(Centralia, WA) We have named our Girls Basketball All-Decade Program. 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 ten years.
This list focuses on the success of the school’s programs, not individual teams. We have come up with a mathematical formula that measures 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 to 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. Lynden -Christian Lyncs 71 Points
Absolutely one of the most consistent programs we came across when making these lists. The Lyncs saw top 8 finishes every season over the past decade including 4 state championships. The decade started out a relatively high note for the Lyncs with a visit to the championship in 2011, but lost to Freeman 49 to 32. After a 3rd place finish in 2012 and 4th place in 2013, the Lyncs would return to the championship game. They would not be denied their first title of the decade in 2014 by defeating King’s 55 to 40. When we were making these rankings, we couldn’t help but notice some patterns. That 2014 title for the Lyncs would end up creating essentially a “yo-yo” effect as the Lyncs would end up winning the championship every other season. In 2015, the Lyncs would take a little bit of a step back finishing in 4th, but would return to glory the following season to capture their second title of the decade. After another 4th place finish in 2017 this time, the Lyncs again would go on to win the championship in 2018 by defeating Cashmere 50 to 48. Lynden-Christian would be denied the back to back bid though as they did return to the championship the following season, but would fall to La Salle 56 to 49. The Lyncs would end up capping off the 2020 season and the decade in style though, as they earned the 4th championship defeating Cashmere again in a nail-biter 58 to 55.
2. Cashmere Bulldogs 37 Points
It would take the Bulldogs program a little bit to get going this decade, not seeing their first top 8 finish until the 2014 season where they would end up taking 3rd. That 2014 season would be the start of something good for Cashmere as the program would see seven top 8 finishes in a row and counting. After the 2014 season, Cashmere would take 3rd again the following season in 2015, the Bulldogs would see another top 8 finish come in 2016. It would be the 2017 season that Cashmere would see their first of three trips to the championship. Unfortunately the program would come up short having to settle for 2nd place back to back seasons in 2017 and 2018 after falling to Mount Baker 45 to 44 and Lynden-Christian 50 to 48. The Bulldogs would see their program remain resilient though as they would earn 3rd place in the 2019 season. Cashmere would make another trip to the championship in 2020, the third time in a four year span, but would come up short again to Lynden-Christian 58 to 55.
3. Kings Knights 29 Points
The Knights’ program saw a decade where they had a mixed bag of success. The decade would open and closer for the Knights seeing a top 8 finish in 2011 and 2020. During this span though, the Knights’ enjoyed a nice stretch of success by having four straight top 8 finishes from 2013 to 2017. Kings would see their run of success begin in 2013 with a 5th place finish. The following three seasons would see three straight trips to the championship. In 2014, Kings ended up facing off against our number one 1A team, Lynden-Christian, falling 55 to 40. The 2015 story for the the Knights would end on the high note though as they would take the state championship by defeating Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) 43 to 27. In 2016, the season ended much like 2014. Kings would make it to the championship, but again would finish in 2nd place falling to Lynden-Christian 43 to 38.
4. La Salle Lightning 23 Points
La Salle is another program that would see the decade be book ended by success. After a 3rd place finish in 2011, the Lighting wouldn’t see a top 8 finish again until 2018. It was that 2018 season that would be the beginning of three seasons and counting of top 8 finishes. In 2018, La Salle would finish in 3rd, but it was the following season in 2019 that may be a real turning point for the program as they would defeat Lynden-Christian in the state championship for their first and only title of the decade. La Salle would wrap up the decade with a 5th place finish in the 2020 season.
5. Freeman Scotties 22 Points
Freeman started out the decade with an absolute bang by winning the state title in 2011 defeating Lynden-Christian 49 to 32. Looking back to the year prior to this out of curiosity, it turns out it was actually back to back championship years for the Scotties, but we are only giving points for this decade. The 2012 season would see Freeman back in the title again, but would take 2nd this time falling to Okanogan 44 to 36. After a seven season slump of failing to see the program finish in the top 8, the Scotties enter the next decade with some momentum as they would emerge to take 3rd in 2020.
