4A GIRLS STATE: Game previews

JACKSON (19-4) vs. MOUNT RAINIER (22-1)

Thursday, 10:15 a.m. at Tacoma Dome

Mount Rainier’s only loss of the season came to Federal Way by eight points in the South Puget Sound League’s championship game. The Rams got revenge 10 days later beating Federal Way by 20 in the West Central/Southwest 4A bi-district championship. Sophomore forward Brittany McPhee is Mount Rainier’s most dangerous offensive weapon, averaging 23 points per game. Her twin sister, Jordan, is also a strong player for the Rams.

“They’re fast and athletic,” said Jackson head coach Jeannie Boyer after draw determining the state matchups on Sunday. “They have a talented team.”

Mount Rainier has been to the state tournament the last two seasons, participating in both the 3A tournament (2010) and 4A tournament (2011). This season the Rams were ranked No. 2 in The Associated Press’ final poll 4A poll of the season

“We’ll try to counter some of their strengths and control the tempo of the game,” Boyer said.

CENTRAL VALLEY (23-2) vs. EASTLAKE (15-9)

Thursday, 9 a.m. at Tacoma Dome

In the first game of the day, the No. 1-ranked Bears from Central Valley take on Eastlake in what might look on paper like a lopsided battle.

But Eastlake, which finished third in the Kingco 4A Crest Division with a 9-5 record, took off in the postseason, upsetting Crest No. 1 seed Skyline and nearly winning the Kingco 4A district championship. Eastlake is led by post Kendra Morrison, who averaged 13.6 points and nearly eight rebounds per game this season.

Central Valley counters with wing Brooke Gallaway, who was named the Greater Spokane League Most Valuable Player and scored 318 points this season, nearly 20 more than the closest GSL player.

WOODINVILLE (22-2) vs. GONZAGA PREP (18-5)

Thursday, 12:15 p.m. at Tacoma Dome

The team from Spokane might have a hard time keeping up with Woodinville, which finished fifth at state last year.

The fourth-ranked Falcons pulled off the Kingco 4A double, winning the Crown Division regular-season title with a 14-1 record and taking the district title.

The Falcons are led by Kingco 4A Most Valuable Player Ali Forde, who can terrorize teams down low, and Mackenzie Campbell, the Kingco Defensive Player of the Year, who often defends the best offensive threat on the opposing team.

That player on the Bullpups is Lindsay Stockton, daughter of NBA legend John Stockton, who led Gonzaga Prep to a second-place finish in the GSL.

SKYVIEW (23-3) vs. FEDERAL WAY (22-4)

Thursday, 2 p.m. at Tacoma Dome

These two teams took out local teams en route to this state quarterfinal matchup, which could be the most competitive 4A girls game of the day.

Federal Way, which lost to Lewis &Clark 62-49 in the 4A girls basketball championship game a year ago, outlasted Stanwood 54-43 and Skyview shocked second-ranked Lake Stevens 72-56.

Federal Way is led by Darah Huertas-Vining and Raven Benton, who both contributed to last year’s state run.

Skyview is loaded with talent, including Greater St. Helen’s League MVP Brooke Bowen and fellow GSHL first-teamers Delaney Keser and Katie Swanson. The length of Skyview’s players, including post Jocelyn Adams, gives teams trouble near the hoop.

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