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David Krueger and Herald staff | dkrueger@heraldnet.com
Published: Saturday, February 9, 2013, 12:29 a.m.

Dissecting the 3A girls tournament: Glacier Peak, Everett punch tickets to championship

It's been about an hour since I sent in my story for the second 3A district semifinal game and I've finally had some time to process what I witnessed tonight.

That's the only bad thing to covering multiple games in one day. I'm so busy getting stories out and getting ready for the next game, that I don't have as much time to just sit back, relax and enjoy the game I'm watching.

Plus, I was stuck in a war with the Wi-Fi at Lynnwood High School to let me on Twitter. (I didn't win.)

But now that I'm back home and my stories are in, I'm thinking back about what I saw earlier, and breaking it down and discussing how wrong our Herald predictions were for your viewing pleasure.

And they were wrooooooooooooooooong.

The first game was a 34-32 thriller between Glacier Peak and Ferndale, which was probably the closest and most exciting game I've seen all season. The Grizzlies had to steal the ball away from the Golden Eagles, the No. 7 team in the most recent Associated Press poll, in the final five seconds to secure the win, and clinch a berth in the district championship.

"We knew the score was probably going to be in the 30's," said Glacier Peak head coach Brian Hill. "…Their team played so hard. Districts are fun because of the atmosphere and the competition. It's so fun. It's sad to see a team lose a game like that."

The Grizzlies only outscored Ferndale in one quarter, but when they did they outscored them big, with a 14-3 advantage in the second quarter. Aside from that, the game was incredibly even, as the Golden Eagles chipped away at the lead the rest of the way.

"Points were at a premium. Points were like gold in a game like this," Hill said.

Not only did the win secure a spot in the district tournament for the Wesco 3A South champions, it also guaranteed the Grizzlies a spot at regionals. And where are the district Nos. 1 and 2 seeds (i.e. the two teams playing in the district championship) playing in regionals?

Glacier Peak High School.

"That's kind of nice," Hill said with a smile after quickly bringing that fact up.

While it's not yet known who Glacier Peak will be playing in the de facto regional home game, we soon learned who it would face in the district championship.

It was going to be a team from the North (#theNorthisrising … IT'S ALIVE!!!!!). Either Stanwood, the No. 8 team in the AP poll, or Everett. This game was close throughout as well, until one team pulled away in the final four minutes.

The Seagulls.

Thanks to 25 points from Sidney Rielly and a defense that held Stanwood scoreless for over four minutes in the final quarter, Everett will be going to regionals once again for the first time since 1996, when it was at the Seattle Center Arena.

"They're a good team," said Dennis Kloke, the Spartans' head coach. "They're well-balanced and they're very athletic."

In the preview I billed the 3A girls tournament as the deepest of the local postseason tournaments and it hasn't disappointed. The two teams ranked in the 3A AP poll have fallen. On top of that, Shorecrest needed two overtime periods to take care of Marysville Pilchuck Friday night.

So, naturally our brackets with our predictions for the 3A tournament are rough. Let's start with Herald Writer Aaron Lommers. He had Everett playing Stanwood … in the 3rd place game. He also had Stanwood winning, which doesn't matter, but it just shows how wrong he was. So does this: he picked Meadowdale, which lost its first-round game to the Spartans, as the district champions.

I can't fault Lommers for any of this. Meadowdale was on a roll going into the tournament, which would have had it knocking off these two teams. And the Mavericks were a No. 4 seed.

See what I mean? The teams in this tournament are incredible.

I picked Stanwood as district champs over Glacier Peak (at least I got one team in the title game right). Meadowdale was my third seed out of the district tournament. The Mavericks lost to Shorewood Friday night, ending the Mavericks season and making my 3A bracket essentially useless.

(It should be pointed out that my dark horse team in that preview was: the Seagulls. Boss if you read this, I should get a raise for that one!)

Now Prep Editor Aaron Swaney (hey did you see that dark horse pick?). The brilliant Aaron Swaney is the only one of the three of us who still has his predicted district champion alive. He prognosticated the Seagulls would win the district championship. He said it would be against Ferndale, but whatever.

He also picked Meadowdale to finish third.

So while our predictions, at least for 3A, may be less than perfect, the important thing is there is some darn good basketball going on right now. This is the best part of the season, and you truly never know what's going to happen. Glacier Peak could be district champs. So could Everett. Stanwood could work its way back through the consolation bracket and win a state championship. So could Shorewood. So could Ferndale. So could…you get the point.

And we at The Herald will probably continue to guess incorrectly the entire way.

Like our high school sports page on Facebook, follow @HeraldNetPreps on Twitter and look for updates on our Prep Zone blog.



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