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Rosalia boys’ State 1B draw ‘brutal’

Four of five ranked teams in bottom half of bracket

Rosalia boys basketball coach Rob Hudkins had four words to summarize his team’s draw in the State 1B tournament.

“It’s a brutal draw,” Hudkins said.

And if Rosalia gets by its first-round opponent? That prompted a three-word reply.

“It gets worse,” he said.

No. 1 ranked and undefeated Rosalia (22-0) takes on Lopez on Wednesday when the tourney begins at the SunDome in Yakima. Tipoff is at 5:30.

Three of the other four ranked teams are on Rosalia’s side of the bracket. They are No. 2 Wellpinit (21-3), No. 3 Sunnyside Christian and No. 5 Neah Bay. Fourth-ranked Cusick (19-6) is the lone ranked team in the upper bracket.

Other openers involving area teams are St. John-Endicott (13-11) against Tulalip Heritage, 9 a.m.; Cusick vs. Lake Quinault, 10:30; Wellpinit against Oakville, 4 p.m.; and Almira/Coulee-Hartline (16-8) vs. Neah Bay, 9.

The Rosalia-Lopez winner meets the Wellpinit-Oakville winner in the quarterfinals.

“Whoever comes out of our half of the bracket will earn their way to the championship,” Hudkins said.

Lopez finished fourth in its district and is making its first trip to state in two years.

Tri-Cities Prep, the defending state champ, didn’t qualify for state. Rosalia beat Tri-Cities Prep twice during the regular season.

Other than Rosalia, which finished fifth last year, the other returning state placers are Moses Lake Christian (runner-up), ACH (third), Tulalip Heritage (fourth), Cusick (sixth), Sunnyside Christian (seventh) and Lake Quinault (eighth).

In the girls, the top-ranked and defending state champ Colton girls (21-1) will meet King’s Way Christian of Vancouver at 10:30 a.m.

“The bracket looks good to us,” Colton coach Clark Vining said. “Any time you go to state you assume everyone is pretty good.”

Colton defeated St. John-Endicott in the title game a year ago. Second-ranked St. John-Endicott (20-3) will face No. 3 Almira/Coulee-Hartline (20-3) at 4 p.m. in a rematch of a state opener last year that occurred, oddly enough, at the same time a year ago.

Colton’s one loss came to St. John-Endicott (56-52).

In other openers involving area teams, No. 4 Columbia Hunters (21-4) faces Neah Bay at 2 and Cusick (11-13) meets Pateros at 9.

In addition to Colton and St. John-Endicott, other returning state placers are Sunnyside Christian (third), Lummi (fourth), ACH (fifth), Columbia Hunters (seventh) and Neah Bay (eighth).