A GLANCE AT the numerous district playoff basketball matchups this week might have prep hoops aficionados wondering if the calendar really did turn to 2020.
A number of area postseason playoff contests are rematches from last season.
Tonight, the No. 12 Sequim (15-5) girls will open the Class 2A West Central District Tournament at home at 5:30 p.m. against the No. 45 Foster Bulldogs (9-11), the same squad the Wolves faced with a state tournament berth on the line in a No. 12 vs. No. 13 state regional round matchup last February.
That game — which saw Sequim piece together a 28-0 run through the latter portions of the third and the entire fourth quarter to rally for a 54-44 win — was our pick as the game of the year in 2019.
The Wolves likely won’t need to exert nearly as much effort this time around as the Bulldogs lack the bite of last year’s state regional team.
Foster has scored more than 50 points in just four games and has been held to less than 16 points six times — including a 49-11 loss to Eatonville in the South Puget Sound League Tournament last week. The Bulldogs also lost to Kingston by 32, an Olympic League foe that Sequim beat by 14- and 45-point margins earlier this season.
Sequim meanwhile, is averaging 64.5 points per game and has scored 80 or more points in five games this season. Unless Foster can produce relentless defensive pressure, expect the Wolves to win in a walk.
Port Angeles, Forks games
Thursday night at 7 p.m. the No. 7 Port Angeles boys (15-5) host a first-round West Central District contest against the No. 42 Fife Spartans (9-12).
Last season, Fife pushed past the Roughriders 54-50 in overtime in a game that would have sent Port Angeles to the state tournament.
The Spartans had to call on a little divine intervention to force that overtime — a 25-foot banked-in 3-pointer by Khalil Messiah.
Messiah and 6-foot-4 shooter Michael Steimle, who had 14 points against the Riders last season, return this year.
Port Angeles previously beat Fife on the road 74-59 in early January.
A win in this one and the Riders will visit No. 27 Clover Park (11-8) on Saturday with a state regional berth on the line.
Out west Friday, the No. 24 Forks (13-7) boys host No. 26 Seton Catholic (11-9) at 7 p.m. (the time is tentative) in a first round Southwest District 4 Tournament game. The Spartans were ousted by the Cougars 84-69 in a district consolation semifinal last season. Seton Catholic went on to make the state regional round.
Back in Port Angeles, the Riders girls basketball team will host a district quarterfinal matchup Friday.
No. 10 Port Angeles (16-4) can seal a state regional round berth with a win over the winner of tonight’s Eatonville (9-12) vs. Orting (10-11) matchup.
Other district playoff games on the North Olympic Peninsula: the No. 12 Clallam Bay (12-4) girls will play No. 40 Cedar Park Christian (5-12) in a loser-out game to open the Class 1B Tri-District Tournament. That contest will be held at Crescent High School at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Also Saturday: the Crescent boys will host a Tri-District loser-out contest, opponent and time to be announced.
If Quilcene wins its SeaTac League Tournament girls third-place game tonight against Puget Sound Adventist, the Rangers will host a loser-out Tri-District game Saturday against the No. 4 team from the Northwest District.
The No. 6 Neah Bay girls will host a Tri-District tourney contest at Port Angeles High School at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Opponent is TBD.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]