For the first time ever, SeaTown Sports will be doing 1A Washington State Basketball rankings. As far as I know, the only publication that covers 1A power rankings is the Tacoma News Tribune, so this is a first on many levels.
Ranking 1A is tough. There are five prominent 1A leagues around the state that I could choose from to focus on (Emerald City, Cascade, Northwest, Nisqually, Olympic), but I’ve decided to crunch all the leagues together and create statewide power rankings. This is tougher because with me going to Bellevue Christian, I’m unfamiliar with a school like Tenino. But hey, that’s what e-mail and MaxPreps are for. I’ll be ranking teams every two weeks.
1. Granger, South Central (7-0)
Hands down the top 1A team in the state. The Spartans are led by speedy 5’5” senior Brandon Castro (20.1 PPG) and have crushed everyone in their path, including my number two team, Cashmere. Granger’s average margin of victory is 24 points, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they swept the table. They’re that good.
For Granger to keep this spot, they’ll need to keep blowing out teams by wide margins, as they aren’t really going to face anyone up to their level outside of Naches Valley on January 28th.
2. Cashmere, Caribou League (6-1)
If you had asked me a couple week ago who the best 1A basketball team in the state was, I would have immediately said Cashmere. Mitchell Darlington should be all-state this fall, as he’s averaging around 15 points per game and taking control of games. Cashmere is very, very athletic and can run the floor with anyone.
But after they lost 64-56 to Granger, I had to put them down into the number two spot in the power rankings.
3. Bellevue Christian, Emerald City League (7-1)
This 2011-2012 Vikings squad is perhaps the school’s best since 2006 when current Seattle Pacific University starting point guard Jeff Downs led BCS to the state title. Led by seniors Bryce Oldham (12.4 PPG) and Nick Schubert (9.3 PPG), the Vikings have torn through the extremely weak Emerald City League so far, dominating every league game by at least 14 points.
The Vikings also have won every out of league game so far with the exception of yes, Cashmere. Ethan Mitchell hit a double clutch 8-foot game winning jump shot to topple last year’s tournament champs, Cascade Christian 34-33 to give the Vikings a signature win and a reason to be considered as a frontrunner for the championship this year.
4. King’s, Cascade League (5-2)
After suffering heart breaking losses to a tough 3A Evergreen team and a very good Lynden team, the Knights rattled off five straight victories. The team is playing lockdown defense, holding opponents to an average of just forty points and 34% shooting. On the season the Knights are out-rebounding their opponents 196 to 162 and are averaging an incredible 11 steals a game.
King’s is also enjoying a huge year from James McCutchen who is averaging 18.5 points and six rebounds per game. His most impressive stat is that he’s averaging an incredible 62% from three point land. Look for his name in the coming years.
5. Cascade Christian, Nisqually League (2-2)
Yes, I realize that they are 2-2 (two of their games got canceled a couple weeks ago) which isn’t what you want to see from a fifth ranked team. But keep a couple things in mind. One of their losses was to Bellevue Christian in a game where they easily could have won. The other was to 7-0 Chimacum, who may find themselves in these power rankings in the coming weeks.
Cascade Christian plays some of the best defense I’ve ever seen for a high school basketball team, which is the reason they hold opponents to 42 points a game. Their best player is 6’9” power forward Shawn Spencer, who is constantly moving and no other player in the Nisqually League can match his size. He’s an intimidating force that could lead the Cougars back into the top three.
6. Lynden Christian, Northwest Conference (5-1)
7. Zillah, South Central (5-2)
8. Naches Valley, South Central (6-0)
9. Life Christian Academy, Nisqually (8-2)
10. Tenino, Evergreen (5-1)
--Nathan Parsons (@nathanparsons98)