By Aaron Lommers Herald writer
First round: Lake Stevens at Jackson, Kamiak at Mount Vernon, Monroe at Edmonds-Woodway, Mariner at Arlington, all Tuesday night, 7 p.m.
Semifinals: Friday, 6 p.m. at Glacier Peak H.S.
Championship: Feb. 15, 8 p.m. at Glacier Peak H.S.
Advancing: Top two advance to regionals; third place to play-in game against Kingco No. 3.
Big storylines: This is a tournament with a clear cut favorite in Jackson, but Arlington isn’t far behind. Both teams dominated their respective divisions during the regular season and were never really in danger of being anything but No. 1 seeds.
The question in this tournament is if one of the teams can step up and compete with the teams at the top. Edmonds-Woodway might have the best chance. The Warriors came on late in the season and finished second in the Wesco South. After the Timberwolves and Eagles, the Warriors appear to be the best team. Kamiak is one of the more fun teams to watch in the tournament because of its ability to score so many points, but it remains to be seen if the Knights can put it together and defeat a team the caliber of Jackson or Arlington.
Favorite: Jackson. This goes without saying. The Timberwolves finished the regular season undefeated with a 20-0 record and were rarely challenged. If Jackson gets to the championship they would most likely face Arlington or Edmonds-Woodway. The Eagles have been the best team in the Wesco North since the beginning of the season, but lost their only meeting this season with the Timberwolves. The Warriors are 0-2 against Jackson, but both games were decided by four points or less.
Dark horse: Edmonds-Woodway. The Warriors are a team that struggled to close games for most of the season. In both losses to Jackson the Warriors had a chance to win. They also had a fourth-quarter lead against Issaquah in the Bothell holiday tournament, but came up short again. Last week, the Warriors reversed the trend. They defeated the Kamiak 76-64 in overtime in a game that all but clinched the second seed in the Wesco South.
Matchup we want to see: Jackson vs. Edmonds-Woodway. The only way these teams can meet in the winner’s bracket would be in the district championship game. It was a toss up between Jackson and Arlington or Jackson and Edmonds-Woodway to be the best potential game in this tournament and I went with the Warriors because Jackson and E-W have already played two very close games this season.
Key players: Jason Todd (Jackson), Dan Kingma (Jackson), Brian Zehr (Jackson), Imaan Vicente (Kamiak), Jason Smarr (Edmonds-Woodway), Devin Joseph (Edmonds-Woodway), Travis Bakken (Edmonds-Woodway), Terry Dawn (Arlington), Noah Jones (Arlington), Bayek Tutlam (Mariner), Devin Stoen (Lake Stevens), Dakota Tomson (Lake Stevens), Nicota Stevenson (Monroe), Casey Leek (Mount Vernon).
Picks: 1. Jackson, 2. Edmonds-Woodway, 3. Arlington