- Auburn Mountainview
At the start of the State tournament, no one would have been surprised to see Bellevue and Newport in the final game to determine the State Champion. Both teams had proved themselves worthy during the regular season and from the very start of the tournament both teams looked to be just a bit better than the rest of the competition. Newport breezed through their bracket with wins over Emerald Ridge and Puyallup and then put on an impressive defensive display against Rogers in the quarterfinals. In the semis, those in attendance learned a couple of things. First, Auburn Mountainview is a very good team and maybe Newport wasn't unbeatable. Bellevue also breezed through bracket play with wins over Wilson and Auburn Riverview but their path to the finals would pit them against Roosevelt and Curtis. Both games proved to be competitive games but Bellevue seemed to have momentum and the ability to find consistency and finish strong in the 4th quarter. Traits of a champion include depth, balance, team defense, and the ability of leaders to step up in the big game. In the championship game, the Wolverines delivered it all. Like a champion, they found a way to limit the offensive weapons of their opponent, while exerting their own strength as the Wolverines pulled away in the second half. A championship is not just about the final game. It is a body of work that starts with an objective and a team commitment. It includes a seasons worth or more of preparation, conditioning, frustration, setbacks, adjustments, and the ability of every player to put team first over the individual. Congratulations Bellevue for winning the championship and ending the season ranked No. 1. For Newport, a great season that had everything but the sweet finish they desired. The pressure of staying unbeaten is enormous and the burden of the target on your back was heavy. Thanks for a season worth of highlights and the Committee has a strong feeling that you will be contending for the title next year. However, this season you finish No. 2. Curtis is a program that knows about what it takes yo be a champion but the road through the tournament was not an easy one. Curtis was on track with an exciting 1 point victory over Roosevelt in bracket play but eventually would meet up with Bellevue in the semifinals. In a great north vs. south showdown, Curtis fought hard but it was not to be this year. A consolation win over Auburn Mountainview earned the Vikings third in state and No. 3 in the final rankings. Anyway you look at it. Auburn Mountainview had a great season and a great tournament. An upset win over Rogers in bracket play really cleared a great path to the semis and in retrospect it doesn't seem like an upset anymore. The semifinals pitted the Lions against Newport, and Auburn Mountainview showed everyone that they belong with the elite teams in state. The Lions became one of the great stories of this years tournament and their school spirit was infectious. A loss to Curtis in the consolation game doesn't dampen their accomplishments this season. Congratulation for finishing fourth in state and moving up to the No. 4 spot in the rankings. Roosevelt provided some of the closest games of the tournament and contined to show that they have the ability to play and beat anyone. The one problem they have struggled with is closing out games in the fourth quarter. A loss to Curtis 1-point in their bracket sent the Roughriders up against Bellevue in the quarterfinals, but Bellevue was able to close out the game out in the final quarter in a game that was probably Bellevue's most competitive test of the tournament. Roosevelt did close out the final quarter against Rogers with a last minute goal to finish fifth in state and No. 5 in the final rankings. Rogers came into the tournament as one of the top seeds, but a loss to Auburn Mountainview disrupted what appeared to be a favorable path to the semis. The loss put them up against Newport in the quarterfinals and the Rams just could not get their offense going against the Knights. Rogers did defeat Puyallup for a chance to play for fifth, but a last minute goal by Roosevelt left Rogers in 6th place for the tournament and the Rams finish No. 6 in the final rankings. Well Bainbridge, what is the Committee going to do with you. You missed a heck of a tournament and yes we think you deserved to be there, but sometimes these things just happen. The Spartans had a great season but their fate in the rankings was out of their hands. After reviewing everything and much consideration, the Committee ranks Bainbridge No. 7 to finish the season. Okay Wilson, you were another one of the teams that made some noise at the tournament. The Committee was tough on you early in the season but we did note that you had the ability to make things difficult for your opponents. I guess Auburn Riverside didn't get that note, and an impressive win to start the tournament advanced Wilson to the quarterfinals. Things started out very well but the Rams were not able to sustain their strong start and eventually fell to Curtis. We'll blame fatigue for your loss to Roosevelt, but we can give you credit for your win over Puyallup to secure a seventh place finish at State and your re-entry into the rankings at No. 8. Hey Puyallup, it looks like your seeding was correct. The Vikings started the tournament with a win over Emerald Ridge but found the the rest of the way to be too difficult against the top teams. Still, a very good season and maybe the start of good things to come. Puyallup finishes the season at No. 9 in the rankings. Between Auburn Riverside and Enumclaw, the Committee faced a difficult decision for the No. 10 spot. A great season for the Ravens hit tough times during the last week of the season and the upset loss to Wilson dashed their dreams of a higher finish. Enumclaw was placed in an extremely difficult bracket and took their lumps on Thursday against Curtis and Roosevelt. Based on their match-up to close the regular season, Enumclaw is awarded the No. 10 spot to close the 2011 high school season. Congratulations to all the teams for a great season.
The intention of this blog is simply to help create more awareness of high school water polo in Washington. These rankings are unofficial and are in no way intended to diminish the accomplishments of any team. I encourage every team to celebrate their season and accomplishments in their respective divisions and state tournament. Hopefully any bias has been minimal and has been balanced by my ignorance.