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Boys 4A State Tournament Preview
By Colin Caruso
There are a number of compelling games in the Washington State boys 4A tournament final eight, including teams from all over the state and rematches from previous games this season. Here are the match-ups:
Newport vs. Curtis – 9:00AM
Newport has worked hard and has clawed its way back into contention for the a state title after losing four straight games towards the end of January and early February to Ballard, Issaquah, and Bothell twice. They advanced to the round of 16 in a win and in-game versus Mount Vernon, and made it to the final eight through a tough, defensive battle in Wenatchee versus Eastmont. Their athleticism and strength creates matchup problems for every team remaining in Washington State.
On the flip side, the Curtis Vikings have dominated this season and are currently ranked #4 in the state. Their only losses have been to Federal Way and Spanaway Lake, and their big wins include a big win against Bellarmine Prep in their district final and a convincing 61-48 win versus Thomas Jefferson to reach the final eight. The Vikings are led by two senior starters, Dominic Robinson and Andre Lewis, who average 13.9 points and 13.8 points respectively.
Bothell vs Garfield – 10:30AM
The Bothell Cougars have only three losses this entire season. Unfortunately, two of those losses were to Garfield, and neither game was close. The first contest was during the regular season, where the Garfield Bulldogs took down the Cougars by 15. The second matchup was in their district final, where Garfield senior Tucker Haymond scored 20 of his game high 39 in the first quarter in a dominating 93-69 win. It is always difficult to beat a team three times, especially a team with division one talent like the Cougars possess. Bothell senior Perrion Callandret will be attending Idaho next season, and Zach LaVine, the #1 senior recruit in the state, will take his talents to UCLA.
Will Garfield complete the season sweep of the Cougars? Or will the Cougars avenge their earlier season losses and advance to the final four? We’ll find out early Thursday morning.
Arlington vs. Richland – 12:45 PM
Both of these teams have dominated their opponents for the majority of the season, but both teams have suffered big losses to teams still remaining in the 4A tournament. Richland travelled to Spokane for a matchup against the Central Valley Bears and struggled in a 68-44 loss. They did avenge that loss later in the season, just two weeks ago with a 66-54 win versus the Bears. Arlington has suffered two losses to the undefeated Jackson Timberwolves this season, both by double digits.
In the round of sixteen, Richland dominated Stadium 68-39 in a game that was essentially over in the first quarter. Arlington scored a big win over late surging Bellarmine Prep, 58-47 in the round of sixteen to advance to Tacoma. This will be a great matchup between two teams from opposite sides of the state looking to make a huge impact on the 4A class.
Jackson vs. Central Valley – 2:00PM
With a combined record of 46-2, this is the matchup of the teams with the best records in 4A boys basketball. The Jackson Timberwolves have yet to hiccup all season, completing the year with a perfect 24-0 record. They are led by three very talented juniors, Dan Kingma, Jason Todd, and Brian Zehr. With six wins coming in single digits this season, the Timberwolves are used to battling in close games versus all-state level talent.
Central Valley poses a big threat to Jackson’s undefeated season. The Bears are led by senior Austin Rehkow and junior big man Beau Byus, who average 15.1 and 13.7 ppg respectively. Their only two losses this season were at Richland and at Gonzaga Prep, both formidable opponents with strong programs. Central Valley won a nail-biter in overtime against a very talented Todd Beamer team in the round of 16 to advance to this game, and Coach Rick Sloan and company are looking to extend their stay on the west side of the state with a win on Thursday.