WHO: No. 3 North Kitsap (22-4, 11-1 Olympic League) vs. No. 1 Lynden (23-2, 12-1 Northwest Conference).
WHAT: 2A state playoffs, semifinals.
WHERE: Yakima SunDome, Yakima, 7 p.m.
BROADCAST: NFHS (nfhsnetwork.com), Eli (elisportsnetwork.com), KPUG AM 1170 (kpug1170.com),
HOW THEY GOT HERE: North Kitsap defeated No. 11 Selah, 65-52, in the first round; defeated No. 5 White River 64-43 in the quarterfinals. Lynden received a first round bye; defeated No. 2 Toppenish 73-55 in the quarterfinals.
PROJECTED STARTING FIVES:
North Kitsap: Johny Olmsted, 6-3 guard, so.; Shaa Humphrey, 6-4 forward, sr.; Kobe McMillian, 6-0 guard, sr.; Jonas La Tour, 6-4 wing, so.; Logan Chmielewski, 6-3 forward, sr.
Lynden: Jordan Medcalf, 6-1 guard, so.; Brock Hepner, 6-1 forward, sr.; Kaleo Jandoc, 5-10 guard, so.; Clay Kochuten, 6-3 forward, jr.; Liam Hanenburg, 6-11 post, jr.
BREAKDOWN: We’ve seen star performances out of North Kitsap’s best players and the team will need more of that on Friday evening against top-seeded Lynden. McMillian had a dominant 25-point performance in the first round against Selah and La Tour looked nearly unguardable against White River as he went off for 26. Humphrey has also looked good at state, posting 18 and 15 points in two games. The Vikings are at their best when they’re able to establish an inside game early to open up three-point looks on the outside.
They will have their hands full with 6-11 Hanenburg, whose length, reach and touch around the basket will be tough to stop. But the Lions have plenty of smaller guys who can score the ball as well; they’re the No. 1 seed for a reason. Good defensive rebounding to limit Lynden’s second- and third-chance shots will be paramount for North Kitsap.
Lynden is the two-time defending champs, but the situation isn’t that simple. The Lions graduated ten seniors off of last year’s title team, which defeated a strong Selah squad 60-51 in last year’s championship game. Only Hepner and Hanenburg were on Lynden’s varsity roster last season. They’re slightly less experienced, but nonetheless battle-tested after coming out of the Northwest Conference, finishing second to Burlington-Edison, and winning the 2A District 1/2 tournament. The Lions had little trouble with a smaller Toppenish team in the quarterfinals, led by Medcalf’s 21 points. Kochuten had 15 and Hanenburg had 12 points and eight rebounds. Heppner added nine points and 11 rebounds.
The 2A final four consists of North Kitsap and Lynden in one game, and Lindbergh and Clarkston in the other. The two winners play Saturday at 3 p.m. for the championship. The losers play at 1 p.m. for third/fifth.