Washington Class 4A boys basketball state tournament bracket breakdown: Schedules, storylines, players to watch, predictions

Here’s an overview of the WIAA state high school Class 4A boys basketball tournament taking place Wednesday-Saturday at the Tacoma Dome:

WEDNESDAY GAMES (winner to Thursday quarterfinals, loser out)

No. 11 Skyview (18-9) vs. No. 6 West Valley (Yakima) (19-3), 3:45 p.m.

Winner: Plays No. 4 Central Valley (22-2), 3:45 p.m.

No. 10 Olympia (20-6) vs. No. 7 Auburn (23-6), 5:30 p.m.

Winner: Plays No. 1 Union (25-0), 5:30 p.m.

No. 12 Battle Ground (15-10) vs. Federal Way (23-5), 7:15 p.m.

Winner: Plays No. 3 Mount Si (23-4), 7:15 p.m.

No. 9 Sumner (19-6) vs. No. 8 Gonzaga Prep (18-7), 9 p.m.

Winner: Plays No. 2 Glacier Peak (24-0), 9 p.m.

THREE STORYLINES

Union has skeletons of last year’s early exit to exorcise. The Titans came in the top overall seed with a first round bye, but couldn’t hit shots in a quarterfinal loss to Curtis. This year, the Titans are 25-0, have Mr. Basketball in Tanner Toolson in their backcourt and are determined to get over the mental roadblock of last year’s disappointment. 

The Central Valley boys don’t have quite the same level of success that the girls program attained in 2018 when it won a national championship (but who does?) in its past. But the Bears, who are led by Jayce Simmons and pride themselves in balanced scoring, are in strong position to make a deep run with a first-round bye

Gonzaga Prep is among the hottest teams in the state right now, even after a close regional round loss to Union. If Matty McIntyre’s two-time defending state champ Bullpups beat Sumner in the first round, they’ll get one of two undefeated teams in the field in Glacier Peak, which is coming off of a landslide regional win. 

SIX PLAYERS TO WATCH

G Tanner Toolson, Union, sr.

G Tucker Molina, Glacier Peak, jr.

G Jabe Mullins, Mount Si, sr. 

G Liam Lloyd, Gonzaga Prep, sr.

F/C Kaden Perry, Battle Ground, jr. 

C Jackson Grant, Olympia, jr.

FIRST-ROUND GAME TO KEEP AN EYE ON

Battle Ground vs. Federal Way: The Eagles sport a complete roster led by state tournament-tested point guard Jaylen-Wes Williams, sharpshooter Bradley Graham, multi-faceted scorer Peter Erickson and post Jared Franklin, and they’ll aim to bounce back from a regional seeding game loss to Central Valley by taking on one of the state’s most prolific big men in Kaden Perry and Battle Ground. Perry, a Gonzaga commit, has been on a tear averaging more than 20 points and 10 boards. Question is, can his senior guards Brendan Beall and Nate Millspaugh provide enough scoring to overcome the Eagles’ depth?

PREDICTIONS

First-round games

Skyview 69, West Valley (Yakima) 65

Olympia 55, Auburn 54

Federal Way 71, Battle Ground 65

Gonzaga Prep 75, Sumner 64

Quarterfinal games

Glacier Peak 71, Gonzaga Prep 69

Mount Si 68, Federal Way 66

Union 76, Olympia 59

Central Valley 65, Skyview 58

Semifinal games

Union 75, Central Valley 70

Mount Si 71, Glacier Peak 69 (OT)

Championship game

Union 79, Mount Si 72

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.)

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