High School Basketball

Which Whatcom County basketball teams will get a good seed into the state brackets?

Lynden Christian’s Sam Van Loo scores after getting an offensive rebound, as Lynden’s Jasmyne Neria, right, plays defense Jan. 19. The Lyncs received the No. 2 RPI ranking in Class 1A, while the Lions are No. 4 in Class 2A.
Lynden Christian’s Sam Van Loo scores after getting an offensive rebound, as Lynden’s Jasmyne Neria, right, plays defense Jan. 19. The Lyncs received the No. 2 RPI ranking in Class 1A, while the Lions are No. 4 in Class 2A. eabell@bhamherald.com

Should they survive their respective district tournaments this week and advance to the regional round of state, a number of Whatcom County basketball teams should be sitting pretty.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association released its final RPI rankings for the 2016-17 season late Monday, and a handful of area teams still alive in the postseason received high rankings. In fact, the Lynden Christian boys and girls basketball teams already have secured trips to Yakima for the first week in March.

For the first time, the WIAA will use its rankings to seed teams that qualify for state into the newly formatted tournament brackets. RPI rankings are based on a team’s regular-season win-loss record and the regular season win-loss record of its opponents and its opponent’s opponents.

State qualifiers with the eight highest RPI rankings in each classification will be seeded into four non-elimination regional round games to be held Feb. 24-25 at regional sites. The winner of each of these four games will receive a bye to the March 2 quarterfinals at one of the three Hardwood Classic sites. Losers will have to face a single-elimination game March 1 for the right to move on to the quarterfinals.

State qualifiers with the lowest RPI rankings in each classification will be seeded into four single-elimination regional round games next week, with the winners moving on to the March 1 single-elimination games.

Class 1A

The Lynden Christian boys and girls teams, who already secured berths to state by winning their respective 1A Northwest District titles last week and will play for bi-district titles on Friday, were each ranked No. 2 in the final RPI rankings, meaning neither team will face an elimination game in next week’s regional round.

The LC boys (18-5) were ranked No. 2 behind only top-ranked Freeman, while the defending state champion Lyncs girls (21-1) sat behind only unbeaten Cashmere.

The Mount Baker boys (17-5), who fell to the Lyncs in the 1A district championship game last week, now must win a pair of bi-district elimination games Thursday and Saturday to reach state. But if the Mountaineers do, they also would avoid a single-elimination regional round game with their No. 6 RPI ranking.

Same holds true for the Mount Baker girls (18-4), who need to win a pair of bi-district elimination games on Wednesday and Saturday to clinch a berth in the state bracket and cash in on their No. 8 RPI ranking.

The Meridian girls (16-7), on the other hand, may have to face elimination in the regional round should they win their two bi-district elimination games Wednesday and Saturday. The Trojans were No. 16 in the 1A RPI rankings.

Class 2A

The Lynden boys and girls teams are each facing elimination in their bi-district tournaments, but should they advance, their RPI rankings would guarantee them trips through the regional round to Yakima.

The Lion girls (16-5) fell in the bi-district semifinals against Burlington-Edison Monday but still can reach the state bracket with elimination game wins Wednesday and Friday. If they do advance, they will enter with the No. 4 RPI ranking behind top-ranked Black Hills.

The Lynden boys (14-6), meanwhile, must win three straight elimination games Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday to advance to state after falling in the second round of the bi-district tournament Saturday. The Lions are ranked second behind No. 1 Clarkston in the 2A boys RPI rankings.

Bellingham (14-7), which beat Lynden in the 2A boys bi-district second round and will face Cedarcrest on Tuesday in the tournament semifinals for an automatic berth to state, likely would face an elimination game in the regional round, should it advance, as it checked in at No. 26 in the 2A boys RPI rankings. The Red Raiders, who also could earn a trip to state through the consolation bracket should they lose Tuesday, are seeking their first trip to the state’s Sweet 16 since 2004.

The Sehome girls (13-9), who are a pair of elimination game wins on Wednesday and Friday away from qualifying for the 2A state bracket, checked in at No. 31 in final RPI rankings.

Class 3A

The Squalicum boys (17-3) are just one win away from reaching state in the 3A Northwest District Tournament by beating Shorecrest in Wednesday’s tournament semifinals or grabbing an elimination game win Saturday. The Storm received an RPI ranking of No. 11 behind top-ranked Nathan Hale, so it could find itself on the bubble for being one of the top eight seeds to advance to the regional round.

