Washington Class 2A boys basketball state tournament bracket breakdown: Schedules, storylines, players to watch, predictions

Here’s an overview of the WIAA state high school Class 2A boys basketball tournament taking place Wednesday-Saturday at the Yakima SunDome:

WEDNESDAY GAMES (winner to Thursday quarterfinals, loser out)

No. 11 Selah (16-7) vs. No. 3 North Kitsap (20-4), 3:45 p.m.

Winner: Plays No. 5 White River (21-5), 3:45 p.m.

No. 10 Prosser (19-7) vs. No. 2 Toppenish (21-2), 5:30 p.m.

Winner: Plays No. 1 Lynden (22-2), 5:30 p.m.

No. 12 Lakewood (15-9) vs. No. 4 Lindbergh (23-3), 7:15 p.m.

Winner: Plays No. 6 Tumwater (20-4), 7:15 p.m.

No. 9 Black Hills (19-6) vs. No. 8 Mountlake Terrace (18-7), 9 p.m.

Winner: Plays No. 7 Clarkston (18-5), 9 p.m.

THREE STORYLINES

7-seed Clarkston put itself in favorable place: The Bantams left no doubt who was the team to beat out of the Great Northern League, won its district crossover and then beat CWAC champ Toppenish in the regionals to set itself up with a first round bye. 

All-new Lynden in familiar place: Before the season, Lynden coach Brian Roper called Clarkston’s Justin Jones to ask, how do you manage a young, inexperienced 6-foot-10 player? Clarkston, which had graduated 6-11 Branton Chatfield to Washington State, was happy to help, though he’d say to this day that Roper didn’t need the advice. And he’d be right. After graduating every starter from a state championship team, Lynden is back at state as the top seed, and 6-foot-10 Liam Hanenburg has flourished as a post presence, and double-double machine for the Lions. 

10-seed Prosser well-positioned: As a 10-seed entering the state field, playing a familiar opponent may not be such a bad thing. That’s what Prosser faces when it takes on Toppenish, which it beat one of the three times the teams matched up so far this year. If you enjoy high-flying dunks, look no further than Prosser’s bouncy 6-foot-2 point guard Haden Hicks. 

SIX PLAYERS TO WATCH

C Liam Hanenburg, Lynden, jr. 

G/F Mo Kora, Lindbergh, sr

G Tanner Wallen, White River, sr.

G/F Noah Pepper, Selah, jr.

G Tru Allen, Clarkston, sr.

G Haden Hicks, Prosser, sr. 

FIRST-ROUND GAME TO KEEP AN EYE ON

Selah vs. North Kitsap: Noah Pepper tied his school’s single game record (held by his older brother, Elijah Pepper) with 46 points this season, and has scored — and filled the stat sheet — at a high clip. North Kitsap will have its hands full with the CWAC MVP, but the Vikings’ strength is in their depth with brothers Kobe McMillian and Shaa Humphrey in the backcourt, rangy and athletic sophomore Jonas La Tour  — all are averaging double-digits scoring — and they will be looking to redeem a regional loss to Tumwater.

RELATED: North Kitsap’s Shaa Humphrey, Kobe McMillian are brothers on and off the court

PREDICTIONS

First-round games

North Kitsap 78, Selah 73

Toppenish 66, Prosser 61

Lindbergh 59, Lakewood 52

Mountlake Terrace 65, Black Hills 59

Quarterfinal games

North Kitsap 66, White River 65

Lynden 71, Toppenish 57

Lindbergh 63, Tumwater 58

Clarkston 67, Mountlake Terrace 61

Semifinal games

Lynden 58, North Kitsap 49

Clarkston 74, Lindbergh 67

Championship game

Lynden 74, Clarkston 67

TICKETS

Daily: $15 for adults, and $12 for students/senior citizens (Wed.-Fri.) $16 for adults, $13 for students/senior citizens. (Sat.)

Weeklong: $38 for adults, $30 for students/senior citizens (Thu-Sat.). $50 for adults, $39 for students/senior citizens (Wed.-Sat.)

Statewide High School Sports Reporter at SBLive | andy@scorebooklive.com

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