Basketball playoffs: How things stand for West Sound's top teams
The postseason for high school basketball in Washington is rarely a clear picture. That's certainly the case this winter.
Some leagues have league tournaments after the regular season ends. Others don't. Some district tournaments include at-large bids. Others don't. Some district tournaments have committees responsible for seeding teams. For other district tournaments, seeding is pre-determined.
How about scheduling? South Kitsap's girls team played its first South Puget Sound League 4A tournament game on Tuesday. North Kitsap's boys team, which won the Olympic League 2A regular-season title, won't play its first postseason game until Feb. 15 in the West Central/Sea-King Bi-District tournament.
Needless to say, keeping track of postseason details takes some work.
Here's what you need to know about the West Sound teams that are still alive this winter, starting on the boys' side with the team that placed third in the 2A state tournament in 2022:
North Kitsap (15-5) finished the regular season winning 11 of its final 12 games. The Vikings' lone loss in 2023 came on Jan. 16 against defending 2A state champ Lynden, 52-50.
It will be a while North Kitsap finds out where it will be seeded in the 2A West Central/Sea-King Bi-District boys tournament, which begins Feb. 15. The South Puget Sound League doesn't finish its regular season until the end of next week and a committee will decide district tournament seeding on Feb. 12.
Having won all or a share of the Olympic League 2A title for the past nine years, North Kitsap is likely to draw the second or third overall seed at districts, where KingCo 2A champion Renton (18-1) and South Puget Sound League 2A champion Enumclaw (16-2) await as top adversaries.
"Hopefully we get a shot at the Rentons and the Enumclaws to see where we stand," said North Kitsap head coach Scott Orness, who has guided North Kitsap to four district titles since 2016.
Bremerton (5-13) and Olympic (6-11) finished tied for fourth among Olympic League 2A teams, so the Knights and Trojans are figuring out the tiebreaker scenario ahead of district tournament play. It's possible both teams could end up advancing considering three at-large berths are available in the 2A West Central/Southwest Bi-District tournament.
Bainbridge (12-8) placed third in the Olympic League and, as a 3A team, the Spartans will compete in a Feb. 8 play-in game in the 3A West Central/Southwest Bi-District tournament. Bainbridge will face the third seed from the Greater St. Helens League at a neutral site.
Crosspoint (7-9) won in its Sea-Tac League 1B tournament opener Friday against Rainier Christian, 64-24. The Warrior host a winner-to-district, loser-out game Feb. 7 against Northwest Yeshiva.
On the girls' side, South Kitsap (10-10) finished third in the SPSL's North Division during the regular season and was scheduled to play Bethel on Saturday in SPSL tournament play to determine the league's fifth/sixth seed into the Class 4A West Central/Southwest Bi-District tournament.
Regardless of Saturday's outcome, the Wolves will host a loser-out district game on Feb. 10 against either the third seed from the Greater St. Helens League or the fifth seed from the North Puget Sound League. Junior Grace Degarimore leads the Wolves with 10.3 ppg and 7.2 rpg.
Central Kitsap (9-9) finished strong in the South Sound Conference 3A, winning its final four regular season games to grab the fourth seed into next week's 3A West Central/Southwest Bi-District tournament.
Led by senior Ella Baumgartner (15.5 PPG) and junior Abi Lundblad (9.4 PPG, 13.1 RPG), the Cougars host a loser-out game against the fourth seed from the North Puget Sound League on Feb. 10.
Bainbridge (11-8) was scheduled to play Port Angeles on Saturday to finish off its regular season schedule. The two teams entered the game tied for second place in the Olympic League standings.
The Spartans are scheduled for a Feb. 8 play-in game in the 3A West Central/Southwest Bi-District tournament. Bainbridge will face the third seed from the Greater St. Helens League at a neutral site. Sophomore Bella Ramirez leads the team at 14 ppg, 4.5 rpg and 4.0 apg.
Just as it is on the boys side, West Sound's playoff-bound girls teams in the Olympic League 2A must wait to learn where they'll be seeded in the 2A West Central/Sea-King Bi-District boys tournament, which begins Feb. 14.
North Kitsap (11-10) and North Mason (9-9) know they've clinched district berths as the third and fourth seeds from the Olympic League, while Olympic (7-11) and Bremerton (5-11) could be eligible for at-large bids.
Sea-Tac League 1B champion Crosspoint (13-6) won its league tournament opener Thursday, 57-24, against Northwest Yeshiva. With a district tournament berth secured, the Warriors host Evergreen Lutheran on Feb. 8 for the league tournament title.
Crosspoint suffered an unfortunate blow when it lost junior Halle Kuske to a knee injury in December, but head coach Jenny Kuske said the Warriors have made the best of the situation.
"It's given our freshmen/sophomores big growing opportunity," said Kuske, noting the performances of freshmen Anna Kuske (13.3 ppg, 5.5 spg, 3.7 apg), Riya Tobosa (9.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 4.5 spg, 3.5 bpg, 2.8 apg) and sophomore Gabrielle Patti (11.2 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 3.2 spg).
This article originally appeared on Kitsap Sun: Basketball playoffs: How things stand for West Sound's top teams