This week's news from the Washington prep sports scene:1. Regional basketball begins Friday:
The state basketball tournaments return to a regional format this season. The field is still whittled down to the top 16 in each classification for boys and girls, but instead of heading to one site for one week, the tournament is split up. Four teams head to four regional sites in each classification and two advance to the quarterfinals on March 3-5. It's a return to the state format used in the 1980s. MaxPreps Washington boys basketball bracketsMaxPreps Washington girls basketball brackets2. Beach not going to state:
For the first time since 1997 the state tournament will not include the Rainier Beach boys. No. 2 Beach was eliminated in the Class 3A Sea-King District tournament by Mercer Island, 50-43. Top-ranked O'Dea was also upset at districts, losing to Bellevue 79-72, but the Irish qualified for state.3. Enumclaw, Lake Stevens wrestling return to top: Lake Stevens
won its fourth Class 4A state title in the last five years at Mat Classic, the state wrestling tournament at the Tacoma Dome. It was the perfect ending for Lake Stevens, which was filmed by an MTV documentary crew. The Enumclaw
Hornets won their third Class 3A state team title in four years, edging University by 16 points. Eight of nine Enumclaw wrestlers won medals and three won state titles. Complete wrestling results are on wiaa.com
.4. Newport gymnasts have no trouble in 4A: Newport (Bellevue)
moved up to the 4A classification and the gymnastics power won there too. Newport won its 11th state title at the state meet at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall. Kristine Wong won the all-around title (37.3) for Newport. Kamiakin (Kennewick)
won the Class 3A/2A title, edging Enumclaw for the title by less than a point. It was the first season Enumclaw fielded a team. Kamiakin was the first school from eastern Washington to win a title since 1970.5. Familiar champs at state swimming: Mercer Island
won its sixth straight Class 3A state swimming and diving title, piling up 350 points at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. Second-place Lakeside had 227. Kamiak (Mukilteo)
won its second Class 4A title in three years. Sehome (Bellingham)
won its third straight Class 2A title, edging Interlake 106-98. Complete swim results can be found at wiaa.com
.TOP 5 PERFORMERS* Ethan Hallowell, Eastside Catholic (Bellevue) boys swimming:
The senior broke the state record with with his eighth state title at the Class 3A meet. The previous record of seven was set by Newport's Ugur Tanner in 1992. Hallowell won the 100 and 200 free, setting a meet record in the 200. It was the fourth time he won the 100 to go with two 200 free titles and two 50 free titles.* Chris Castillo, Zillah wrestling:
The Boise State-bound senior became the seventh boys wrestler in state history to win four state wrestling titles. He won the 160 pound Class 1A title at Mat Classic. He went 158-2 in his career and 42-0 this season.* Brett Kingma, Jackson boys basketball:
The Oregon signee scored 41 points as Jackson won the Class 4A Northwest District title by beating Monroe 80-69. * Gary Bell, Kentridge boys basketball:
The Gonzaga signee broke the district single-game scoring record with 47 points in a state-clinching 73-59 win over Bellarmine Prep.* Cady Markin, University (Spokane) gymnastics:
Markin won the Class 3A/2A state all-around title with a 37.3.RECRUITING NEWS
Liberty of Renton's Chandler Jenkins
signed to play football with the Air Force Academy. He is recruited as an athlete.UPCOMING EVENTS
The high school sports scene in Washington is all about basketball now that wrestling, swimming and gymnastics concluded last weekend. The regional format spreads the state tournament all over the state, so chances are you can catch some early-round action without traveling too far.NATE'S NOTES
Much as been said and written about the state basketball's new regional format, and most of it has come out in the negative.
Change never comes easily.
The WIAA made the move to reduce cost of the state tournaments. Instead of paying rent for six different state tournaments, they'll pay for three as sites will be combined. The Class 4A and 3A will be in the Tacoma Dome; the Class 2A and 1A is in the Yakima SunDome and the Class 2B and 1B are in the Spokane Arena.
I liked the old format of the state tournament. I liked crowning the top eight teams in a four-day tournament.
But I can't deny that playing many of those consolation games in empty stadiums wasn't the soundest financial decision.
I think as with most things, the negative wave will blow over once people get a chance to get used to it. Plus, two state tourneys on one site could be fun.Nathan Joyce has covered high school sports in Washington for 13 years. He works for the Kitsap Sun in Bremerton.