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STATE PREVIEW: 4A/3A boys tournament

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All games Thursday
Kentridge vs. Garfield, 3:45 p.m.
Issaquah vs. Jackson, 5:30 p.m.
Gonzaga Prep vs. Todd Beamer, 7:15 p.m.
Richland vs. Wenatchee, 9 p.m.
Players to watch
Jason Todd, Jackson
The senior wing may be more important on the defensive end for the Timberwolves than on the offensive end, often shutting down the other team’s best player.
Bogdan Bliznyuk, Todd Beamer
The 6-foot-5 senior forward was recently named the Tacoma News Tribune’s All-Area Player of the Year and averages 19.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
Tramaine Isabell, Garfield
The senior point guard and Washington State recruit led Lakeside to the 3A state championship game a year ago. Can he win 4A with Garfield?
Sam Dowd, Gonzaga Prep
The Bullpups undersized point guard uses tremendous speed and quickness to get past defenders and open up GP’s offense.
Jacob Devries, Richland
In the Bombers’ high-flying circus of an offense, the senior guard is the ringleader, throwing pinpoint passes and nailing deep 3-pointers.
The Favorite: Jackson
The Timberwolves suffered heartbreak in the state title game a year ago, but Jackson is back and ready to finish the job. Garfield, with Isabell, is probably the main threat, but Richland, Todd Beamer and Kentridge all have the firepower to take down Jackson.
The Herald’s prediction
Jackson wins it all, beating Garfield in a back-and-forth semifinal and then slowing down the Bombers in a high-scoring championship game.
All games Thursday
Wilson vs. O’Dea, 9 a.m.
Eastside Catholic vs. University, 10:30 a.m.
Stanwood vs. Bellevue, 12:15 p.m.
Shadle Park vs. Rainier Beach, 2 p.m.
Players to watch
Shaqquan Aaron, Rainier Beach
The 6-foot-8 senior guard is headed to Louisville and he is the leading scorer (22.0) on a Vikings team that often goes over the 100-point mark.
David Crisp, Rainier Beach
The senior guard is the athletic playmaker for the two-time defending champs.
Alphonso Anderson, Wilson
The Rams 6-foot-6 sophomore forward is a gifted athlete and a bruising prence down low. He’s the heart and soul of a strong contender for the title.
Gunther Klimes, Bellevue
The Wolverines 6-foot-6 junior forward is a do-it all talent that is very athletic and aggressive and will give Stanwood fits.
Mandrell Worthy, Eastside Catholic
The Crusaders junior guard averages more than 17 points per game and makes the EC offense go.
The Favorite: Rainier Beach
The two-time defending champs are gunning not only for a three-peat but for a spot in the prestigious 2014 Dick’s Sporting Goods High School Nation Tournament at Madison Square Garden next month.
The Herald’s prediction
Rainier Beach beats Wilson in an exciting championship game after taking out Stanwood in the semifinals. The Rams edge Eastside Catholic in the semifinal on the top half of the bracket.
Aaron Swaney, Herald Writer

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