season coming at the hands of 4A Tahoma and impressive wins over Mark Morris, Skyline and Granite Bay, Calif. Lynden went 12-0 in the Northwest Conference and was rarely challenged.
Dark horse: Lake Washington. It’s hard to gauge how good the Kangaroos are because they went 5-9 in a brutally difficult Kingco. But their big win over a good Cedarcrest team seems to indicate they’re very good.
Matchup we want to see: Lyden and Cedarcrest. It’d be interesting to see how the Lions would try to keep Zach Taylor and Jordan Corpus down.
Key players: Zach Taylor (Cedarcrest), Jordan Corpus (Cedarcrest), Drew Helmdal (Lake Washington), Zander Clouse (Archbishop Murphy), Phil Hoban (Archbishop Murphy), Josh Shine (Lynden), Zach Vis (Lynden), Daron Browning (Burlington-Edison), Charlie Linneman (Sehome).
Picks: 1. Lynden, 2. Lake Washington, 3. Cedarcrest