Nooksack Valley vs. La Center
4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at Battle Ground High School
Nooksack Valley Pioneers (18-9)
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League: Northwest Conference (seventh)
District: Northwest/SeaKing (fourth)
State appearances: 22 (34-34)
State titles: None
Coach: Shane Wichers
Scouting the Pioneers: Nooksack Valley has won four straight since falling to Lynden Christian in the Northwest District semifinals on Feb. 9. The Pioneers have won with both offense, as they did in a bi-district win over Forest Ridge, and defense, as they did in a 41-18 victory over University Prep to advance to the regional round for a second straight year.
Key to the game: Defense. The Pioneers pitched a shutout in the first quarter against University Prep and need more of it against the Wildcats.
Player to watch: Turner is heading to Corban University to play next year and is a big part of everything the Pioneers do.
La Center Wildcats (21-2)
League: Trioco (first)
District: Southwest (first)
State appearances: 11 (11-22)
State titles: None
Coach: Herm VanWeerdhuizen
Scouting the Wildcats: After holding Eatonville and Montesano to less than 40 points per game in the first two rounds of the district tournament, No. 7 La Center out-slugged Kalama 56-53 to win the district crown.
Key to the game: Bench play. The Wildcats got key contributions from their bench in the win over Kalama, as VanWeerdhuizen doesn’t hesitate to go eight or nine deep.
Player to watch: There’s plenty of talent up and down the Wildcats’ roster. Mills and Stephens were both all-league selections, while Griffee was a second-team pick.
Don’t count out the Pioneers, who’ve won three loser-out games so far. But the long trip and a strong opponent may be too much to overcome.
LA CENTER 56-51