Below are previews of the Class 4A and 3A boys Hardwood Classic basketball tournaments in the Tacoma Dome, along with information about the local teams headed to state in other classifications.
The 12-team tournaments begin with Wednesday’s loser-out games, with the winners advancing to Thursday’s quarterfinals. From there, the tournaments take on a modified double-elimination format, where one loss eliminates a team from state-title contention and two losses eliminate a team from the tournament.
Unless otherwise noted, all rankings refer to a team’s seed among the 16 teams in each classification that qualified for last weekend’s state regionals.
Wednesday’s loser-out games
(6) Jackson vs. (11) Puyallup, 9 a.m.
(7) Curtis vs. (10) Glacier Peak, 10:30 a.m.
(5) Richland vs. (13) Mount Rainier, 12:15 p.m.
(8) Battle Ground vs. (9) Kentridge, 2 p.m.
(4) Mount Si vs. Jackson-Puyallup winner, 9 a.m.
(1) Union vs. Curtis-Glacier Peak winner, 10:30 a.m.
(3) Federal Way vs. Richland-Mount Rainier winner, 12:15 p.m.
(2) Gonzaga Prep vs. Battle Ground-Kentridge winner, 2 p.m.
No. 2 Gonzaga Prep. Ranked No. 20 nationally in MaxPreps’ computer rankings, the defending state champion Bullpups (22-2) are led by Gonzaga signee Anton Watson. The 6-foot-8 forward averages 20.7 points per game and is ranked by ESPN as the nation’s No. 56 senior. Gonzaga Prep’s only losses were to a pair of nationally ranked out-of-state teams, and the Bullpups have beaten all but one of their in-state opponents by double digits.
No. 3 Federal Way. Led by the ultra-talented Jaden McDaniels, the reigning state runner-up Eagles (24-2) are ranked No. 9 nationally by USA TODAY. The 6-foot-11 McDonald’s All-American is ranked by ESPN as the nation’s No. 6 senior and was recently projected by ESPN to be the top overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft. McDaniels entered the state regional round averaging 23.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game for Federal Way, which scores nearly 80 points per contest. The Eagles routed top-seeded Union in a bi-district semifinal earlier this month, and their only two losses were to a pair of nationally ranked out-of-state teams.
No. 6 Jackson. Led by Christian Liddell and a balanced scoring attack, the senior-laden Timberwolves (18-5) went unbeaten in Wesco 4A and won 12 straight games before back-to-back postseason losses to No. 4 Mount Si and No. 3 Federal Way. With an elimination-round victory over No. 11 Puyallup, Jackson would advance to the quarterfinals and set up a rematch with Mount Si, which topped the T-Wolves for a 65-56 overtime win in last Monday’s bi-district title game.
No. 10 Glacier Peak. The Grizzlies overcame a slow start and pulled away to earn their third consecutive Hardwood Classic berth with a 56-49 win over No. 15 Issaquah in Friday’s loser-out state regional. Glacier Peak (15-7) leans on a strong defense that allows just 46 points per game.
GAME WE WOULDN’T MISS
No. 2 Gonzaga Prep vs. No. 3 Federal Way. The two title favorites are on track for a potential state championship game rematch in Friday night’s semifinals, which would pit two nationally ranked teams and two highly regarded recruits against one another. In last year’s title game, Gonzaga Prep rallied past Federal Way for a 54-52 win.
Led by McDaniels, Federal Way rolls past No. 5 Richland and gets revenge with a semifinal win over Gonzaga Prep before beating Union to claim the program’s third state title in five seasons.
Wednesday’s loser-out games
(6) Lincoln vs. (11) O’Dea, 3:45 p.m.
(7) Prairie vs. (10) Ingraham, 5:30 p.m.
(5) Kelso vs. (12) Wilson, 7:15 p.m.
(8) West Seattle vs. (9) Capital, 9 p.m.
(4) Marysville Pilchuck vs. Lincoln-O’Dea, 3:45 p.m.
(1) Eastside Catholic vs. Prairie-Ingraham, 5:30 p.m.
(3) Rainier Beach vs. Kelso-Wilson, 7:15 p.m.
(2) Mt. Spokane vs. West Seattle-Capital, 9 p.m.
No. 1 Eastside Catholic. The Crusaders’ only two losses are a four-point defeat to No. 3 Rainier Beach and a seven-point defeat to No. 10 Ingraham, which Eastside Catholic (23-2) routed by 31 points earlier this season. Four players average more than 10 points per game for the Crusaders.
No. 2 Mt. Spokane. The Wildcats (23-1) are led by 6-foot-7 sophomore Tyson Degenhart, who averages nearly 20 points per game. Mt. Spokane’s only loss was to 4A title contender Gonzaga Prep.
No. 3 Rainier Beach. Bolstered by Garfield transfers MarJon Beauchamp and Jamon Kemp, the reigning state runner-up Vikings (20-4) won the talent-laden Metro League and are unbeaten against in-state opponents. The 6-foot-6 Beauchamp, ranked by ESPN as the nation’s No. 29 junior, averages 26 points and 11 rebounds per game.
No. 4 Marysville Pilchuck. The Tomahawks (20-3) are led by Washington-bound RaeQuan Battle, who ESPN ranks as the nation’s No. 86 senior. The 6-foot-5 standout averages 21 points and eight rebounds per game for Wesco 3A/2A champion Marysville Pilchuck, which is riding a 19-game win streak after Saturday’s 72-51 state regional victory over No. 5 Kelso.
GAME WE WOULDN’T MISS
No. 1 Eastside Catholic vs. No. 3 Rainier Beach. Last month, Beauchamp scored 33 points as Rainier Beach rallied past Eastside Catholic 70-66 to claim the Metro League crown. The conference rivals could meet again in Saturday night’s state title game.
Led by Beauchamp, Rainier Beach rolls past Kelso and beats Mt. Spokane before topping Metro League rival Eastside Catholic again to claim the program’s fifth state championship in eight years.
No. 10 King’s. The Knights earned their seventh consecutive trip to the Hardwood Classic with a 65-55 win over No. 15 Naches Valley in Saturday’s loser-out state regional. King’s (19-5) faces No. 7 Deer Park in an elimination contest at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Yakima Valley SunDome, with the winner advancing to Thursday’s quarterfinal against top-seeded and unbeaten Lynden Christian, which beat the Knights 70-63 in a district title game two weeks ago. That was the Knights’ only loss in their past 15 games.
No. 4 Tulalip Heritage. The Hawks (20-5) face No. 12 Oakesdale in an elimination game at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday at Spokane Arena, with the winner advancing to Thursday’s quarterfinal against No. 6 Yakama Tribal. Tulalip Heritage split the Northwest 1B League title with No. 3 Lummi Nation.