We are one week away from the Metro Basketball Tournament. All top three teams clinched their division (Seattle Prep- Metro Mountain, Rainier Beach- Metro Sound, and Franklin- Metro Valley Division).
This week is by far the most intense and exciting part of the season. Teams like Ingraham, West Seattle and Bainbridge are all playing for a shot to participate in the Metro playoffs.
SEE MORE ABOUT THE METRO CONFERENCE AFTER THE JUMP!
Player of the Week: D.J. Fenner, Seattle Prep- Fenner scored 25 against Lakeside and scored a combined 41 points against Nathan Hale and Eastside last week. The Junior has not quite had the year many people expected, but is now finding his game and continuing where he left off from his freshmen year. Fenner is one of the most athletic players in state and is now an al-around threat because of his ability to shoot the basketball.
1. Rainier Beach (17-1) The Vikings had another strong week and remain undefeated in Metro play. Beach is still the favorite to take home Metro Title, but there are some things this team needs to work on. When matching against other opponents, Beach’s guards will have the advantage, but their big men tend to struggle against other players their size. Besides that small issue, this team is force to be reckoned with.
Prediction: Beach has an easy week, hosting Bainbridge (9-8), and Lakeside (8-9). These matchups couldn’t have come at a better time for the Vikings as they look clinch the No. 1 seed for Metro Tournament. Beach wins both easily and secures the top seed for the tournament.
2. Seattle Prep (16-2) Prep has finally come together. In the beginning of the season they struggled, but now they are playing to their potential. Last week they clinched the Metro Division and are eyeing a two seed in the Metro Tournament. D.J. Fenner is starting to become a dominant player again, plus Mitch Brewe and Josh Martin continue to do a good job down in the post. This team has a strong chance of taking home the Metro title.
Prediction: Getting the two seed will not be easy for Prep as they go on the road to O’Dea (12-6), and Franklin (14-2). To win these two games, Brewe and Martin must have big performances. They will have the advantage with whom they match up since both opponents lack height. Look for the Panthers to dish the ball into the paint. Playing at O’Dea and Franklin is always tough and I like Prep losing both games, and getting a three seed for the tournament.
3. Franklin (14-2) The Quakers are one of the hottest teams in the conference right now. They finished out last week 2-0; blowing out Bainbridge and Nathan Hale. Cody Russell continues to have success; putting up a total of 48 points last week. Anddrew Hawkins also had a great week, scoring 28 against Bainbridge. I thought he was going to be their main guy, but he hasn’t lived up to that role this year. If Hawkins starts to put up numbers, it increases his team’s chances of winning Metro.
Prediction: Franklin can steal the two seed, but it will be difficult as they host Seattle Prep (16-2). The Quakers also play Cleveland (3-13) and Nathan Hale (10-7). With the way Franklin has been playing, they will upset Prep and win the rest of their games to secure the two seed. Patrick Ball will have his hands full as he will try and contain Mitch Brewe. I expect Franklin to play a zone and make Prep beat them through shooting.
4. O’Dea (12-6) The Irish are back ladies and gentlemen. Last week they got off to a fast start in both their games. However, they only beat Sealth by four with careless mistakes they let the Seahawks back into the game. O’Dea played their best ball at Lakeside. Not only did they get off to a fast start, the young players step up and scored. Sekou Wiggs has been quiet, but right now Jalen Ward and Dana Abe have had the hot hands. I expect Wiggs to break out of his slump and have a big week.
Prediction: The Irish make up their game with Cleveland (3-13) which will be an easy Irish victory. Then the fun begins; O’Dea hosts rival Seattle Prep (16-2) on Tuesday. The loss at Prep in early January still stings; this team wants revenge and will get it. Jacob Lampkin and Aaron Faliniko will need to play the game of their life, since Prep has a dominate duo down low with Brewe and Martin. O’Dea finishes out the regular season with Blanchet, which is another easy win for the Irish.
5. Chief Sealth (10-7) The Seahawks stay at No. 5 due to Lakeside, Eastside, and Nathan Hale losing their games last week. Sealth almost beat O’Dea, but two technical fouls and poor defense cost them the game. The Seahawks won at Eastside, but lost at home to Bainbridge. Really? This is not something the No. 5 team in Metros should be doing, especially with the Metro Tournament next week.
Prediction: The Seahawks host Lakeside and go on the road to Bainbridge (9-8) and West Seattle (8-9). Both teams (Bainbridge and West Seattle) are looking to grab the eight spot in the conference to qualify for the Metro tournament. Sealth wins against Lakeside, but falls to West Seattle and Bainbridge. The Seahawks are too risky to count on, and playing on the road is always tough in this conference.
6. Eastside Catholic (10-9)
This Week: Ingraham (8-9), West Seattle (8-9)
7. Lakeside (8-9)
This Week: Chief Sealth (10-7), Blanchet (1-16), Rainier Beach (17-1)
8. Nathan Hale (10-7)
This Week: Ingraham (8-9), Franklin (14-2)
9. Bainbridge (9-8)
This Week: West Seattle (8-9), Rainier Beach (17-1), Chief Sealth (10-7)
10. West Seattle (8-9)
This Week: Bainbridge (9-8), Chief Sealth (10-7), Eastside Catholic (10-9)
11. Ingraham (8-9)
This Week: Eastside Catholic (10-9), Nathan Hale (10-7), Cleveland (3-13)
12. Cleveland (3-13)
This Week: O’Dea (12-6), Franklin (3-13), Ingraham (8-9)
13. Blanchet (1-16)
This Week: Nathan Hale (10-7), Lakeside (8-9), O’Dea (12-6)
This is a huge game for both teams, this game will determine who gets the No. 2 seed for the Metro Tournament. Franklin is the faster team and will look to beat Prep on fast break. Seattle Prep has the height and will look to slow down the game and get the ball down in the post. There are going to be some great match-ups in this game; Hennings vs. Clough, Brewe vs. Ball or Hawkins, and Russell vs. Fenner. Expect a high scoring game that will come down to the final possession. Prediction: Franklin 70-68
--Evan Baron (@BaselineBaron09)
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