Washington Class 1B girls basketball state tournament bracket breakdown: Schedules, storylines, players to watch, predictions

Here’s an overview of the WIAA state high school Class 1B girls basketball tournament taking place Wednesday-Saturday at the Spokane Arena:

WEDNESDAY GAMES (winner to Thursday quarterfinals, loser out)

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No. 11 Lummi Nation (17-9) vs. No. 3 Oakesdale (16-7), 3:45 p.m.
Winner: Plays No. 4 Neah Bay (18-5), 3:45 p.m.

No. 15 Naselle (12-9) vs. No. 7 Curlew (19-7), 5:30 p.m.
Winner: Plays No. 1 Pomeroy (21-1), 5:30 p.m.

No. 12 Moses Lake Christian (16-6) vs. Mount Vernon Christian (20-6), 7:15 p.m.
Winner: Plays No. 6 Yakama Nation Tribal (18-6), 7:15 p.m.

No. 9 Clallam Bay (18-6) vs. No. 8 Wellpinit (16-7), 9 p.m.
Winner: Plays No. 2 Inchelium (22-2), 9 p.m.

THREE STORYLINES

Image result for Mia Pakootas

How does anybody beat Pomeroy?

It is going to be a tall task from somebody to topple the two-time reigning state runner-up, which has lost to Colton in the past two 1B title games – including 51-43 a year ago. Now that point guard Emma Severs (knee) is back after missing much of the season with a serious injury, the experienced Pirates are going to be that much better for the stretch run.

Neah Bay is the scariest team in the field

Traditionally, west-side teams have struggled coming to Spokane where the style shifts to, dare we say, a more rugged east-side flavor. But the Red Devils broke through by beating ACH for third place last year – and have their entire nucleus back, including sisters Laila and Allie Greene, and Ruth Moss, who are all lethal 3-point shooters if left open.

Don’t forget about a couple of other Eastern Washington hopefuls

Pomeroy is the consensus favorite, but there are a couple of others from the east side that can win it all – Inchelium and Oakesdale (which has handed Pomeroy its only loss). And those teams, not surprisingly, have standout point guards. Inchelium’s Rylee Desautel will push the pace at all costs while Oakesdale’s Lizzy Perry works hard as a defensive disruptor.

FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH

Photos by Toddette McGreevy/Pomeroy athletics

G Rylee Desautel, Inchelium, sr.

C Maddy Dixon, Pomeroy, sr.

G Josie Droog, Mount Vernon Christian, sr.

G Laila Greene, Neah Bay, jr.

G Emma Severs, Pomeroy, jr.

FIRST-ROUND MATCHUP TO KEEP AN EYE ON

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Mount Vernon Christian vs. Moses Lake Christian: There are a number of playmaker floor generals in this tournament, and two will face off immediately as opposing point guards – Mount Vernon Christian senior Josie Droog and Moses Lake Christian ninth grader Kali Kast. If the Hurricanes’ overall length disrupts Kast like it did in a Jan. 4 non-league showdown (53-32 MVC win), the result could be very similar Wednesday.

GAME PREDICTIONS

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First-round games
Oakesdale 51, Lummi Nation 48
Curlew 56, Naselle 44
Mount Vernon Christian 60, Moses Lake Christian 57
Wellpinit 45, Clallam Bay 34

Quarterfinal games
Neah Bay 59, Oakesdale 51
Pomeroy 63, Curlew 51
Mount Vernon Christian 57, Yakama Nation Tribal 56
Inchelium 40, Wellpinit 31

Semifinal games
Pomeroy 68, Neah Bay 63
Inchelium 47, Mount Vernon Christian 40

Championship game
Pomeroy 62, Inchelium 55

TICKETS

Daily: $16.50 for adults, and $13.50 for students/senior citizens (Wed.-Fri.) $17.50 for adults, $14.50 for students/senior citizens. (Sat.)

Weeklong: $39.50 for adults, $31.50 for students/senior citizens (Thu-Sat.). $51.50 for adults, $40.50 for students/senior citizens (Wed.-Sat.)

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