AND 1 HBC opening round gets summer started

With the weather not being conducive to doing anything out of doors, it was a good day to take it inside Friday. And inside there was some pretty good hoopin' going on at the opening round of the AND1 High-School Basketball Championship at Seattle University. 16 teams will fight it out for a trip to Philadelphia to represent the Northwest and a shot at the national championship.

In the opener 2003's AND 1 winner Rainier Beach took care of Mount Si 49-21 without star point guard Terrence Williams, away on a recruiting visit to the University of Louisville. 6-3 junior guard Ryan Anderson looked solid as he hit some bombs, hit the boards and delivered several eye-popping passes.

On the other court Redmond advanced with a 45-34 win over Lynnwood. Beach and Redmond will meet in one quarterfinal.

Shorewood used their great size advantage to beat Mariner 58-34. The Marauders were without 6-8 senior Tommy Craddock, away with Friends of Hoop at the Portland Showcase. 6-7 senior Rob Diederichs, 6-5 senior Sean Tracey and 6-6 sophomore Tim Diederichs owned the paint for the T-Birds. Coach Jeff Denny has a good looking group coming back in 2004.

On the other court it was Federal Way 80-60 over Lindberg to set up a Redmond vs. Shorewood quarterfinal. Those two had a great game in the 2003 season opener with the Stangs getting a 47-45 win. But Redmond graduated a ton and Coach Mike Kelly has a bunch of newbies.

Renton took care of Meadowdale 58-44 as Coach Rich Gomer also was in the rebuild mode with a ton of new guys. Meadowdale was without point guard Jake Linton who is playing with Rotary in Portland this weekend. We got our first look at 6-8 giant Melvin Samuel. He's huge and really fills the paint. It was good watching he and 6-7 senior Danny Hagen go at each other.

The Indians will meet Mercer Island, a 49-31 winner over Capital. Coach Ed Pepple also has a ton of new faces, only guy that looked familiar was Noah Blakney.

Portland's Jefferson got the press working and ran away from a gutsy Church Hill (B.C.) squad 62-29. The Dems looked tough with a trio of bigs that Coach Marshall Haskins rotated into the paint. Church Hill had no size, maybe 6-2 at the tallest. I made a comment to several coaches I was kibitzing with "those guys look like men" in reference to two of Haskin's big guys. But it was Jefferson's guards who ran the Canadian team ragged with their pressure from end line to end line.

Mountlake Terrace will get Jefferson in the last quarterfinal as the Hawks walloped a young Shadle Park team 80-35. Luke Hammond got it started with a nuthin-but-net trey off the opening tip and in a flash Terrace led 13-1. Game over. Leigh Swanson looked good inside. The 6-7 senior has gotten some notice with his strong play this spring.

Thanks as always to Seattle U. coaches Joe Callero and Tyler Geving for their hospitality.

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