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Boys 3A State Tournament Preview
By Colin Caruso
In a Seattle-heavy 3A boys class state tournament, and a rematch of the last year’s state finals in the first round, we have great games from top to bottom in the afternoon and evening on Thursday in Tacoma. Here is a preview of the 3A boys state tournament:
Franklin vs. Timberline – 3:45PM
Franklin advanced to the final eight as the four seed from the Sea-King district, with a big win versus Stanwood in the round of sixteen. Their schedule has been one of the most challenging in the state of Washington, with six games versus teams in the final eight of the 3A tournament and a game versus rival Garfield, the #1 seed in the 4A tournament. The Quakers were only 2-5 against these teams, but I would not sleep on them. Coach Kerr has years of experience playing in Tacoma, and seniors Arell Hennings and Patrick Ball will not go down easy.
Timberline began the year at 1-3, not the typical starting record for a team in the final eight of the state tournament. The Blazers are probably grateful they are not matched up against Lincoln this round, who has had their number all season, defeating the Blazers three times. Timberline is led by one of the most talented players in the state, junior Donaven Dorsey, who leads the Blazers in scoring and is a threat from both the interior and the perimeter. Both of these teams like to play an open, free flowing game, great for state tournament action!
Rainier Beach vs. Seattle Preparatory – 5:30PM
Two teams in Washington State have knocked off the Rainier Beach Vikings this year, Lakeside, and the Seattle Prep Panthers. Seattle Prep took down the Vikings at home with a two point win more than two months ago. Every other league game for the Vikings was a double digit victory, beating the likes of Franklin, and Lakeside. Beach is one of the deepest teams in the state, with great talent and size at every position. Their number one prospect is junior Shaqquan Aaron who averages 18.9 per game; who recently expressed interest in attending Louisville, but any of their rotating players can take over the scoring duties and elevate the Vikings to victory.
The Panthers saw the Vikings last year in the 3A state final, with the Vikings pulling out a narrow victory to claim the title, 61-58. Prep Coach Mike Kelly does not want the Vikings to end their season again this year, and neither does their senior scoring leader DJ Fenner. Fenner is an all-state player, a great athlete and an excellent mid-range jump shooter. Fenner averages 28.2 ppg and will play for Nevada next season. He will need to show up and play huge on Thursday to send Prep onto the next round.
Lincoln vs. Mountlake Terrace – 7:15PM
These two teams faced off two and a half months ago in an out of conference matchup at Highline Community College, with the Lincoln Abes squeezing out a one point win, 60-59. Lincoln comes into this matchup hot, winning their last six games and winning both the 3A Narrows league title and the West Central district title.
Mountlake Terrace comes in on a tear as well, with their only loss in the last 11 games coming in the District 1 tournament final to Stanwood. Mountlake Terrace’s only losses all year came to teams in the final 16, including the Abes, Stanwood, and Glacier Peak. This should be a great matchup of conflicting styles, with Lincoln looking to push the pace and get out in transition and Mountlake Terrace favoring half court sets and interior buckets.
University vs. Lakeside – 9:00PM
This is a very compelling matchup, as University plays in the GSL and is the #1 ranked 3A team in their district, and Lakeside is coming off one of the biggest wins in program history with a district title win over Rainier Beach. Lakeside has a formidable resume, with wins over all three of the remaining Seattle schools in boys 3A basketball, Franklin, Beach, and Prep. They are led by two juniors, D’Marques Tyson and Tramaine Isabell, averaging 14.2 and 18.6 respectively. Tyson is more of a perimeter player and Isabell is one of the quickest players and best basket attackers in the state of Washington.
University is coming off three straight wins, most recently over Enumclaw in the round of 16. Their struggles with Shadle Park pose potential problems with this matchup against Lakeside, as Shadle Park’s last contest ended in a 34 point rout by Seattle Prep. Lakeside has won their last three contests versus Seattle Prep this season. Will University be able to pull the upset and knock off the Sea-King district champs?