(Centralia, WA) We have named our Boys Basketball All-Decade Programs. We mentioned in our last all-decade team article that Eli Sports Network will be celebrating the 10 year anniversary this coming fall. Doing these all-decade teams for their respective sports gives us a chance to look back and reflect on the success and consistency of these programs in the games and tournaments they have been a part of over the 10 years.
This list focuses on the success of the school’s programs, not individual teams. We have come up with a mathematical formula and are confident in measuring the success of these programs over the last 10 seasons. State championships do help with recognition, but the formula helps recognize consistent great play.
The All-Decade teams here have been determined using the following point system:
State Championship: 10 Points
2nd Place: 7 Points
3rd Place: 5 Points
4th Place: 4 Points
5th Place: 3 Points
6th Place: 2 Points
7th and 8th Place: 1 Point.
Just like some of the teams in our Fall All-Decade Teams, some teams played in multiple classifications and we did include all their finishes for their point totals. This list is about getting into the top 8 on a regular basis regardless of the classification. The teams classifications on this list are assigned to where they currently reside. At the end of each list, will be our Top 10 combined Programs of the Decade.
1. Zillah Leopards 58 Points
The top two teams for the 1A Boys were extremely consistent as both placed 8 times in the decade. The Leopards however take the top stop. Zillah had a stretch where they placed six years in a row including three championships in that span. Their titles came in 2014 when they defeated King’s 52 to 46, 2017 defeating Freeman 69 to 53 and again in 2019 taking care of business against King’s Way Christian 90 to 68. Also in the span, were two 3rd place finishes in 2015 and 2018 as well as a 4th place finish in 2016. Zillah started the decade out hot with back to back second place finishes in 2011 and 2012 coming up short against Cascade Christian and Lynden-Christian.
2. King’s Knights 56 Points
The Knights are the team that just fell short to Zillah for the top spot in this classification. While King’s has also placed eight out of ten seasons like Zillah, what’s impressive is the Knights have done it eight years in a row and counting! The Knights’ run started in 2013 with a second place finish as they fell to Toledo. King’s would finish second again in 2014 but fell to the already mentioned Zillah program. The program wouldn’t be denied the top spot though as they went on to win back to back titles in 2015 and 2016 by ways of defeating Lynden-Christian 45 to 40 in the 2015 season and Freeman the following year in convincing fashion, 80 to 39. After a couple of step back years with a 3rd place finish in 2017 and 6th place in 2018, the Knight’s would take a step forward reclaiming 3rd place in 2019 before taking the crown again in a tightly contested game versus Lynden-Christian with a 70 to 67 overtime victory in 2020. The King’s program has a ton of momentum heading into the next decade of boys basketball.
3. Lynden-Christian Lyncs 44 Points
The Lyncs are the first program where you start to see a separation in our points, but they had a good decade themselves with seven placements. The Lyncs didn’t have to wait long for their placement as they won the state title in 2012 defeating the top ranked 1A all decade team, Zillah. The program did take a step back though with a 5th place finish in 2013. After a 2nd place finish to King’s in 2015, the Lynden-Christian program has gone on to place four seasons in a row and counting. The run for the Lyncs started in 2017 with a 5th place finish. After that the Lyncs would go on to win the title in 2018 defeating Freeman 82 to 45, take 4th in 2019 and a 2nd place finish to the aforementioned King’s in 2020.
4. Freeman Scotties 21 Points
The Scotties’ program is one that kind of came out of nowhere. Freeman had a slow start in the decade but would go on to place 2nd three seasons in a row in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Each year the Scotties’ came up short against a different team and each of those teams just happen to be the ones ahead of them in the 1A rankings. In 2016, Freeman lost to King’s 80 to 39, in 2017 lost to Zillah 69 to 53 and in 2018 lost to Lynden-Christian 82 to 45. Unfortunately for the Scotties, the closest they got to winning the title was that 2017 season with the 16 point loss. The Freeman program has not placed since 2018.
5. King’s Way Christian Knights 19 Points
The Knight’s program might be one of the more interesting features on our list. Over the last decade, they placed in the top 8 six times. Their first placing was in 2012 as they took 5th in the 1B Boys. The program’s first taste of success in the 1A Boys came in 2015 with a 4th place finish and wouldn’t have to wait long for more as they took 5th the following season in 2016. After not placing in 2017, the Knights’ program has finished in the top 8 three years in a row in counting with 2019 being the pinnacle of their success in the last decade with a 2nd place finish to Zillah.
