For the last month, we’ve been polling coaches from around the state to get a definitive picture of the Washington hoops landscape this season. This poll was conducted before the season began, so some teams listed below may be moving up, down, or out by the time we release our second poll. But coming into the 2018-19 season, here’s who the coaches pick as the top teams at the B level:
10. LaConner Braves
December hasn’t been much better for the Braves than last year’s 10-13 season was for Scott Novak’s team, but don’t be surprised if LaConner strings together some wins to get back into contention over the next month.
9. Brewster Bears
The Bears have handled a relatively weak first third of their schedule with ease, with their six wins coming over teams with a combined winning percentage of .483, but the win over a good Waterville/Mansfield team means that Brewester’s 6-1 start isn’t a fluke.
8. Neah Bay Red Devils
After a lopsided loss on opening night to LaConner, Tina Grimes Red Devils have rattled off four straight wins by an average of 28.3 points. Expect more of those kind of performances as the season goes on.
7. Ilwaco Fisherman
Ilwaco is our pick for the hottest start that has somehow gone under the radar. The Fisherman have started off the season 8-0, absolutely dominating their opponents over the first three weeks. Head Coach Ned Bittner has to be impressed with his team’s defensive effort too – they haven’t given up more than 39 points in a game yet and have held two opponents to single digits (!!!).
6. Davenport Gorillas
The small sample size is hard to draw many conclusions from, but last year’s State B runners-up are young and talented. Some hiccups are to be expected at this point of the season, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they make another playoff run again this year.
5. Adna Pirates
The young Pirates have make noticeable improvements over 2017-18’s disappointing 15-11 campaign, starting off December 5-2. Their lopsided loss to No. 3 Wahkiakum appears to be an outlier on an otherwise impressive resume.
4. Northwest Christian Crusaders
Colbert’s Northwest Christian tripped up against a very underrated Liberty team on December 18 to put an end to their six game winning streak, but the Crusaders look like a legitimate championship contender up to this point.
3. Wahkiakum Mules
The Mules have been steamrolling opponents on their way to an 8-0 start. The most impressive part of Wahkiakum’s hot start? They’ve played their best basketball against the toughest competition, routing No. 5 Adna 70-31 and then a 36 point win over 7-1 Rainier three days later.
2. Pomeroy Pirates
Last season’s 1B runners-up find themselves in the No. 2 spot behind Colton yet again, but it might not be for long. Despite a blowout loss to the Wildcats on December 15, the 2018-19 edition of the Pirates is deep and experienced, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see them in the top spot when everything shakes out.
1. Colton Wildcats
The Wildcats haven’t missed a beat since their 1B championship run in 2017-18. Colton’s 6-0 start also includes an impressive 22 point win over No. 2 Pomeroy. The roster is loaded with seniors and talented underclassmen, so don’t expect the winning to stop anytime soon.