Only a week of Class 1A basketball and a week and a half of 2A basketball exists between the remainder of the regular season and postseason play. Here is a postseason outlook and my thoughts on how deep each team might go:
District Tournament matchups
Kingco No. 1 at NWC No. 2NWC No. 4 at Cascade No. 1NWC No. 3 at Cascade No. 2Cascade No. 3 at NWC No. 1
In the hunt: Anacortes (13-4, 8-2 NWC), Lynden (14-2, 7-2 NWC), Sehome (13-5, 7-3 NWC), Sedro-Woolley (10-5, 6-3 NWC), Squalicum (10-7, 6-4 NWC)
Outlook:Anacortes' huge win against Lynden should help catapult the Seahawks to the Northwest Conference's No. 1 seed. They'll most likely host Cedacrest (10-7, 7-4 CC). Sultan (10-7, 7-4) beat Cedarcrest twice this season and owns the tie breaker.
That would leave Lynden as the No. 2 seed, and the Lions would host Lake Washington (12-7, 9-4 Kingco 2A/3A).
Sehome, Sedro-Woolley and Squalicum are locked in a tight battle for the final two seeds. The way I see the final two berths shaking out is Sedro-Woolley taking the No. 3 seed, Sehome in the No. 4 spot and Squalicum again narrowly missing the playoffs.
I see both Sehome and Squalicum splitting their remaining two games and Sedro-Woolley winning two of its last three. That leaves Squalicum in fifth and Sedro-Woolley would own the tie-breaker over Sehome after the Cubs won head-to-head back on Dec. 20.
Sedro-Woolley would travel to play Sultan and Sehome would travel to play Archbishop Murphy (8-9, 8-3 CC). ATM, Cedarcrest and Sultan could all move seedings, though. All are within a game of each other, and the NWC seeds have a great shot to advance to state since the CC is down this season.
State prediction:The district tournament will award four berths to the regional round of state this year. Add in the fact the Cascade Conference is a bit down, I can easily see three NWC seeds coming out of the bracket and advancing to state. Anacortes and Lynden are too talented not to get back to the Hardwood Classic, and I could see either Sehome or Sedro-Woolley getting there.
There are too many variables in the 1As to logically predict who wins matchups, and quite frankly every NWC team qualifies for the district tournament. Four will advance to tri-districts, and once there, the top six earn regional state-round berths. Lynden Christian (14-4, 9-1 NWC), which has put together a tremendous season, can seal an outright conference title this week with wins against Squalicum and Sehome. The Lyncs have the firepower to make another deep state run. Meridian (9-9, 5-5 NWC) also has shown it can play with the league's top teams. I wouldn't be surprised if the Trojans get to tri-districts and earn a low seed into the state regionals. Mount Baker, Blaine and Nooksack Valley have all suffered down years, and it's hard to imagine either of the three finding their way out of tri-districts, let alone the district tournament.