Players for the Mount Vernon Christian and La Conner high school girls' basketball teams will get to pull on their school uniforms a few more times — and face a field stocked with some of the top small-schools teams in the state.
The Hurricanes and Braves will kick off play Wednesday in Summer State, an eight-team tournament to be held over three days at Mount Vernon Christian School.
Put on by the Washington State Girls' Basketball Coaches Association, the tournament isn't sanctioned by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, but received the OK from that governing body for players to wear their school uniforms.
The tournament will have other features of a tough postseason tournament, from trophies to an all-tournament team.
Every participating team is Class 2B, except for Mount Vernon Christian, which is 1B.
"The seniors get more games to play, that's a nice thing," La Conner coach Scott Novak said.
He said he is impressed by the tournament's teams, which include Warden, which placed sixth in the Class 1A State Tournament last year, and Wahkiakum, which was La Conner's opponent last year in the state Class 2B semifinals.
"As far as having the top teams there, the top three (2B) teams are there — no ifs, ands or buts," Novak said.
Mount Vernon Christian coach Jeff Droog helped create the tournament as a way for players to get more games after a COVID-shortened season.
He said he's excited for the players, especially seniors such as Hurricanes star Kailey Faber.
"A lot of coaches were thinking of that ... how to put capstone on those kids' careers. They've served their teams and communities so well," Droog said.
Wednesday's games will be held at 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. La Conner will play Toledo at 2 p.m. and Mount Vernon Christian will face Tri-Cities Prep at 6 p.m.
Games will be held at those same times Thursday, and four more games will be played Friday, with start times one hour earlier, including the 7 p.m. championship game.
Tickets will be sold for $5 beginning 10 minutes before each game. Payment must be made in cash only, and due to COVID regulations the gym will be cleared between games. Spectators must pay $5 for each game they attend.
Droog said costs were defrayed by sponsors including Baden and BSN Sports.
A bracket can be found here.
Mount Vernon Christian's Kailey Faber and Concrete's Kylie Clark have been recognized by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association as Athletes of the Week.
Faber scored 123 points across 10 games to help the Hurricanes to a 9-1 record in that span. She was one of 12 athletes recognized for the Week 16 awards.
Clark, who was among the Week 17 honorees, scored 63 points in three games to cap her Lions career. She set a school record with seven 3-pointers in a win against Darrington and went 14-of-16 from the free-throw line against Coupeville.