The boys and girls basketball teams at will compete in the opening round of the 2B state tournament tonight.
The winners of each game will be guaranteed a ticket to the 2011 2B Hardwood Classic in Spokane.
Both teams were undefeated in league play this year and earned the 2B Sea-Tac Conference titles. The boys team (20-3 overall), which finished fifth in the 2B state tournament last season, ran away with the Sea-Tac Conference regular season championship this year, ending its campaign a full three games ahead of second-place finisher Seattle Lutheran.
Coach Scott Moe's squad entered the postseason as a top seed and lived up to the billing, earning a bi-district championship with victories over Cedar Park Christian (Mountlake Terrace), Seattle Lutheran and La Conner in the title game.
With the win, Bear Creek also earned a No. 1 seed to the 2B state tournament under head coach Scott Moe, who is in his sixth season as head man for the Grizzlies.
One of the team's three setbacks during the season came at the hands of another group of Grizzlies from Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish during the Bellevue College Holiday Tournament.
"We thought we may have gotten ourselves in over our heads," Moe said.
As the first-ever B classified school to be invited to the event, according to the Bear Creek website, the Grizzlies learned the importance of competing against their own best effort rather than focusing on the opponent in the loss to Glacier Peak.
"We played them tough," Moe said of his team's effort against Glacier Peak.
Glacier Peak, which won that game 54-44, finished as regular season and tournament champions in 3A Wesco and are a top seed in the 3A state playoffs.
On the girls team (19-1 overall), the Grizzlies have posted the most successful season in school history, finishing the regular season undefeated and with an outright conference championship.
The Grizzlies used a dominating defense to fuel a 12-0 league record and held four separate regular season opponents under 25 points.
In the bi-district tournament, Bear Creek took care of business as the top seed from District 2 in the opening round, defeating eighth-seeded Orcas Island and then Mount Vernon Christian to move into the championship game.
But it was the top seed from District 1, Darrington, that came away with the title and handed the Grizzlies their first defeat of the season, giving them a No. 2 seed in the girls 2011 2B Hardwood Classic.
Road to Spokane
Since the loss to Glacier Peak, the boys team has rolled off 14 consecutive wins, with eight of those coming by more than 30 points.
Among those are 42-, 44- and 50-point wins, offering evidence that the Grizzlies have become a dominant team late in the season.
Moe told Redmond Patch he has noticed a calming nature about this group that perhaps was lacking in previous seasons.
"They just don't get nervous; the game isn't too big for them," said Moe. "They just go out and compete and really go for it."
In the opening round of the 2B state tournament, the Grizzlies will match-up with the Pirates from Adna High School. That game takes place tonight on the campus of Mount Vernon High School. Tip time is scheduled for 9:15 p.m.
The winner of tonight's game will punch their ticket into the round of eight at the boys 2011 2B Hardwood Classic in Spokane. The loser will remain alive to face the winner of a game between Chief Leschi and Northwest Christian (Lacey) in a win-or-go-home game.
Girls Coach Greg Cheever will need his team to rebound quickly from the district title game loss if it hopes to remain on the path to Spokane for the round of eight.
The Grizzlies will face Napavine High School in the opening round on the campus of Mark Morris High School in Longview at 7:30 p.m. tonight.
From the Central Conference, the Tigers ended the regular season with a league record of 13-1. Napavine earned the second seed out of District Four after losing its bi-district title game to Adna.
The winner of the contest between the Tigers and Grizzlies will be guaranteed a spot in the quarterfinal in Spokane.
The loser will face the winner of a first-round contest between Entiat and Toutle Lake for another of the eight spots at Veteran's Memorial.