RENTON – It’s time for Gail Pintler to revive the old magic.
Back when Pintler was head boys basketball coach at Shorewood High School and an assistant for Shorewood’s girls hoops team, he guided or helped guide the Thunderbirds to five state tournament appearances.
The results were impressive, resulting in four top-four finishes, including a state championship for the Shorewood girls in 1998.
Along the way, Pintler learned some valuable lessons. Among them: Stick to the routine.
Pintler, now the first-year head coach of the Edmonds-Woodway boys basketball team, was among dozens of curious coaches, players and reporters present Sunday at the draws for the 2007 Class 4A boys and girls state basketball tourneys. Representatives from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association unveiled the bracket pairings at WIAA headquarters.
The 4A tourneys take place Wednesday through Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. First-round games are on Wednesday.
After learning that his 18-5 Edmonds-Woodway team, the District 1 champion, will play Kentridge (22-3) in the opening round at 9 a.m., Pintler said the unusual early-morning tip-off won’t disrupt E-W’s regular routine.
Instead of staying in a hotel Tuesday night in Tacoma, E-W will get up early Wednesday, Pintler said, ride the bus together and prepare the same way it would for any other game – just like Pintler’s Shorewood teams did years ago.
“I want them to sleep in their own bed and eat their own food (on Tuesday). … We’ll take the bus (to Tacoma Wednesday morning) and keep the routine as normal as we can,” said Pintler, whose Warriors qualified for state for the first time since 1998.
Pintler said he doesn’t know much about Kentridge, the District 5 No. 5 seed, but he plans to glean insights from a friend, King’s coach Marv Morris. King’s, a 1A team, beat Kentridge on Jan. 15.
Mariner (14-8) and Snohomish (22-2) are the other local teams in the 4A boys tourney.
Mariner, the District 1 runner-up, will play defending champion Franklin (21-2) at 8:30 p.m. Franklin is the state’s No. 1-ranked 4A team according to WashingtonPreps.com.
“It’s going to be a tough game, but you know, it’s how it goes – just got to go out there and compete,” Mariner coach Dexter Griffen said.
Making its fifth state trip in six seasons, Snohomish will play No. 4 Decatur (23-2), the District 3 champ, at 2 p.m. “They’re a worthy opponent,” said Snohomish coach Len Bone, whose team won the Wesco North title and is ranked sixth.
4A girls state tourney
Back at state for a second straight season, the Jackson girls basketball team (21-2) is ready to put its experience to use. The District-1 champion Timberwolves open against Mead of Spokane (21-6) at 2 p.m.
“We worked really hard to get that No. 1 (district) spot and I think that it will pay off for us. Mead’s a very good team but we should match up OK with them,” said Jackson coach Jeannie Thompson.
Jackson, ranked No. 5, hopes to avoid the first-round jitters that hurt it last year, Thompson said. The squad has a different mentality this time and more confidence, she said.
If Jackson gets past Mead, it could face No. 2 Kentwood (25-0) in the quarterfinals.
Snohomish coach Ken Roberts knows plenty about his team’s first-round opponent, Mount Tahoma of Tacoma (24-1). Roberts and Mount Tahoma coach Calvin McHenry both used to teach and coach at Tahoma High in Covington (Roberts coached the boys team, McHenry the girls).
“He continues to play that same style of basketball: really fast-paced, run around and trap all over the court,” said Roberts, who called No. 7 Mount Tahoma really athletic and very, very talented.
Snohomish (15-8), the District 1 runner-up, plays Mount Tahoma at 5 p.m.
The last girls game of the night, set for 8:30 p.m., pits Lake Stevens (17-7) against University (23-2), which features senior guard Angie Bjorklund, a University of Tennessee recruit considered one of the nation’s top players.
Lake Stevens, the District 1 No. 3 seed, also advanced to state last season. University, the District 5/6/8 champ, placed third in 2006 and sixth in 2005.
Lake Stevens coach Randall Edens said his team played a more difficult non-conference schedule this season to prepare for situations like this.
“It’s paid off,” Edens said, “so we wanna keep things going. We’ll give it a shot and see what happens.”
The 1A and 2B boys and girls state tourney brackets were also announced Sunday:
1A boys and girls
King’s of Shoreline will once again send both of its hoops teams to state. The King’s girls continue their quest for a third straight state championship in a first-round game against Kalama at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Yakima SunDome. King’s (22-3) won the past two 2A state titles.
The King’s boys (21-3), who placed second in 2A last season, play Tenino at 7:30 p.m.
2B boys and girls
The Darrington boys hoops team battles DeSales in the first round of the 2B state tourney at 9 p.m. Wednesday in Spokane. Darrington (17-8), coached by Jeff Bryson, last went to state in 2004, placing seventh. It won a state title in 2003.
In the 2B girls tourney, Shoreline Christian (21-2) plays White Pass at 4 p.m.
To view the complete state basketball tourney brackets, go to www.wiaa.com.
Herald Writers Kevin Johnson and Dan Paquette contributed to this report.