Thoughts and impressions from this week’s holiday basketball tournaments

After three straight days of basketball for three different local holiday tournaments I learned quite a bit more about four of the teams in our coverage area — the Everett and Monroe girls, and the Edmonds-Woodway and Mountlake Terrace boys — and I have reached one conclusion about all four teams.

First off, since I hadn’t seen them play until this week, the Everett girls ARE really good. Second, the Monroe girls COULD be really good. Third, the Edmonds-Woodway boys WILL be really good. Lastly, the Mountlake Terrace boys are STILL really good.

I will start with the Everett girls because I think I walked away most impressed with its team. Anyone who follow the Seagulls knows about the Reilly sisters, Darian and Sidney. After seeing them play for the first time they are both as advertised. Each sister has the ability to take over the game with their scoring and each exhibited that in the game I saw, a 60-17 victory over Hazen. Darian finished with 18 and older sister Sidney finished with 19.

I think what was more impressive for me was how the team runs as a whole. Everett is probably the most disciplined team, boys or girls, that I have seen this season. Defensively and offensively they run what they do to perfection, even in the midst of a blowout victory.

Everett is a team I could see making a run at a state championship.

Next, the Monroe girls. They suffered a disappointing loss to Lake City of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The Bearcats showed moments of promised, their biggest problem right now seems to be consistency. If they can find a way to score the ball on a regular basis without having lulls of scoreless streaks that last several minutes, the Bearcats are a team that have enough talent to make some noise at the 4A District 1 tournament.

I think the biggest surprise of the weekend to me was the Edmonds-Woodway boys. I have followed the Warriors throughout the season and covered three of their games. Each time they have lost and each time they just seemed to be missing something. After watching their 58-55 loss to Issaquah, a state-ranked team, I have changed my tune. The Warriors have all the pieces of a great basketball team. They have three players that can legitimately score the ball in point guard Devin Joseph, wing Jason Smarr and post Travis Bakken. They also have serviceable role players in Brad Rice, Alex Hull and Henry Olson.

The Warriors haven’t quite put it all together yet, but I believe that this is a team that can put it all together. Ten games into the season they are my “look out for them” team the remainder of the season.

Lastly, Mountlake Terrace, who suffered a disappointing loss to Glacier Peak just before Christmas.

Not to worry.

I still believe Mountlake Terrace and Jackson are the boys teams that have the best chance to bring home state championships in our area. The Hawks defense is suffocating. They finally put it all together in a 48-30 victory over Mark Morris.

When this team is at full strength, which they weren’t against Glacier Peak missing guard Marquis Armstead, they are one of the best teams in the state. Coach Nalin Sood never ceases to amaze me with his ability to get the best out of his players.

They say defense wins championships and this team does it better than any I have seen.

Basically after a great week of basketball, I know this, the Everett girls and Mountlake Terrace boys won’t sneak up on anyone. The Monroe girls might.

But watch out for the boys from Edmonds-Woodway.

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