PORT ANGELES — Win a district championship by limiting a top-level opponent to 32 points and make a move into the top eight of the WIAA’s Rankings Percentage Index (RPI) to secure a return trip to the state tournament in Yakima? All points in the credit column for the Port Angeles girls basketball team.
Their reward? A visit to Richland as the state’s sixth seed in Class 2A to face No. 3 Clarkston at 2 p.m. Saturday at Richland High School. Not the greatest of outcomes for their recent hard work, but the Roughriders will gladly accept.
State regional round boys and girls basketball matchups were announced by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) on Tuesday.
Teams ranked 1-8 in the WIAA’s RPI have already earned state tournament berths no matter what happens in Friday and Saturday’s state regional round contests (1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7 and so on).
That goes for the Roughriders, who will make their fourth straight regional appearance while also sitting pretty with a return trip to Yakima for the Class 2A State Tournament next week already booked as the No. 6 seed.
“A guaranteed trip to Yakima is worth it,” Port Angeles coach Michael Poindexter said. “Yes, we have to travel, but we are not playing in a loser-out game. So we are grateful to be here in this position and not at all upset with how the WIAA assigns these [regional] games.”
The Riders will be hard-pressed to contain Clarkston Bantams sophomore scorer Ashlyn Wallace. Wallace tied her career high point total and set a school record with 19 made free throws (out of 20) in a 39-point performance in a 60-51 crossover district game win over Selah last Saturday.
“Really against Clarkston our main concern will be [our] defense,” Poindexter said. “I think we will have an OK time scoring against them, but what I am constantly thinking about is how we will defend them.”
Poindexter said the Bantams also have three players listed at 6-foot or taller and another 5-foot-10 player.
It will be the first time Poindexter, a Clarkston alum, will coach against his alma mater.
“It’s a bigger deal to my parents,” Poindexter said. “My dad [Jim] was principal there and athletic director, and lived in that community for more than 50 years.”
Poindexter’s mother, Kaye, also worked as the school’s ASB bookeekper and later as the school’s guidance office secretary.
Neah Bay girls
Class 1B No. 4 Neah Bay also has a trip to Eastern Washington set for the 1B state tournament in Spokane next week.
Before that they will face No. 5 Mount Vernon Christian in a state regional contest at 6 p.m. Friday at Mount Vernon High School.
That game essentially serves as a de facto Tri-District Tournament championship game. Widespread snowfall delayed and reconfigured the Tri-District Tournament over the last two weeks, eliminating placement games like the Tri-District title game, which would have seen the Red Devils (20-2) and Hurricanes (21-2) face off.
Now they’ll play that game in the venerable Mount Vernon gym, one of the best spots to take in a prep contest in the state. The two teams also met twice in the 2017-2018 season, in the Tri-District semifinals and in the state tournament, with Neah Bay winning each time.
Three other contests featuring North Olympic Peninsula teams are loser-out, winner-to-state games.
Class 2A No. 14 Sequim (16-7) will take on No. 11 Foster (20-4) at 8 p.m. Friday at Auburn-Mountainview High School in Auburn.
“They are really scrappy,” Wolves head coach Linsay Rapelje said of the Bulldogs. “They are kind of little, basically all guards and they can all shoot the 3 and all drive to the hoop.
“I think Port Angeles is kind of a similar style to that, although Foster doesn’t have anybody like Madison Cooke on their team. White River is kind of similar, too, so we have faced teams with similar styles.”
Rapelje said she was looking forward to a height advantage down low with 6-footer Jayla Julmist and 5-foot-10 Hope Glasser.
“They don’t have anybody similar in size,” Rapelje said.
The Class 1B No. 10 Neah Bay boys (15-6) will face No. 15 Pateros (15-8) at noon Saturday at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma as the Red Devils return to the state regional round after missing out last season.
The No. 13 Clallam Bay girls (13-9) will head south to face No. 12 Naselle (14-8) at Mark Morris High School in Longview at 6 p.m. Friday. It’s the third straight state regional trip for the Bruins.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]