1A Girls Highlight Reel – Lynden-Christian, Cashmere and King’s
1. Okanogan Bulldogs 35 Points
The Bulldogs are one of the schools on this list to have started the decade in one classification, and be moved to another to close out the decade. In their case, they started out in the 1A ranks so let us take a look at the success they had there before the 2B level. The Bulldogs enjoyed success early in the decade winning the 1A state championship in the 2012 season. After a bit of a step back in 2013 with a top 8 finish, Okanogan would take another step forward in their final season as a 1A school by placing 4th. The Bulldogs would enjoy immediate success as a 2B school as they would go on to win back to back championships their first two seasons in 2015 and 2016. In the 2015 season they earned their first title by defeating Wahkiakum 59 to 52 and would ensue to defeat Napavine the next season 60 to 51 to complete the back to back bid. That 2016 championship would be the last time the Bulldogs would finish in the top 8 as they are currently in a four season drought and counting.
2. Reardon Indians 30 Points
The Indians’ program enjoyed all of their success in the past decade early in the decade. What a stretch it was though as they would go on to win back to back to back state titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013. What’s impressive about that run is they faced a different team every time and would not be denied the golden ball. Reardon’s run started with a 55 to 42 victory over Toutle Lake in 2011. The following season they would knock off Brewster 65 to 57 and in 2013 would complete the three-peat with their 67 to 52 victory over Northwest Christian (Colbert). Unfortunately for Reardon, those three championships would be their only top 8 finishes in the decade as the program is now in a seven season drought and counting.
3. Wahkiakum Mules 29 Points
Barely missing out on the second place rank is the Wahkiakum Mules. After a bit of slow start in the decade, top 8 placement wise, the Mules have put together a nice run of seeing six straight top 8 finishes and counting. You have to go back to the 2016 season to see where the current run for the Mules started with a trip to the championship but coming up short to Okanogan. The following season Wahkiakum would place again taking 5th but would use the 2017 season as a stepping stone by seeing a 3rd place finish in 2018. After a tiny step back season in 2019 by placing 4th, Wahkiakum has strung together back to back solid seasons by seeing the program take 3rd in both 2019 and 2020.
4. Colfax Bulldogs 25 Points
Colfax put together a decent looking run in the middle part of the decade. After failing to see a top 8 finish the first three seasons, the Bulldogs would bust onto the scene winning the state title in 2014. They would end up defeating Toutle Lake 45 to 38 to do so. The next few seasons would end up being a step back for the Bulldogs. After a 6th place finish in back to back seasons in 2015 and 2016, Colfax would see another top 8 finish in 2017 before surging to the top again. The program would earn their second title of the decade in 2018 by defeating Davenport 53 to 47. That championship season would be the last top 8 placement for Colfax in the decade.
5 (TIE). Toutle Lake Ducks and Brewster Bears 22 Points
Looking at Toutle Lake first, the Ducks are another group that saw most of their success come in the early part of the decade. Toutle Lake would make a trip to the title game in 2011 but would be the first victim of Reardon’s three-peat. After missing out on top 8 finishes in 2012 and 2013, Toutle Lake would break the mini slump by returning to the championship again but would fall to the team ranked ahead of them, Colfax. The Ducks would follow up the 2nd place season with back to back 4th place finishes in 2015 and 2016, their final top 8 placement of the decade.
Brewster had one of the more unique journeys the last decade starting as a 2B, moving to 1A,then back to the 2B ranks. As a 1A, the Bears would see the peak of their success over the decade with winning the state championship in the 2013 season defeating Castle Rock 72 to 41. That would be their only top 8 finish as a 1A school in the decade before their move back to the 2B rank. As a 2B school, Brewster saw success earlier in the decade with a 4th place finish in 2011 and a trip to the championship in 2012. The Bears would ultimately fall to Reardon and leave the title game with the second place trophy. After the previously mentioned title in 2013, Brewster wouldn’t see another top 8 finish until the 2019 season to close out their success in the decade.
2B Girls Highlight Reel – Okanogan, Reardon and Wahkiakum
1. Colton Wildcats 85 Points
The success this program had over the decade is about as close as you’re going to get with a perfectly consistent decade. Out of the past 10 seasons, the Wildcats would finish in the top 8 nine times. Of those nine times, eight would result in championships! Colton would start out the decade winning six championships in a row running from 2011 to 2016. During that span, they would defeat Almira-Coulee-Hartline in 2011 50 to 40, Columbia (Hunters) 55 to 47 in 2012, Sunnyside Christian 55 to 40 in 2013, Tekoa-Oakesdale 68 to 32 in 2014, Sunnyside Christian again 89 to 70 in 2015 and Republic 54 to 40 in 2016. What I personally find impressive during this span is how it was almost a different team they would face in the title game, and for the most part had a comfortable margin of victory. 2017 would be the “hiccup” season for the Wildcats, but they would still take 3rd place. During the 2018 and 2019 seasons, it would be back to business for Colton as the program would go on to win back to back titles again this time defeating Pomeroy in back to back seasons by the scores of 44 to 37 and 51 to 43. The 2020 season is the only real blemish on a absolutely remarkable run for the Wildcats as it is the only season of the decade they failed to place in the top 8. If history is worth looking at, we would anticipate seeing Colton return soon.
