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Originally published March 2, 2014 at 8:47 PM | Page modified March 3, 2014 at 5:36 PM

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Three things to watch in Class 4A and 3A boys and girls basketball tournaments

Seattle Times staff reporters

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Three things to watch in the Class 4A and 3A boys and girls basketball tournaments:

4A boys

Top-half heavy?

Many believe the four teams that make up the top of the bracket — Garfield vs. Kentridge, Jackson vs. Issaquah — are the best in the state. Issaquah is the lone team that hasn’t been ranked in the top three this season, and the Eagles gave Garfield its lone loss.

Looking for a first

Beamer, which was established as a school in 2003, will attempt to win its first ever game at the state tournament. The Titans, who will face Gonzaga Prep, have only made it to the quarterfinals one other time, losing twice.

Potentially perfect

Richland, the lone undefeated team in 4A, faces unranked Wenatchee in the quarterfinals and would play Beamer or Gonzaga Prep in the semifinals if it were to win. The Bombers have faced two teams this season that appeared in the top 10.

4A girls

Chance at redemption

Kentwood upset Lynn­wood (then No. 3) in the regional round last year in double overtime, and the two meet again to get this year’s state tourney started at 9 a.m. Naturally, the Conquerors used another upset, over No. 7 Chiawana, to get here.

Rubber match

Mount Rainier owes Inglemoor one. And vice-versa. The two 4A powers will meet for the third time over the past 12 months. Mount Rainier beat Inglemoor 61-56 in last year’s state quarterfinals. In a rematch on Martin Luther King Day, Inglemoor won 68-53 – the Rams’ last loss.

One-two punch?

In the loaded upper half of the bracket, which includes three top-five teams, No. 1 Lynnwood could clash with No. 2 Gonzaga Prep in the semifinals – although both have tough quarterfinal matchups.

3a boys

Quest for three-peat

Rainier Beach will look for its third straight state title. The No. 1 Vikings kick things off with Shadle Park (10-13) in the quarterfinals and could potentially face Eastside Catholic, which gave them their toughest test so far, in the championship game.

Hairston’s shot

O’Dea coach Al Hairston has a chance to move back into a tie for most titles in state history. Rainier Beach’s Mike Bethea won a record sixth last year, breaking a tie with Hairston (he won all five while at Garfield), Phil Lumpkin and Ray Hicks.

Welcome back

Eastside Catholic is in the state tournament for the first time since 1999 and will make just its third appearance ever. The Crusaders, who face University in the quarterfinals, are 1-5 all-time in the state tournament.

3A girls

Sea-King supremacy

For the third year in a row, each quarterfinal includes a Sea-King District qualifier. At least one Metro League team has reached the final four years in a row, winning three (two by Cleveland). There were all-Metro finals in 2010 and 2013.

Almost meet again

For a few minutes at Sunday’s draw, it appeared Cleveland would wind up playing University of Spokane for the third year in a row (consolation final in 2012, first round in 2013). But Bishop Blanchet drew the Titans.

Whoa, baby!

Talk about late expectations. Mercer Island coach Kaela Yuen gave birth to a daughter Sunday evening (5 days after her due date) and at last word, Bellevue’s Leah Krautter (due last Monday) is still waiting.

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