By JOHN McDONALD
And so it begins.
League play starts tonight and Wednesday for basketball teams in the Western Conference 3A and it begins with a bang in both the boys and girls races.
Among tonight’s boys openers is a meeting between the two preseason favorites and the two teams that tied for the league title last season, Everett (3-1 overall) and Stanwood (4-0). The game also features four of the league’s best players going head-to-head. Everett will look to forward Reggie Limar and guard Josh Daniels to counter Stanwood forward Marcus Steele and guard Ryan Appleby. It should be a dandy.
The girls follow Wednesday with a meeting between unbeaten Lake Stevens (4-0) and defending state champion Meadowdale (2-1). The Mavericks were third in the league last season behind Arlington and Monroe. Lake Stevens was fifth behind fourth-place Stanwood. But both figure to challenge for the championship this season.
Other leagues beginning counting games this week include the Northwest 3A, Northwest A and Northwest B. Defending champions are: Mount Vernon (boys) and Burlington-Edison (girls) in the 3A league, Darrington (boys) and Archbishop Murphy (girls) in the A league and Shoreline Christian (boys and girls) in the B league.
League play began Friday in the Wesco 4A and continues Wednesday with more division crossover games. Two undefeated boys teams clash Wednesday. Edmonds-Woodway (2-0), which had a bye Friday, hosts Snohomish (1-0, 4-0). In girls play, the South Division was swept by the North Friday and will be looking for a winner Wednesday.
North Cascades teams will play their third round of league games tonight. The Lakewood boys (1-0, 2-1) are at Mount Baker (1-0, 2-1) in a game that will knock one team out of a tie for the league lead. Girls co-leaders Granite Falls (1-0, 1-2) and Nooksack Valley (2-0, 4-1) also play tonight.
Granite Falls (2-0, 3-0), which won its first two North Cascades dual meets last week, takes on fellow winners Mount Baker (2-0) and Nooksack Valley (2-0) in a double-dual Wednesday at Mount Baker.
The bulk of Wesco 3A teams will contest their first league dual meets tonight. Defending state champion Lake Stevens, which opened with a victory over Stanwood last week, hosts Meadowdale in its second league dual.
The Wesco 4A is already well into its dual-meet season. An attractive meet that was scheduled for tonight, however, has been postponed. Snohomish’s (2-0, 3-0) meet at Oak Harbor (3-0, 3-0) has been rescheduled for Jan. 16, Oak Harbor athletic director Jeff Stone said, to comply with Puget Sound Energy’s request for emergency power conservation.
Marysville-Pilchuck (2-0) swims its first Wesco 4A dual meet against Mountlake Terrace (1-0, 2-1) today. The Hawks also have a big meet Thursday against district rival Edmonds-Woodway (1-0, 4-0).
Wesco 3A teams are involved in non-league meets until the new year.
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