What: First Round State Playoff Game
Where: Spokane Falls CC
When: Friday, February 25, 6:00 p.m.
Situation: The WIAA switched things up this year with the state basketball playoff format, switching from the old 16-team, four-day Tacoma Dome event to one that features four different regional rounds followed by a round of eight the following weekend at the T-Dome.
Each regional site will feature four teams, two of which will advance to the round of eight. Every regional will have one automatic advance game and one loser-out game on Friday. The winner of the loser-out game will then play the loser of the automatic advance game on Saturday for the final spot in the round of eight from the regional. For example, Mercer Island and Southridge play in the loser-out game of the Spokane regional on Friday, while North Central and Kamiakin play in the automatic advance game. The winner of the Mercer Island/Southridge game will advance to play Saturday, while the loser will be eliminated. The winner of the North Central/Kamiakin game automatically advances to the round of eight at the Tacoma Dome, while the loser plays the winner of the Mercer Island/Southridge game on Saturday for the final spot in the round of eight out of the region.
Mercer Island (20-5) – The Islanders have been on a tear over the last month, winning nine of their final ten games, including the KingCo 3A championship game over Bellevue. Point guard Derek Newhof is averaging over 15 ppg over his last five for Mercer Island.
Southridge (11-10) – Southridge, out of the 3A Big Nine conference, pulled out a two-point win over Eastmont last week to qualify for the state round of 16. The Suns have won three of their past four games.