By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
First round: Marysville Getchell at Mountlake Terrace, Shorewood at Oak Harbor, Ferndale at Glacier Peak, Shorecrest at Stanwood, all Wednesday night, 7 p.m.
Semifinals: Saturday, 6 p.m. at Jackson H.S.
Championship: Feb. 16, 8 p.m. at Jackson H.S.
Advancing: Top three advance to regionals.
Big storylines: This tournament is loaded at the top. It features four teams that have a real chance to win in Mountlake Terrace, Glacier Peak, Stanwood and Shorewood. All four teams leapfrogged each other at times in our Herald power poll throughout the season, but all four were in the top-six most of the way. Glacier Peak is led by center Zach Pederson, but has a point guard in Dreu Vader that can get to the rim and another guard in Ramsey Rosales that can knock down big shots from the perimeter. Rosales and Vader’s improvement throughout the season has the Grizzlies playing their best basketball. Glacier Peak may be the most interesting team to follow coming in because they appear to be putting things together at the right time. That said, it’s hard to argue with anything Mountlake Terrace has done. The Hawks have just two blemishes on their record this season. It would be surprising if any of the other four teams in this tournament were to make a run at the championship.
Favorite: Mountlake Terrace. The Hawks have six players who can score in double figures on any given night, but ultimately the team hangs its hat on defense. Because of the pressure that the Hawks are able to put on other teams they can win a low-scoring game in the 30’s or a high-scoring game in the 70’s. Glacier Peak is the only team in this tournament to have beat the Hawks this season and its going to be difficult to do it again.
Dark horse: Shorewood. It was a difficult last few games for the Thunderbirds. Shorewood lost to Mountlake Terrace, Glacier Peak and Stanwood. There is no question that the Thunderbirds belong in the top-four of the district, but it’s not a good sign that they are coming off losses to other three teams in that mix.
Matchup we want to see: Mountlake Terrace vs. Glacier Peak. Each team won in their gym, if they are to meet again it will likely be for the district championship on a neutral floor at Jackson High School and should be another classic.
Key players: Marquis Armstead (Mountlake Terrace), Blake Fernandez (Mountlake Terrace), Greg Bowman (Mountlake Terrace), Elijah Jordan (Marysville Getchell), Josh Hawkinson (Shorewood), Drew Washington (Oak Harbor), Zach Pederson (Glacier Peak), Dreu Vader (Glacier Peak), Ramsey Rosales (Glacier Peak), Cannen Roberson (Stanwood), Josh Thayer (Stanwood), Dylan Pontrello (Shorecrest)
Picks: 1. Mountlake Terrace, 2. Glacier Peak, 3. Stanwood.