The so-called “second season” is ready to begin this week for the hoopsters on the Olympic Peninsula and Tuesday’s Port Angeles/Sequim basketball games were to decide which teams will play at home Thursday when the West Central Sub-District tournament begins.
Port Angeles’ and Sequim’s boys squared off in the ’Rider gym last night to decide second place in the final Olympic League standings.
The ’Riders went in with an 11-4 record, the Wolves were 10-5. A ’Rider win last night gives Port Angeles second place and they will host two games Thursday night, with Sequim playing the opener at 5:30 p.m. and the ’Riders playing at 7:30 p.m.
If Sequim’s boys pulled off a win and won a seeding coin toss, the two games will be in Sequim Thursday, with P.A. playing the opening game. It looks like the foes will be Franklin Pierce, White River or Renton.
There will be two games Saturday at North Kitsap because P.A. and Sequim athletic directors could not convince teams from the Seamount and South Puget Sound leagues to travel to the Olympic Peninsula twice in the same week.
All four teams involved will advance to the West Central District tournament next week, with seeds 5-8 on the line for district contests.
The 16 top teams from the Seamount, South Puget Sound 2A and Olympic leagues will battle for 12 berths in the West Central District tournament.
The boys start Thursday. The top two teams from Seamount and the top three from SPSL and Olympic each qualify for districts, but each must play two games to decide seeding spots 1-8.
The Seamount’s No. 3, 4, and 5 teams, along with Olympic’s No. 4 and 5 teams and the South Puget Sound League’s No. 4, 5 and 6 teams, play loser-out games Thursday; four of those teams qualify for the West Central District tourney (seeds 9-12).
The girls open play Friday with the same format.
Here is where the big change in hoopla begins. Twelve teams start. The same ones who played in the sub-district play for six berths in the state tournament in Yakima.
Seeds No. 1-4 draw first-round byes. Girls open on Feb. 15 at Foss and Lakes high schools. The ladies play the second round on Feb. 17 and Feb. 19, and the finals are Feb. 21 at Curtis High School and the ShoWare Center in Bellevue.
The boys play Wednesday, Feb. 16; Friday, Feb. 18; Saturday, Feb. 19; and Monday, Feb. 21, at the same venues. Yes, district officials will try to keep two schools in the tournament at the same location. Emphasize try — never have P.A. and Sequim been given a break.
A total of 16 teams start out Friday-Saturday, Feb. 25-26. Olympic League teams could be playing at Stanwood, Mount Tahoma or Tum-water.
Games involving first and second seeds from the various 2A districts send winners direct to state, while the losers of those games have to play Saturday for berths at state.
State will find eight teams starting play Thursday, March 3, in a double elimination three-day bash in the Sun Dome to decide the top six 2A places.
Not everybody is happy with the new state tournament looks. The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association decided last April to reconfigure the tournaments because of losses in the neighborhood of $150,000 for the four-day, 16-team events.
Yakima had hosted three tournaments lasting four days each and the Yakima people figure to lose around $4.5 million in revenue with two tournaments and four-night stays by fans instead of eight or nine days.
Tacoma will have two tourneys and Spokane two.
In past years, the B, A and 2A tournaments have made money; it’s the 3A and 4A that have lost money. One reason for that is the WIAA’s change of the tourney format several years ago.
The second day of the tourney used to have two loser-out games, then two quarterfinal games in the morning and afternoon, then one loser-out game, two quarterfinals and one loser-out to finish.
The WIAA moved the quarterfinals to late afternoon and evening. Thus, the four loser-out games did not generate much interest from fans of those schools or the general public.
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