1A Boys Highlight Reel – Zillah, King’s, Lynden-Christian and King’s Way Christian
1. St. George’s Dragons 40 Points
In what is one more of the more tightly contested classifications on paper, the Dragons’ program takes the top spot for the 2B Boys. St. George’s had a great deal of success over the last decade with seven top 8 finishes. The Dragons got things going with a bang as they won the title in 2013 defeating Colfax 51 to 40 and would follow up with a 2nd place finish in 2014 coming up short to Morton-White Pass 54 to 51. After not placing in the top 8 in 2015, the program would place the next five seasons and counting. After a top 8 finish in 2016, the Dragons would place 5th in 2017 before back to back trips to the championship in 2018 and 2019 but losing to Kittitas-Thorp both times 65 to 50 in 2018 and 79-51 in 2019. The Dragons ended up wrapping up the decade with a 3rd place finish in 2020.
2. Northwest Christian (Colbert) Crusaders 35 Points
The Crusaders started the decade out in style with seven straight top 8 finishes. The program really started out with a bang as they won the title in 2011 defeating Napavine 41 to 32. They did make a return trip to the championship in 2012 but would have to settle for second place as they lost to Colfax 51 to 40. After that season, the Crusaders program would fall into a slight slump placement wise as they took 6th in 2013, a top 8 finish in 2014 and 5th place in 2015. The program carried the upswing momentum from the 2015 season to win the title again in 2016 over Mossyrock 75 to 48. After a 4th place finish in 2017, the Crusaders program has failed to finish in the top 8 for three seasons and counting.
3 (Tie). Brewster Bears and Kittitas-Thorp Coyotes 30 Points
The Bears program is another one of those oddity programs on our list. The first little bit of success the program had this decade came as a top 8 finish in 2014 as a member of the 1A Boys. The following season, the reclassification put the Bears program in the 2B Boys where they made their presence know immediately with back to back 3rd place finishes in 2015 and 2016. After missing the top 8 in 2017, the Brewster program has seen momentum swing the right direction with three top 8 placements in a row including a 4th place finish in 2018, 3rd place in 2019 and reaching the peak with a state championship in 2020 with the victory over Life Christian Academy 58 to 57.
Much like Freeman in the 1A Boys, the Coyotes (on paper) came out of nowhere. The Kittitas-Thorp program only finished in the top 8 three times this decade, but they really made those finishes count. The Coyotes won the state title three seasons in a row; 2017, 2018 and 2019. Two of those victories came against St. George’s. This seems like a good time to reiterate these rankings we have compiled are based off consistency of these respective programs which is why the Dragon’s program is ranked ahead of the Coyotes. Looking back at the titles for Kittitas-Thorp, their slimmest margin of victory came in 2017 with a 3 point victory over Liberty (Spangle) 72-69. In 2018, they defeated St. George’s 65 to 50 and in 2019, 79 to 51.
5. Morton-White Pass Timberwolves 24 Points
Rounding out our top 5 for the 2B Boys is a program that finished in the top 8 five times in the last decade. Things started for the Timberwolves’ program in 2013 with a top 8 finish, things quickly escalated though as Morton-White Pass would win back to back championships the next two seasons in 2014 and 2015. The 2014 championship came against our number one team St. George’s 54 to 51, for the 2015 title Morton-White Pass would win in it in a convincing style beating Liberty (Spangle) 72 to 57. This is a classification that really seems to beat itself up, it’s part of what makes the 2B level so fun to watch. Anyway, after the back to back titles, the Timberwolves’ program started to see things slide a little bit with a 6th place finish in 2016. In 2018, Morton-White Pass would see themselves finish with a top 8 finish for the last time in the decade as they are in a two season drought.
2B Boys Highlight Reel – St. George’s, Northwest Christian (Colbert), Brewster, Kittitas-Thorp and Morton-White Pass
1. Sunnyside Christian Knights 59 Points
Over the last decade, the Knights have been one of the more dominant programs for the boys. Over the last ten seasons, the Knights have placed in the top 8 seven times. Of those seven times, five have resulted in championships including back to back to back. The decade started out nicely for the Knights as they earned one of those championships in 2011. After a little bit of step back with a 4th place finish in 2012, the Knights would earn their second championship in 2013. After not placing in the top 8 in 2014 and 2015, the Knights emerged back on the scene with a 3rd place finish in 2016 which set up the championship years of 2017 defeating Lummi Nation, 2018 defeating Almira/Coulee-Hartline and in 2019 by defeating Yakima Tribal.
2. Neah Bay Red Devils 42 Points
The Red Devil program had a very impressive stretch starting the decade off with seven straight top 8 finishes. Of those seven finishes, four resulted in championship games and one of those games resulted in a Neah Bay championship in 2016. The Red Devils saw things get rolling early with a 2nd place finish in 2011 with a 55 to 50 loss to Sunnyside Christian. The 2012 season saw the Red Devils finish in 3rd place with another 2nd place finish following in 2013 as the program fell to Sunnyside Christian again 44 to 36. After placing 3rd again in 2014, the Red Devils’ program started a upswing with a 2nd place finish in 2015 before finally getting over the hump and winning the championship in 2016 defeating Almira-Coulee-Hartline. After the title run, Neah Bay would see one more top 8 finish in 2017.
