Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and which also means the return of the annual MLK Classic Showcase which will once again be held at the ShoWare Center in Kent presented by Game Time Events. There will be eight games in total at the event on Monday and the first one tips off at 9am. Some of the top teams in the Pacific Northwest will be on display as there will be five boys games and three girls games. It is a tremendous day for the high school basketball fan as you can remain in the same seat all day to catch all eight games. Tickets are just $10 for adults and $5 for kids and Seniors and this gets you in for as many games as you want to watch.

The opening matchup of the day will be a boys contest as the Kent-Meridian Royals take on the Enumclaw Hornets. Kent-Meridian comes into the contest with a record of 6-7 but are coming off a big win over rivals Kentlake 73-51. The Royals are experienced with only three non-seniors on the roster for head coach Marcus Graham’s squad. Enumclaw enters the showcase with a 7-5 record with their two league losses coming by a combined seven points. Terry Johnson has a much younger team than their counterparts, as the Hornets have just four seniors on their roster. The teams matchup very evenly height wise with Zoe Emery standing at 6’4 for Kent-Meridian while four other players stand at 6’3. Enumclaw has plenty of size of their own as Gavin Trachte, Karson Holt, and Austin Pierce all stand at 6’3.

Next up will be another boys game as the Puyallup Vikings take on the Auburn Mountainview Lions. Puyallup has had a solid first month with a record of 7-5 and the Vikings enter as winners of two of their last three games. Puyallup has a very balanced scoring approach but the 6’6 sophomore Will Nasinec can be the game changer down low if they can get him the ball. Auburn Mountainview has a 7-6 record but have lost three straight with two of those coming by single digits. Mande Wanlemvo is averaging just under a double-double this season with 9 ppg and 9 rpg so far in his senior season. Both teams have a nice mix of young and experienced players on their roster.

The third game of the day will be the first girls showdown that we see as the White River Hornets take on the King’s Knights. White River comes in with a perfect record of 6-0 with their closest game being a 14-point victory over Napavine. They will enter Monday as the #10 ranked 2A team in the WIAA’s RPI rankings. The Hornets are coming off of a 5th place finish in last year’s state tournament and return a majority of last year’s roster. They feature plenty of perimeter shooting with Josie Jacobs leading the way but Vivian Kingston and Emma Voellger can take over the game in the paint as well. King’s have had a tough start to their season with a 6-8 record but back-to-back wins have the Knights riding high coming into the showcase. Just like their opponents, King’s finished 5th in the 1A state tournament last season and their sophomore superstar in Kaleo Anderson is hoping to lead the way to a higher finish in this year’s postseason.

ShoWare Center in Kent

We will then hop back to boys hoops with a very big showdown as the defending 2A state champions, the Lynden Lions face last year’s 1A runner-ups in the King’s Knights. Known for being a dominant basketball school, the Lions return most of their title winning team with Anthony Canales returning after being named the state tournament MVP last year. Lynden comes in with a record of 10-3, but have won four straight with none of them being close. King’s is used to facing a team from Lynden but they will take on the Lions instead of their state championship foes. King’s has a record of 9-4 but are coming off a loss to Seattle Academy. The Knights are led by 6’4 senior Nick Linhardt but defense will be key for the Knights as they will have to find a way to slow down the deep scoring attack of Lynden.

Our first out-of-state team will take the court for the fifth game when the Clackamas Cavaliers girls team takes on the Bonney Lake Panthers. The Cavaliers come in with a 6-2 record and a team that features just two seniors on the roster. Clackamas is the #1 ranked 6A girls team in Oregon state as well as the reigning 6A state champions. Jazzy Davidson was a big reason for her squad’s success last season and the junior is looking to make another big impact this season after being named to the All-Tournament team last March. Bonney Lake has been tremendous this season with a 13-2 record and the top spot in the 3A Pierce County League. The Panthers made it to the first round of the 3A state tournament last year before losing to Meadowdale on the opening day. Senior Jazmyn Shipp is leading the Panthers with over 15 points per game but 6’3 freshman Azy Jackson is a player to take note of for the future of this Bonney Lake team.

The other out of state team will get a tough matchup in the sixth game of the day when Tualatin (OR) takes on Mount Si. Winners of the last two Oregon 6A boys basketball state championships, the Tualatin Timberwolves are looking for the threepeat but come in with a record of 9-5 this season. Like the Clackamas girls, Tualatin also has a returning member of the All-Tournament team from last year’s state tournament as Jaden Steppe is back for the T-Wolves. Steppe will be the tallest player to take the floor on Monday, standing at 6’8 in his senior season. Mount Si doesn’t lack height themselves with only one player below 6’0 tall. Mount Si currently sits at 11-2 with a five-game winning streak coming into Monday. A 5th place finish in last season’s 4A state tournament has seemed to add fuel to the fire for the Wildcats and senior Trevor Hennig. Hennig is averaging 22.5 points per game thus far in his senior season.

In the seventh game it will be a Battle of the Bears as Olympia takes on Tahoma in the final boys game of the day. After falling in the state title game one year ago, the Olympia Bears look more than capable of getting back to that spot here in 2024. Olympia comes in with a 9-3 record with three straight wins, including one over back-to-back 4A state champs in Curtis. The roster looks very different for head coach John Kiley but guards Matt Lindbloom and Drew Carlson return from last year’s team which lost their two leading scorers due to graduation. On the other side, the Tahoma Bears have it the double digit win total with a record of 10-4. Tahoma was upset on the opening day of the state tournament last season by Camas but have a strong team once again this season. 6’6 senior Dalton Brown leads Tahoma in scoring, averaging 21.3 points per game and only adds to the height advantage with 6’6 Adam Davis and 6’5 Jayden Stephens.

The eighth and final game of the day will also feature the Tahoma Bears but it will be the girls team taking on the Liberty Patriots. Tahoma enters with an impressive record of 11-2 with five straight wins coming into this game. A very strong defense is what the Bears will lean on as Tahoma has only allowed 50+ points three times this season. Tahoma took 3rd in last year’s 4A state tournament but head coach Julie Anderson is looking for more with strong guard play from Bailey Nettleton and Lily Cavanaugh. Liberty is also having a nice season with an 11-5 record after starting the season 7-0. The Patriots missed the state tournament last year but have put together a strong charge to get back to the Tacoma Dome in 2024. They will be a serious size disadvantage as the tallest Patriot stands at 5’9 (Eva Krell and Chelsea Irvine) while Tahoma has two players at 6’1 (Kylie Robertson and Adalynn Busch).

All eight games will be streamed here on the Eli Sports Network. This is a subscription service of $11.99 for 30-days…NOT a pay-per-view and you may cancel at anytime, no long term commitment. With your subscription you have access to all games on the NFHS Network including all the automated games from any High School that is part of the program in the State, in fact you have access to all broadcasts across all 50 states.

Full Schedule (Click on each game for a direct link)

Game 1, 9am (Boys)- Kent-Meridian vs. Enumclaw

Game 2, 10:30am (Boys)- Puyallup vs. Auburn Mountainview

Game 3, 12pm (Girls)- White River vs. King’s

Game 4, 2pm (Boys)- Lynden vs. King’s

Game 5, 3:30pm (Girls)- Bonney Lake vs. Clackamas (OR)

Game 6, 5pm (Boys)- Mount Si vs. Tualatin (OR)

Game 7, 7pm (Boys)- Tahoma vs. Olympia

Game 8, 8:30pm (Girls)- Tahoma vs. Liberty (Renton)

WordPress Image Lightbox