2. Sunnyside Christian Knights 37 Points
Our second place team for the 1B was just about as consistent as Colton by seeing eight top 8 finishes in the decade. After back to back 5th place finishes in 2011 and 2012, the Knights would make it to the championship in 2013 but would fall to Colton. After failing to finish in the top 8 for the 2014 season, Sunnyside Christian would see a run of five straight top 8 finishes start in 2015 with a another trip to the title game, but losing to Colton again. The Knights would go on to take 3rd in 2016, 5th in 2017, 3rd again in 2018 and a 4th place finish in 2019.
3. Almira-Coulee-Hartline Warriors 30 Points
The Warriors success in the decade is pretty dang close to a carbon copy of Sunnyside Christian. The decade would start out with a trip to the championship for the Warriors where they would fall to Colton. The Warriors would follow up 2011 with a strong 2012, seeing the program take 3rd. It wouldn’t be until 2017 that the Warrior program would place in the top 8 again. They would do so with a 4th place finish. The following season, the Warriors would make it to the title game again, but would fall to Republic 51 to 29. The following two seasons would be a bit of a step back with a 4th place finish in 2018 and taking 5th in 2019 before failing to finish in the top 8 of the 2020 season.
4. Neah Bay Red Devils 23 Points
Neah Bay quietly put together a consistent decade by seeing eight top 8 finishes. The peak of their success would come in 2019 in the midst of a four season run of top 8 finishes where they would finish in 3rd. The Red Devils also enjoyed success early in the decade with back to back 4th place finishes in 2011 and 2012. After missing the top 8 in 2013, Neah Bay would show signs of climbing again taking 6th in 2014 and 5th in 2015. Failing to see a top 8 finish in 2016, the Red Devils would start that aforementioned five season stretch and counting. As mentioned during this span, the 4th place finish, the Red Devils have also added the accomplishments of a 5th place finish as well as two top 8 finishes.
5. Republic Tigers 22 Points
All things considered, the Tigers had a fairly quiet decade, but did put together a very good looking three season stretch. It would take until the 2015 season for Republic to see a top 8 finish and they did so by taking 3rd. The next two seasons, 2016 and 2017, would prove to be very successful seasons as the Tigers would see the title game in each of the seasons. Republic would fall short in 2016 to Colton 54 to 40, but in the 2017 season the Tigers would reach the top by defeating Almira-Coulee-Hartline 51 to 29. That championship would be the last time Republic would finish in the top 8 this decade.
1B Girls Highlight Reel – Colton, Sunnyside Christian and Almira/Coulee-Hartline
Now that we have gone over the top 5 all decade programs for their respective classifications, it is time to look at…
ALL CLASS TOP 10 GIRLS
1. Colton Wildcats (1B) 85 Points: 8 Championships, 8 Finals, 9 Final Four, 9 Top-8
2. Lynden-Christian Lyncs (1A) 71 Points: 4 Championships, 6 Finals, 10 Final Four, 10 Top-8
3. WF West Bearcats (2A) 46 Points: 2 Championships, 4 Finals, 4 Final Four, 8 Top-8
4. Lynden Lions (2A) 45 Points: 2 Championships, 3 Finals, 4 Final Four, 9 Top-8
5. Central Valley Bears (4A) 43 Points: 3 Championships, 4 Finals, 5 Final Four, 6 Top-8
6. Cashmere Bulldogs (1A) 37 Points: 0 Championships, 3 Finals, 6 Final Four, 7 Top-8
6. Sunnyside Christian Knights (1B) 37 Points: 0 Championships, 2 Finals, 5 Final Four, 8 Top-8
8. Cleveland Eagles (3A) 32 Points: 2 Championships, 3 Finals, 4 Final Four, 4 Top-8
9. Reardon Indians (2B) 30 Points: 3 Championships, 3 Finals, 3 Final Four, 3 Top-8
9. Almira/Coulee-Hartline (1B) 30 Points: 0 Championships, 2 Finals, 5 Final Four, 6 Top-8
There you have it for the Girls side of things in basketball. Once again, we touched on it a couple of times in these rankings and at the beginning as well, but just to reiterate, this 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 Colton can beat Central Valley or Lynden 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