By David Krueger Herald Writer
First round: Marysville Pilchuck at Glacier Peak, Shorecrest at Ferndale, Everett at Shorewood, Meadowdale at Stanwood, all Tuesday night, 7 p.m.
Semifinals: Friday, 6 p.m. at Lynnwood H.S.
Championship: Feb. 15, 8 p.m. at Lynnwood H.S.
Advancing: Top three advance to regionals.
Big storylines: This tournament is probably the most wide-open tournament in the area. It is absolutely loaded. There’s the No. 8 team in the most recent Associated Press poll, Stanwood, as well as the team right above them that nobody really knows about: Ferndale. As the only 3A team in their league, the Golden Eagles – who are 17-2 overall and the Northwest 1A/2A/3A league champions – enter the District 1 tournament as a No. 2 seed. Ferndale lost two games, to unranked teams Juanita (3A) and Ballard (4A). In order to continue to win games, the Golden Eagles are going to have to contend with Wesco league champs Stanwood (North) and Glacier Peak (South) as well as an Everett team that just got three players back from suspension. Shorecrest, Shorewood and Meadowdale missed out on a league title by no more than two games. There’s also Marysville Pilchuck, a dangerous perimeter-shooting team. Good luck predicting this tournament.
Favorite: Good question. Either No. 1 seed (or No. 2 seed, or No. 3 seed) could win this tournament. Stanwood only lost one league game — to Shorewood, which it could face in a second round game — so the Spartans may be the favorite. But …
Dark horse: … No one knows what Ferndale will bring into the district tournament. The Golden Eagles are definitely the wild card. As for the dark horse? Everett. The Seagulls are back at full strength and looked impressive in a win over Marysville Pilchuck in the regular season finale. Everett has lots of offensive and defensive weapons — including sisters Sidney and Darian Rielly, as well as senior Kiki Harper — and plays with an aggressive defensive pressure that could give teams fits.
Matchup we want to see: The district championship. Whoever’s in it. It could be No. 1 seeds Stanwood and Glacier Peak or No. 4 seeds Marysville Pilchuck and Meadowdale. Nothing’s impossible. Whoever makes it to the district championship will surely put on one heck of a game that we’re excited to watch.
Players to watch: Nicole Fausey, left (Glacier Peak), Tristan Murphy (Stanwood), Sidney Rielly (Everett), Jenika Anglim (Marysville Pilchuck), Masha Shtikel (Shorewood), Alyssa Reuble (Meadowdale), Onyie Chibuogwu (Shorecrest), Linsey Honeycutt (Ferndale).
Picks: 1. Stanwood, 2. Glacier Peak, 3. Everett. Or Meadowdale. Or Ferndale.