3. Almira-Coulee-Hartline Warriors 39 Points
The Warriors had a very consistent decade. The program saw seven top 8 finishes including a championship in 2012 by defeating Valley Christian 62 to 58. Prior to the title, in 2011 the Warriors finished in 3rd place. After three seasons of failing to see a top 8 finish, the Warriors’ program has gone on a run of five straight seasons of at least a top 8 finish and counting. After the title run, the Warriors wouldn’t see themselves place again until 2016 when they finished 2nd to Neah Bay. After a slight step back in 2017 with a 3rd place finish, the Warriors again would just fall short of another title finishing 2nd in 2018 to Sunnyside Christian 69 to 61 in double overtime. Since 2018, Almira-Coulee-Hartline would continue their success of top 8 finishes with a 5th place finish in 2019 and 6th place in 2020.
4. Yakima Tribal Eagles 24 Points
The Eagles are a program that seemed to really burst onto the scene late in the decade and did so with success. Their first top 8 finish came in 2016 with a 5th place finish. Since that 2016 finish, Yakima Tribal has finished in the top 8 five times and counting. In 2017 the program saw improvement with a 4th place finish before sliding back to 5th in 2018. However the Eagles’ program would make strides with back to back championship appearances in 2019 and 2020. Yakima Tribal would have to settle for 2nd both times though as they lost to Sunnyside Christian 54 to 45 in 2019 and to Odessa 62 to 36 in 2020 to close out the decade.
5. Lummi Nation Blackhawks 22 Points
The Blackhawks’ program rounds out the top five of our 1B Boys rankings. Lummi Nation may be one of the more interesting programs on our list. Over the last decade they finished in the top 8 four times, but they made the chances count. The Blackhawks first placement comes in 2011 with a 6th place finish. It wasn’t until 2015 that the Blackhawks’ program emerged again and it did so with a state championship with a 54 to 33 victory over Neah Bay. Lummi Nation would place again in 2017 by finishing in 2nd, this time losing the title to Sunnyside Christian. After missing top 8 finishes in 2018 and 2019, the Blackhawks’ program wraps the decade up with some momentum after placing 5th in 2020.
1B Boys Highlight Reel – Sunnyside Christian, Neah Bay, Almira-Coulee-Hartline and Yakima Tribal
And now the complete Top 10 combined final listings.
ALL CLASS TOP 10 BOYS
1. Rainier Beach Vikings (3A) 66 Points: 4 Championships, 6 Finals, 6 Final Four, 9 Top-8
2. Garfield Bulldogs (3A) 64 Points: 4 Championships, 5 Finals, 8 Final Four, 9 Top-8
3. Sunnyside Christian Knights (1B) 59 Points: 5 Championships, 5 Finals, 7 Final Four, 7 Top-8
4. Zillah Leopards (1A) 58 Points: 3 Championships, 5 Finals, 8 Final Four, 8 Top-8
5. Lynden Lions (2A) 57 Points: 3 Championships, 4 Finals, 8 Final Four, 8 Top-8
6. King’s Knights (1A) 56 Points: 3 Championships, 5 Finals, 7 Final Four, 8 Top-8
7. Lynden Christian Lyncs (1A) 44 Points: 2 Championships, 4 Finals, 5 Final Four, 8 Top-8
8 (Tie). Gonzaga Prep Bullpups (4A) 42 Points: 3 Championships, 3 Finals, 3 Final Four, 6 Top-8
8 (Tie). Neah Bay Red Devils (1B) 42 Points: 1 Championship, 4 Finals, 6 Final Four, 7 Top-8
10. St. George’s Dragons (2B) 40 Points: 1 Championship, 4 Finals, 5 Final Four, 7 Top-8
There you have it for the Boys side of things in basketball. We touched on it a couple of times in these rankings and at the beginning as well, but just to reiterate, these rankings are based off consistency out of these programs that have made it to state over the last decade. We aren’t trying to make a argument that Sunnyside Christian can beat Gonzaga Prep for example. Rankings like these are to recognize those programs that have shown consistency and accomplishments over the last decade. The all class rankings are the top 10 scores points wise for the programs.
All Classification Boys/Girls combined Top 10 Basketball Programs of the Decade.
1. Colton Wildcats (1B Girls): 85 Points
2. Lynden-Christian Lyncs (1A Girls): 71 Points
3. Rainier Beach Vikings (3A Boys): 66 Points
4. Garfield Bulldogs (3A Boys): 64 Points
5. Sunnyside Christian Knights (1B Boys): 59 Points
6. Zillah Leopards (1A Boys): 58 Points
7. Lynden Lions (2A Boys): 57 Points
8. King’s Knights (1A Boys): 56 Points
9. WF West Bearcats (2A Girls): 46 Points
10. Lynden Lions (2A Girls): 45 Points