Sedro-Woolley Faces off Against Lynden for 2A State Final By Steven Dion
The 2A final appears to have the best chance of becoming an instant classic. The interesting storylines heading into this game are seemingly endless. Lynden has won the last 3 titles including six of the previous 8 whereas Sedro-Woolley is in rare territory playing December football. Both teams hail from the highly competitive Northwest League that produce hotly contested games in the regular season. They squared off at Lynden on October 24th and the home team escaped with a 33-30 victory. I caught up with Dave Ward this week and he said Lynden’s ability to create a half-dozen big plays was a key factor in the first go-around and will be a point of emphasis on Saturday. Based on the quarterfinal and semifinal games, expect an enormous sea of blue in support of S-W and likewise for the Lions.
The playmakers that are bound to make a splash in this contest include Sterling Somers (QB) and his favorite targets Jordan Wittenberg and Scooter Hastings who stands 6’7”. The Lynden defense has been slightly more porous than in recent years allowing opponents to push them including a rare loss against Ferndale in mid-December. The Cubs boast a dynamic offensive weapon in Mason Elms who appears to play every position on the field. If he and fellow tailback Carter Crosby can tally over 80 yards on the ground and find the end zone, the Cubs have a good shot.
The strength of Sedro-Woolley is their linebacking corps. The speed and tenacity of Chad Wilburg, Jacob Farrell, and Jay Burger has the ability to hold talented offenses like Lynden, but will they put it together on Saturday to take down the champ? The action takes place on Saturday at 1pm at the Tacoma Dome.
1A State Finals Preview, Colville vs. Cascade Christian By Steven Dion
Saturday will mark the fifth time since 2008 that Cascade Christian has played for a 1A state title with the Cougs from the Puyallup Valley claiming the hardware in ’10. The senior class for CCHS is loaded and appears to have the pieces to overturn the close-calls in recent years. Colville will present a hefty challenge though as the Indians have had an impressive run in ’14 en route to their first state championship appearance. There was a 4 game stretch midway through the season where Randy Cornwell’s team outscored opponents 191-7! Colton Vining’s ability to run the ball against a Cougar defense unit which packs a punch in addition to its speed with the likes of Mason Tobeck and Riley Ramos will be an interesting matchup.
The ability of Colville to stop the rushing attack of Zach Bartolome and Robert Terhune who tallied 310 yards on the ground last week will also dictate the outcome of this contact. I talked to CCHS head coach Randy Davis this week and he mentioned how his team used last year’s overtime loss in the semis as motivation to get in the weight room to take care of unfinished business in 2014. Quarterback Jaelin Goldsmith is playing his best football when it matters most and has his sights set on repeating a similar performance as last week when he threw for 235 yards and 4 touchdowns. So far, the extra work has paid dividends, but he also said in his few game tapes of Colville understands the challenge ahead of his team Saturday morning. A long road trip across the state and a chance to grab the first state title in school history is certainly enough motivation for a hungry Colville squad.
3A State Finals Preview, Bellevue vs. Eastside Catholic Round 3 By Colin Caruso
The Bellevue Wolverines have won 67 straight games, a streak that goes back to 2010 when Mat Taylor’s Skyline Spartans topped them in a regular season contest. They routinely schedule games against the top teams out of state, this year against Serra (CA), and routinely pull off convincing victories. They are dominate, fast, big and strong. The Wolverines are in search of their 7th consecutive state title, and standing in their way is the Eastside Catholic Crusaders.
Eastside showed their grit last year in advancing past the O’Dea Fighting Irish to the state finals, to meet the Wolverines in a 425 clash. The game wasn’t much of a contest, coinciding with the Wolverines season, and ended in a 52-20 route. This year will prove to be much closer than that. One of the states finest running backs, Brandon Wellington, is now a junior and is playing the best football of his life. Junior quarterback Harley Kirsch is also a year older, more mature, and is prepared for a matchup against one of the finest teams in the nation.
The big question at hand, are the Wolverines vulnerable? They showed hints of vulnerability last week against Marysville-Pilchuck. Can the Cru’ end the streak? I don’t think it’s in the cards just yet, but hey, it has to happen sometime, right?
Bremerton Sneaks Past Clover Park in District Quarterfinals By Steven Dion
Game two on Wednesday night in Dalesky & Black Gymnasium at Foss High School featured the second seed in Bremerton against Clover Park at number seven. The winner would take on Fife who won the game played prior to this one. Additionally, the loser would face Olympic in the consolation bracket. The ability of the Knights to limit the scoring Warrior senior and recently named 2A player of the year Philip Winston would play a big role in the result of this contest.
This game was exciting from the start as both teams were able to get multiple looks in the offensive zone. There were a handful of possessions where a flurry of putbacks were thrown at the rim by the attacking team. CPHS senior Anthony White was a monster on the boards and was there to pick up some rebounds on misses from his shooters. Surprisingly, Winston had trouble finding his shot early in this ball game and it would continue throughout. Bremerton guard Tarez Tyree Mason had an impressive second quarter, scoring ten points in the eight minutes, primarily through steals on defense and picking apart the suspect interior defense of the Warriors. At the half, Bremerton led 28-23.
Upon resuming this game, both teams had a tough time finding their groove. Clover Park made several errors on both sides of the ball. Fortunately for them, the Knights failed to capitalize on many of those occasions. BHS’ leading scorer through the season Deonte Dixon showed his athletic ability as a lob near the rim was caught in the air with his back to the hoop and slammed to the rim. A highlight dunk was ruined by a slight miss getting it through the hoop. Dixon still scored a game-high 20 points. CPHS climbed back in the game late with some threes by Trey Martin and Martino Smith. The Knights missed free throws down the stretch and gave Winston a chance to tie it up in the final seconds. His drive to the hoop resulted in a tough up-and-under that caught a lot of rim, but did not fall. Bremerton escaped by a deuce by the score of 55-53.
Fife Prevails Over Olympic in the Battle of Trojans By Steven Dion
In the quarterfinals of the District 3 2A Basketball Tournament, the third seed in Fife met sixth seed Olympic at Foss High School on Wednesday night. OHS defeated Steilacoom in the first round on Monday by the score of 54-42. Fife received a first round bye for being a top four finisher in league. The winner of this matchup would face the winner of Clover Park/Bremerton on Friday whereas the loser would take on team that failed to pick up the win on the aforementioned game.
FHS guard Austin Wood helped his team pick up some early momentum as he drew some charges under the rim to force turnovers. Olympic responded nicely by picking up their defensive intensity. The up-tempo offense Fife built early on was replaced with perimeter shots that were not falling regularly. A 10-2 run by OHS including 6 by sophomore post Jumier Johnson helped the Trojans from Silverdale take a 21-16 lead into the locker room.
When play resumed, impact bench player from Fife Jephthah Donker excited the crowd with highlight blocks and a bucket with foul on the offensive end. Olympic’s Makaleb McInnis despite only scoring 5 points had big contributions with aggressive play. The fourth quarter was a chess match with alternating possessions emptying the shot clock and back-and-forth trading of buckets. With thirty seconds left and a tie ballgame, Alex Lemoncelli intercepted an Olympic pass and took the ball to the hoop. The shot did not fall, but the senior drew a foul. He drained the second shot and that was the difference in the game as Fife won 37-36.
Top Performers: Fife
Alex Lemoncelli-11 points including game winning steal and FT
Austin Woods-10 points