The playoffs are in full swing now and the Class 2A playoffs start Saturday, Feb. 14. Four teams advance to the regional round of state from the double-elimination tournament. The Northwest District is one of the toughest in the state, featuring three top-10 teams.
Here’s five predictions for the tourney:
Lynden gets to the championship game. The Lions’ girls have had their ups and downs this season but with Elisa Kooiman and Kaitlyn Mark’s offensive talents, few teams can keep up. The Lions likely face Archbishop Murphy in the second round and that will be the toughest test. The key will be locking down on defense and taking care of the ball. With so much youth that may be a problem for the Lions but coach Rob Adams will have his team ready.
Burlington-Edison will meet the Lions in the title game. Edie Breckenridge and Tyra Lopez are just too good of a backcourt to stop for four quarters. Defensively, they might be the best guard duo in the Northwest Conference. They can create on offense too. The Tigers only weakness is probably their inside presence but this team is very good.
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Tigers win district title. The two met once this season and it went to double overtime with Burlington-Edison squeaking out a one-point win. So this rematch will be one heck of a game. I think the Tigers’ experience will pay off in the district title game and they get another win. Kooiman could be the difference maker. She scored 17 points in the first meeting and there’s really not anyone that can guard her. For Lynden to win, Mark has to be hot from outside, as she only had six points in the first contest.
Three Northwest Conference teams qualify for regionals. Lynden and Burlington-Edison, of course, and then I think Blaine will get in. Taylor V’Dovec isn’t fully healthy but this team has too much talent. Plus, for the past three seasons the Borderites have qualified for at least regionals and even though they are at the 2A level, this year should have similar results. The Northwest Conference might be the strongest in the state for girls’ basketball and that grueling schedule will pay off.
Sehome rides momentum to pick up win. The Mariners have won three of their last five games — their only losses coming to Burlington-Edison by seven points and Lynden by 16. The Mariners finished so strong, they somehow rallied to get into the playoffs. Maddy Bryan is a stud, scoring 17 points in each of her last two games. While the Mariners will likely lose to Burlington-Edison, I expect a win over either Lakewood or Shorecrest in the elimination round.