Class 1B

The Lummi boys (17-4) are ranked No. 4 in the Class 1B rankings behind top-ranked Neah Bay. The Blackhawks will have a pair of chances to advance out of the 1B tri-district tournament with a winner-to-state game Thursday and a second chance on Saturday.

WIAA final RPI rankings

Class 3A boys

School

W-L*

SOS

RPI

1. Nathan Hale

20-0

0.427

0.67720

2. Garfield

17-3

0.437

0.64925

3. West Seattle

16-4

0.448

0.64793

4. Capital

18-2

0.417

0.64185

5. Lincoln

20-0

0.389

0.63924

6. Timberline

15-5

0.438

0.62583

7. Prairie

18-2

0.394

0.61851

8. Stanwood

19-1

0.380

0.61756

9. Rainier Beach

16-4

0.416

0.61639

10. Kelso

16-4

0.400

0.60041

11. Squalicum

16-3

0.389

0.59942

Class 2A boys

School

W-L*

SOS

RPI

1. Clarkston

18-2

0.426

0.65085

2. Lynden

14-5

0.455

0.63906

3. Anacortes

16-2

0.407

0.62943

4. Pullman

15-5

0.434

0.62137

5. Selah

17-3

0.402

0.61410

6. Mark Morris

15-5

0.426

0.61315

7. Tumwater

16-4

0.408

0.60845

8. North Kitsap

17-3

0.382

0.59407

9. Wapato

15-4

0.393

0.59045

10. Olympic

15-5

0.399

0.58604

26. Bellingham

12-7

0.378

0.53559

Class 1A boys

School

W-L*

SOS

RPI

1. Freeman

19-1

0.393

0.63006

2. Lynden Christian

15-5

0.425

0.61204

3. Zillah

19-1

0.363

0.60067

4. Chelan

14-5

0.414

0.59810

5. King’s

16-4

0.391

0.59126

6. Mount Baker

16-4

0.386

0.58623

7. The Northwest School

19-2

0.353

0.57878

8. Overlake

14-5

0.380

0.56453

9. La Center

13-3

0.360

0.56334

10. Wahluke

16-3

0.347

0.55730

Class 1B boys

School

W-L*

SOS

RPI

1. Neah Bay

17-3

0.396

0.60818

2. Sunnyside Christian

18-2

0.382

0.60738

3. Muckleshoot Tribal

13-3

0.393

0.59579

4. Lummi

17-3

0.382

0.59411

5. Yakima Tribal

14-5

0.402

0.58625

6. Pomeroy

17-2

0.353

0.57714

7. Chief Kitsap

10-5

0.406

0.57302

8. Almira Coulee Hartline

18-2

0.348

0.57251

9. Waitsburg

14-4

0.362

0.55616

10. Taholah

18-2

0.322

0.54652

Class 2A girls

School

W-L*

SOS

RPI

1. Black Hills

18-1

0.440

0.67636

2. W.F. West

17-3

0.442

0.65407

3. White River

18-2

0.403

0.62843

4. Lynden

16-4

0.418

0.61751

5. Burlington-Edison

13-5

0.428

0.60857

6. Washougal

13-4

0.412

0.60277

7. Wapato

17-2

0.378

0.60176

8. Archbishop Murphy

15-3

0.384

0.59229

9. Prosser

17-3

0.377

0.58942

10. Spokane East Valley

14-6

0.400

0.57474

31. Sehome

11-8

0.362

0.50658

Class 1A girls

School

W-L*

SOS

RPI

1. Cashmere

20-0

0.436

0.68575

2. Lynden Christian

19-1

0.435

0.67252

3. Granger

19-1

0.429

0.66657

4. Okanogan

17-3

0.440

0.65220

5. Montesano

17-3

0.433

0.64598

6. Bellevue Christian

16-4

0.438

0.63759

7. La Center

19-0

0.387

0.63653

8. Mount Baker

15-3

0.419

0.62734

9. Zillah

16-4

0.427

0.62695

10. Burbank Columbia

20-0

0.372

0.62225

16. Meridian

14-6

0.396

0.57149

*win-loss records based on regular season only. SOS-strength of schedule

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