With the prep basketball district playoffs tipping off this week here’s a look at what’s ahead for area Class 1A schools in their opening games. The Class 2B matchups are online at thevidette.com.
1A girls District IV tournament
(No. 4) Castle Rock at
(No. 1) Elma
Elma will have to shut down Castle Rock’s interior offense to come away with the win against the Rockets in the first round of districts at 7 p.m. on Friday.
The Rockets have relied heavily on center Zoe Naugle to score in the post as the senior has put up nine points a game this season.
Elma (18-2, 7-1 Evergreen 1A) will counter with Jalyn Sackrider, who will likely be guarding Naugle, who is in her first year of high school ball, according to The Daily News in Longview. Sackrider has been a force in the low post herself this season with a team-leading 13.6 ppg average.
Sackrider has also shown an ability to protect the rim and had seven blocks in Elma’s 43-35 win over Montesano.
The Rockets (10-10, 4-6 Trico 1A) have also gotten contributions from a freshman guard. Brooke Wirkkala is right behind Naugle with 8.6 points a night.
Elma has used a press defense at times this season to bother ball handlers and the Eagles may go to it again to disrupt the Rockets’ offense.
Quin Mikel and Kali Rambo could also give the Rockets some trouble as both forwards are averaging about 11 points a game.
Castle Rock first-year coach Kim Karnofski’s second leading scorer comes off the bench in freshman point guard Brooke Wirkkala.
(3) La Center at
Montesano will have to make sure its perimeter defense is ready to handle La Center’s pair of high-scoring guards.
Taylor Stephens has been a handful for the opposition this year and has put up about 21 points a game this season.
The Wildcats (10-10, 7-3 Trico 1A) had a shot at winning the Trico 1A in the last game of the season, but at 56-41 loss to eventual league-champions King’s Way Christian sent La Center to the lower seed. La Center was on a five-game winning streak before that loss.
Montesano (12-8, 6-2 Evergreen 1A) has looked inside for its scoring with Zoe Hutchings leading the way. Hutchings has averaged 17.5 points a game, doing most of her work in the low post.
Lexi Lovell and Glory Grubb are also candidates to take up the scoring mantel as both guards are averaging over eight points a contest.
The Bulldogs and Wildcats had similar ends to the season as Montesano lost out on the 1A Evergreen title with a 43-35 loss to Elma on Feb. 1.
Montesano will play host to La Center and its high-scoring guards on Friday at 7 p.m.
1A boys District IV Tournament
(3) Seton Catholic at
Seton Catholic will bring a high-scoring duo to town when the Cougars face Montesano in the Bulldogs’ playoff opener in the Class 1A District IV Tournament’s North bracket.
Guards Isaiah Parker and Gabe Anderson are both averaging 14.7 points a game this season to lead Seton Catholic.
The Cougars (15-5, 7-3 Trico 1A) are coming in hot, ending their regular season with blowout wins over Castle Rock and Stevenson.
Montesano (12-8, 6-2 Evergreen 1A) has also benefited from strong guard play as Sam Winter has used his perimeter shooting to lead the Bulldogs with 17.4 ppg.
The Bulldogs haven’t shied away from pounding the ball inside either, as center Tanner Nicklas has put up approximately 10 points a game this season.
The Bulldogs will host the Cougars at 6 tonight, Feb. 7, in Montesano.
(3) Hoquiam at
(2) King’s Way Christian
It’ll be a pair of high scoring guards going up against a pair of talented post players when Hoquiam travels to Vancouver to take on King’s Way Christian in the South bracket of the Class 1A District IV Tournament on Thursday.
Point guard Kahl Cason leads the Knights (13-7, 8-2 Trico 1A) in scoring with nearly 14 points-per-game while shooting guard Brady Metz isn’t too far behind with 11.7 points a night.
Younger brother Bryson Metz has also been tough to stop with 10.9 ppg.
Hoquiam (10-10, 5-3 Evergreen 1A) has looked to posts Matt Brown and Rayyon Dayton to scoring points in the paint all season and will likely look to the big men to shoulder the load offensively on Thursday.
Matt Brown has been a workhorse for the No. 3 Grizzlies with over 19 ppg. Brown set a scoring record in a double-overtime game against Castle Rock where he scored 46 points and had 22 rebounds in a 85-81 loss on Dec. 18.
Dayton has done a lot of work from the high post this season, relying on the jumper to put up 15.6 points a game.
Hoquiam will face the No. 2 seed Knights at 7 tonight, Feb. 7, in Vancouver.