High School Basketball

Class 1A Boys’ Basketball State Tournament preview

Lynden Christian Lyncs

Enrollment: 251

League: Northwest Conference (finished seventh)

District:1/2 (placed third)

State appearances: 30 (74-38)

State titles: 5 (1976, ’82, ’99, 2006, ’12)

Coach: Roger DeBoer

Regional result: Beat La Center 60-42

Scouting report: After a one-year absence, the Lyncs return to the state tournament and hope to make it at least as far as the semifinals for a third time in four years. Cody Fransen has blossomed for LC this year, as he scored 16 points in the Lyncs’ regional-round win. Zach Roetcisoender led the way with 26 points, while Jake Poag scored 11 and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

Players to watch

Player Pos. Yr. Ht. PPG
Cody Fransen G Sr. 6-4 16.5
Zach Roetcisoender F Jr. 6-1 16.4
Jake Poag G Jr. 6-2 12.2
Blake Mellema G Sr. 6-1 4.6
Jake VanBerkum G Sr. 6-0 3.8

Naches Valley Rangers

Enrollment: 346

League: SCAC West 1A (finished third)

District: 5 (placed third)

State appearances: 14 (16-25)

State titles: 1 (1987)

Coach: Jonathon Ehlers

Regional result: Beat Chelan 41-39

Scouting report: The Rangers have won four straight loser-out games to reach this point. Naches built a 15-point lead in its regional-round win, but then had to hold off Chelan. Kam Williams and James Stillwaugh each hit big 3s in the fourth to ensure they would. Garrett Upton led the Rangers with 10 points and eight rebounds, while Jacob Forbes had four assists, four blocks and eight rebounds.

Players to watch

Player Pos. Yr. Ht. PPG
Garret Upton F Sr. 6-0 n/a
Kam Williams G Sr. 5-9 n/a
James Stillwaugh G Jr. 5-10 n/a
Jeb Callaghan P So. 6-2 n/a
Jacob Forbes F Jr. 6-5 n/a

Castle Rock Rockets

Enrollment: 307

League: Trico 1A (finished third)

District: 4 (placed first)

State appearances: 32 (37-57)

State titles: 2 (1932, ’69)

Coach: Kevin Johnson

Regional result: Beat Overlake 66-58

Scouting report: The Rockets are making their first state appearance since 2009. They advanced to Yakima thanks, in part, to a 3-pointer from Ty Johnson to stave off an Overlake rally from a 13-point deficit in the regional round. Younger brother Brock Johnson scored a game-high 30 points in the game, while Ty finished with 26. The third Rocket averaging in double figures, Mason Klingberg, was held to six.

Players to watch

Player Pos. Yr. Ht. PPG
Brock Johnson G Jr. 5-11 18.2
Ty Johnson G Sr. 5-8 13.1
Mason Klingberg F Sr. 6-2 12.5
Taite Kleine F Jr. 6-2 5.3
Dakota Golden G So. 6-0 2.7

Zillah Leopards

Enrollment: 319

League: SCAC West 1A (finished first)

District: 5 (placed first)

State appearances: 35 (70-50)

State titles: 3 (1956, ’94, 2014)

Coach: Doug Burge

Regional result: Beat Riverside 76-49

Scouting report: The defending state champs will attempt to make the state championship game for the fourth time in five years (they lost to Cascade Christian in 2011 and Lynden Christian in 2012). The Leopards got big games from Justin Dunsmore (23 points) and Trey Delp (21) in their regional to head back to Yakima. Jared Ellis added 12 for an offense that is averaging 72.5 points per game.

Players to watch

Player Pos. Yr. Ht. PPG
Justin Dunsmore F Sr. 6-6 n/a
Trey Delp G So. 6-2 n/a
Jared Ellis G Jr. 5-11 n/a
Nate Whitaker G So. 5-11 n/a
Scotty Burge G Jr. 6-0 n/a

King’s Way Christian Knights

Enrollment: 146

League: Trico 1A (finished first)

District: 4 (placed third)

State appearances: 2 (2-5)

State titles: None

Coach: Daven Harmeling

Regional result: Beat Seattle Academy 54-41

Scouting report: The Knights are back in the state tournament for the first time since 2012, when they earned their first trophy (fifth). King’s Way needed overtime to dispatch with Seattle Academy in the regional round, as it saw two potential game-tying 3-pointers miss in the final nine seconds of the extra period. Cole Jensen led the way with 16 points in the game, while Kienan Walter scored 15.

Players to watch

Player Pos. Yr. Ht. PPG
Kienan Walter F Jr. 6-8 23.8
Kyle Gonzales G Jr. 6-1 8.2
Cole Jensen G Sr. 6-0 7.8
Joe Mills F So. 6-1 5.9
Karter Graves G So. 5-10 4.6

Vashon Island Pirates

Enrollment: 396

League: Nisqually 1A (finished first)

District: 3 (placed first)

State appearances: 7 (15-11)

State titles: 1 (2009)

Coach: Andy Sears

Regional result: Beat Kalama 59-38

Scouting report: The third-ranked team in the state struggled early in the regional round, as the Pirates went the first six minutes of the game without a field goal. But they found their rhythm midway through the second quarter and pulled away in the second half. Jessie Norton scored 13 of his game-high 20 points after halftime, and Sam Yates added 16. Ian Stewart also reached double figures with 12.

Players to watch

Player Pos. Yr. Ht. PPG
Jessie Norton G Sr. 6-3 20.2
Sam Yates F Jr. 6-4 9.1
Ian Stewart G Sr. 5-10 6.9
Alex Symbol-Godrey C Jr. 6-1 6.0
Casper Forest F So. 6-2 4.5

La Salle Lightning

Enrollment: 146

League: SCAC West 1A (finished second)

District: 5 (placed second)

State appearances: 4 (1-7)

State titles: None

Coach: Tim Garza

Regional result: Beat Lakeside 51-50

Scouting report: The Lightning narrowly missed going to overtime in the regional round, as a Lakeside missed free throw with 0.4 seconds remaining cemented the victory and an upset of the No. 5 team in the state. Conner Andringa hit a pair of free throws for La Salle 1:07 earlier to tie the game up, and Austin Gasseling gave La Salle the lead for good with a fastbreak lay-in with 44 seconds to play.

Players to watch

Player Pos. Yr. Ht. PPG
Tresten Garza G Sr. 5-11 11.7
Conner Andringa G Sr. 5-9 10.8
Austin Gasseling F Sr. 6-2 8.0
Austin Ide F Jr. 6-3 7.5
Brent Gorrebeeck P Jr. 6-5 6.7

King’s Knights

Enrollment: 368

League: Cascade Conference (finished first)

District:1/2 (placed first)

State appearances: 25 (59-29)

State titles: 2 (2001, ’02)

Coach: Rick Skeen

Regional result: Beat Charles Wright Academy 60-35

Scouting report: The Knights have been state runners up the past two years, losing to Toledo in 2013 and Zillah last year. They are led by former Burlington-Edison coach Rick Skeen and a strong defense. First-team all conference selections Corey Kispert and Noah Brundrant scored 10 and 17 points, respectively, in the regional to help the No. 2 Knights reach Yakima just two weeks after a scary bus crash.

Players to watch

Player Pos. Yr. Ht. PPG
Corey Kispert G/F So. 6-5 18.6
Noah Brundrant G Sr. 6-4 11.6
Calvin Kispert F Sr. 6-2 7.2
Josh Alexander G/F Sr. 6-3 6.0
Brett Jones F Sr. 6-6 5.9