With a full high school basketball season underway in Washington for the first time in two years, SBLive is debuting statewide power rankings for each classification, starting with 1B.
Most teams across the state have already started games, while teams whose football teams made deep postseason runs are just now practicing with full rosters in preparation for late starts to the season.
These rankings are based on extensive conversations with coaches statewide and will be updated regularly throughout the 2021-22 season:
CLASS 1B BOYS RANKINGS
1. Almira Coulee Hartline (0-0)
Spring 2021 record: 10-1
Head coach: Graham Grindy
In 1B, dominant runs tend to come in twos. The Warriors hope to replicate its football team’s recent 1B state championship on the hardwood with many of the same players. Grady Murray started as a sophomore, and has blossomed as a floor general in the two years since. The offense is his, and among the four other senior starters returning around him, Cooper Correia spreads out defenses with his outside shot and senior forward Reece Isaak may be the most dominant big in 1B.
2. Lummi (0-1)
Spring 2021 record: 9-2
Head coach: Jerome Toby
The Blackhawks’ top two players — Tyran Lane and Duncan Toby — could be the most dominant high-low duo in the state by season’s end. The 6-foot-6 Lane (16 points, 12.2 boards, 1.2 blocks per game in the spring) can play with his back to the basket, face up and as his confidence in the pick-and-pop grows, Lummi will only benefit. The ball will start in Toby’s reliable hands (12.4 points, 4.3 boards, 2.1 steals per game). Add 6-3 hybrid forward Richard Wilson and a strong group of sophomores poised to step up, Lummi is built to compete for its first 1B state title since 2015. First, the Blackhawks have had to deal with flooding in Whatcom County that cost school days, practice time and its season-opener.
3. Cusick (0-0)
Spring 2021 record: 11-0
Head coach: Rob Seymour
All five starters are back, headlined by returning 1B Northeast MVP Colton Seymour, a five-year starter who averaged 25 points, nine assists, six boards and four steals. Sophomore Bodie Seymour is the team’s off-ball 3-point specialist. They won’t overwhelm you with size, instead boasting versatile posts Celias Holmes (6-foot-2) and Kyden Nomee (6-0) who thrive in the Panthers’ fast-paced offense and full-court pressure.
4. Sunnyside Christian (1-0)
Spring 2021 record: 5-4
Head coach: Dean Wagenaar
The Knights come off of back-to-back seasons finishing just over .500, which are considered down years for a program that has won eight state championships since Class B split into two 2007, and three consecutive from 2017-19. They’re tall, long and can suffocate your best player defensively. With its top two scorers Nate Moore and Tyler Groeneweg gone, it’s up to 6-4 junior point guard Cole Wagenaar — coach Dean Wagenaar’s youngest of four kids — to be a consistent leading scorer coming off of a serious leg injury. He’s off to a good start, putting up 27 points and 13 boards in the opener.
5. Crosspoint (3-3)
Spring 2021 record: 10-2
Head coach: Darrin Doty
Crosspoint is perhaps more poised to take the 1B SeaTac crown than it has been in more than a decade, so Doty is scheduling the best teams the West Sound has to offer — North Kitsap (2A favorite), Kingston (2A), Klahowya (1A), among others. The Warriors add 3-point specialist and North Kitsap transfer Ross Wohlert to a team that returns four starters. Defensively disruptive point guard Owen Wyatt, active but undersized big Thunderr Doty (16 points, eight boards per game in the spring) and athletic 6-3 junior forward Zach Lamkin fit a small, up-tempo style of play, made in the mold of legendary Michigan high school basketball coach Keith Haske.
6. Moses Lake Christian Academy (2-0)
Spring 2021 record: 8-3
Head coach: Emerson Ferugson
After a strong spring season, the Lions run back their entire starting lineup, led by quick, agile multi-year starting guard Pierre Boorman, who leads the team in scoring and can take over a game on a moment’s notice. Defenses can’t key too close on him with sophomore Jonah Robertson’s presence as a spot-up shooter, junior Michael Podolyn’s post prowess and Jeff Boorman’s do-it-all toolkit.
7. Naselle (0-0)
Spring 2021 record: 15-1
Head coach: Bill Olsen
Just one starter returns from a Comets group that finished on top of an always-tough district, but much like its football team, don’t overlook its new cast of contributors. Joey Strange will runn the point, Kolton Lindstrom is poised to carry the scoring load, and Naselle has athletes on the wing/interior — versatile 6-2 wing Jason Harmon and disruptive, bouncy forward Trent Stephens (6-4) — that fit its scrappy, fast get-up-and-go style.
8. Wellpinit (2-0)
Spring 2021 record: 8-5
Head coach: Isiah Sprinkle
Versatile 6-4 forward Smokey Abramson is referred to as a Draymond Green-type by coaches and teammates because he does a little bit of everything — stretches the floor, provides a presence down low, handles the ball during crunch time and creates for others. He’s one of four starters back, alongside combo forward Colin Hughes, William Dick IV and off-ball guard Jeffrey Moyer III and a deep well of shooters off the bench.
9. Yakama Tribal (0-1)
Spring 2021 record: 8-1
Head coach: Greg Strom
Two starters return for the 2020 1B state runners-up, headlined by double-double machine Justice Hart, returning starters sophomore guard Trevor Lewis and 6-3 post Travis Arbuckle and another Strom — senior guard Julian Strom-Torres, who did not play last spring — running point. One key piece hangs in the balance – a fifth-year eligibility case involving multi-year standout Mylo Jones could raise the ceiling substantially on the perennial 1B power.
10. DeSales (2-1)
Spring 2021 record: (5-4)
Head coach: Eric Wood
Junior guard Jack Lesko has always been a facilitator and defensive specialist. Now, he’s stepping up as a 20 points-per-game scorer in the Irish’s up-tempo offense to fill the loss of two starters. And he has 6-2 forward Frankie Worden and guard Joe Baffney — also three-year starters — leading the way for second-year head coach Eric Wood.
(Lead photo by Carrie Isaak)
— Andy Buhler, SBLive – @AndyBuhler