By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News
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The Port Angeles girls open the Class 2A tournament against Lynden on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at the Yakima SunDome.
In the Class 1B tournament at Spokane Arena, the Neah Bay boys will face Tulalip Heritage, also at 10:30 a.m., and the Neah Bay girls will play Tekoa-Oakesdale at 3:45 p.m.
Port Angeles and the Neah Bay boys will be looking for revenge.
The Neah Bay girls are looking for some game film.
Port Angeles vs. Lynden
The Roughriders (19-5) opened against Lynden (18-6) the last time they made it to state in 2012 and fell to the Lions 46-43 in overtime.
Port Angles coach Michael Poindexter said doesn't know much about the Lynden Lions, mostly just what he remembers from the state game two years ago.
For instance, Stephanie Somers, Lynden's best player, is still around and has signed to play college basketball at Idaho State.
And also that Somers isn't their only good player.
“There's a sense in their program that every kid matters, and every kid has a role,” Poindexter said Sunday after the matchup was announced.
“We're going to have to defend every player.”
The Lions advanced to the state tournament by beating Olympic, Port Angeles' Olympic League foe, 63-47 on Saturday.
Lynden won the District 1/2 championship last month by defeating Burlington-Edison, the same team the Riders beat 54-46 Saturday to clinch their state berth.
If the Riders beat Lynden, they will play the winner between East Valley of Spokane and W.F. West in the semifinals on Friday at 3:45 p.m., while the losers of those two games will meet in a loser-out game Friday at 9 a.m.
Poindexter said the early start time isn't ideal, but added that there is a simple solution.
“If we don't like playing in the morning, then we should win the first game,” he said.
Neah Bay vs. Tulalip Heritage
The top-ranked Neah Bay boys (17-2) have a rematch of their 68-66 loss to No. 5 Tulalip (24-1) in the 1B Tri-District championship game last month.
“We're thrilled; we wanted this game,” Red Devils coach Gerrad Brooks said Sunday afternoon.
“We want to redeem ourselves.”
Brooks said his team didn't have its best game when it faced the Hawks on Feb. 22.
“We didn't play good defense, we turned the ball over down the stretch and we missed nine free throws,” Brooks said.
“If we get back to playing our brand of basketball, we'll be fine.”
Tulalip Heritage punched its ticket to state by beating Wilbur-Creston 81-64 on Saturday.
The winner of Thursday's game will advance to the 1B semifinals against the winner between No. 4 Pomeroy and Wellpinit at 3:45 p.m. Friday.
The losers of those two first-round games will play Friday at 9 a.m.
Neah Bay vs. Tekoa-Oakesdale
The sports season continues for Tony McCaulley, who jumped straight from winning a 1B state championship to his first year coaching the Neah Bay girls basketball team.
After the matchup with Tekoa-Oakesdale was announced Sunday, McCaulley started researching the Nighthawks.
He was hoping to use some of his football contacts in eastern Washington to round up some film on Tekoa-Oakesdale, which clinched its first trip to state since 2007 by upsetting fifth-ranked Sunnyside Christian 50-44 on Saturday.
That isn't the only manner in which his experience with Neah Bay's football teams — which have played in the last three state title games, winning two — might come in handy.
McCaulley said the fourth-ranked Red Devils' approach to the week will be similar.
“I think the biggest key to any kind of state [tournament] is staying true to your level,” McCaulley said. “You can't get too high, you can't get too low.
“You have to save your energy for the end of the week.”
McCaulley said that even though they must make an eight-hour trip to Spokane, the travel might actually be an advantage to the Red Devils.
“I think our travel situation in Neah Bay helps us,” he said.
“Everybody has to travel to get there, and we do it every week. We're used to the travel thing and being away from home.”
The winner between Neah Bay and Tekoa-Oakesdale will face the winner of Taholah and Mount Vernon Christian on Friday at 7:15 p.m. in the semifinals.
The losers of those two games will play Friday at 12:15 p.m.
The Red Devils lost to Mount Vernon Christian 51-46 in the 1B Tri-District championship game last month.
Sports Editor Lee Horton can be reached at 360-417-3525 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.