King’s High School graduate Corey Kispert is hoping to lead the Gonzaga men’s basketball team on a long trip through the NCAA tournament this season. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

King’s High School graduate Corey Kispert is hoping to lead the Gonzaga men’s basketball team on a long trip through the NCAA tournament this season. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

POLL: Pivec or Kispert, whose team advances furthest?

Snohomish County is represented in the top 10 by Oregon State’s Lynnwood grad and Gonzaga’s King’s grad.

The college basketball season is only two weeks old, and it’s already apparent this will be a fun season to watch if you have interest in players from Snohomish County.

But two local players in particular will be in the headlines all season long as All-American candidates for top-10 teams: Lynnwood High School graduate Mikayla Pivec, a senior guard on the Oregon State women’s team, and King’s High School graduate Corey Kispert, a junior forward on the Gonzaga men’s team.

Pivec is the clear leader for a Beavers team that reached the Sweet 16 last season and is ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press women’s poll. Oregon State rolled through four opponents en route to the Preseason WNIT championship. Pivec, who was a WBCA All-America finalist last season and is on the Cheryl Miller Award watchlist this season, averaged a team-high 17.8 points and 10.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists over the Beavers’ first four games.

And Pivec’s team is loaded. Oregon State returns its entire backcourt, with Pivec being joined by fellow honors candidate Destiny Slocumb, as well as reigning Pac-12 Sixth Player of the Year Aleah Goodman, while sharpshooter Kat Tudor returns from the knee injury that wiped out her 2018-19 season. Up front the Beavers were bolstered by the addition of five-star freshmen Taylor Jones and Kennedy Brown, who join Bothell’s Taya Corosdale (I’m assured Corosdale is from the Snohomish County half of Bothell herself) in the rotation.

Meanwhile Kispert, who hails from Edmonds, is the top returning player from the Gonzaga team that reached the Elite Eight last season, and the Bulldogs, ranked No. 8 in the AP men’s poll, won each of their first four games by 30-plus points. Kispert, who was named to the Julius Irving Award preseason watchlist, is second on the team in scoring at 15.3 points per contest, adding 3.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 3-pointers.

Kispert’s Bulldogs lost four major contributors from last season, as Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke and Zach Norvell Jr. all left for the NBA, while Josh Perkins graduated, and there are lingering questions about what Gonzaga can get out of All-American candidate Killian Tille this season after he underwent another surgery. But Gonzaga once again reached into the grad-transfer well and came out with a quality starting backcourt in Admon Gilder from Texas A&M and Ryan Woolridge from North Texas. Up front Filip Petrusev appears to have taken a major step, while freshmen Anton Watson and Drew Timme have made immediate impacts.

Two high-quality players for two high-quality teams that should go a long way. There are other local products on teams projected to do well: Glacier Peak’s Paisely Johnson with the BYU women and Marysville Pilchuck’s RaeQuan Battle with the Washington men to name two. But Pivec and Kispert are unquestionably the players on teams expected to be the best.

So whose team makes it the furthest this season, Pivec’s Beavers or Kispert’s Bulldogs? Make your prediction here:


Talk to us

More in Sports

Sounders give up 2 late goals in loss to Fire

Seattle now stands at 0-1-1 in the MLS is Back tournament at Walt Disney World in Florida.

Granger ready to bounce back after 1st UFC loss, health scare

Everett-based fighter anxious to return following a scary bout with blood clots after her only loss.

Most fall sports at Everett CC, Edmonds moved to spring

In an announcement, the NWAC also announced a delay to the men’s and women’s basketball season.

WIAA delays start of fall high school sports season

Football practices are now scheduled to start Sept. 5 and all other fall sports will begin Sept. 7.

Sounders, Earthquakes draw in return to action

Stefan Frei makes a number of quality saves as Seattle and San Jose tie 0-0 in the MLS is Back tourney.

90th Snohomish County Amateur golf tournament canceled

The annual event had been postponed, but now won’t be played for the first time since 1931.

Arlington thrower Julia Parra

The standout track and field athlete will continue her career at WSU while studying medicine.

Darrington baseball player Brevin Ross

The shortstop/catcher played five years of varsity baseball and also starred on the basketball team.

Shorewood alum Snell issues apology for part of rant

The Rays pitcher says he wishes he had not said, “I’m not playing unless I get mine.”

Community sports roundup: SnoCo Sports HoF banquet canceled

Plus, Snohomish County FC adds a women’s team, the Snohomish Soccer Dome gets new management and more.

Mariners begin ‘summer camp’ at T-Mobile Park

But the workouts look a whole lot different amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Prep notebook: Kamiak hires new boys wrestling coach

Plus, a Meadowdale junior gets picked for the WIAA LEAP Committee.