UPDATE: West Seattle HS girls’ basketball to state after big regional win over Sumner; first opponent, Lynnwood

February 28, 2015 at 9:25 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 6 Comments

(UPDATED SUNDAY AFTERNOON with WSHS’s first state opponent)

(Instagram video of a moment from the game, basket by Emily Fiso, one of four Wildcats who scored in double digits)
9:25 PM: We’re at Renton High School, where a big win by the West Seattle High School girls’ basketball team means they’re heading to the state tournament next weekend in Tacoma. They beat Sumner in a win-or-go-home game, 56-18. Photos and details to come.

ADDED EARLY SUNDAY: The victory’s afterglow lasted a good long while. Walking back to the parking lot from the gym, we passed the WSHS bus, with its windows open and the cheerleaders on board, heard chanting, “WE’RE GOING TO THE DOME! WE’RE GOING TO THE DOME!”

That’s the Tacoma Dome, of course, where the state tournament starts Thursday. We’ll find out today (Sunday) when and who the Wildcats will play.

But first – the story of their resounding comeback after two defeats. The 38 points by which they topped Sumner represented the largest victory margin of any game in this weekend’s 3A girls’ regionals. Perhaps the ensuing eight days of rest were exactly what they needed. Or maybe it was just time to think. A season in which they had risen to #2 in the state and beaten last year’s state champs for the Metro League title was too good to end just yet.

While the Renton HS gym was intended to be a “neutral” site for the game, Sumner was the designated “home team” and its big, booming band added to that feeling. (The school’s marching band performed in West Seattle twice last summer – in the Grand Parade and the Band Jam.) The pregame songs included Macklemore‘s anthemic “Can’t Hold Us.”

But it was the WSHS girls who could have been singing that line.

While the Spartans scored first, the Wildcats answered fast, with Emily Fiso striking first. West Seattle dominated the boards from the start and made their own second (and third) chances over and over and over again. Even in the late going, with a big lead, they refused to relinquish the ball without a fight. Scenes like these abounded:

Head coach Sonya Elliott talks a lot about her players’ teamwork, and tonight they really showed it. Not just in the scoring, with four in double digits – Lexi Ioane with 13:

Lydia Giomi with 12:

Annalisa Ursino with 10:

And Emily Fiso with 10:

… but also in the clutch moments. Charli Elliott showed her knack for tearing the ball away from the opponents – or swatting in a save when the Wildcats were in danger of losing possession:

In her moments off the bench, Lani Taylor was tenacious:

By two minutes into the second quarter, the West Seattle lead was up to double digits. And that’s when they started to pull away. On one series, Fiso missed an outside shot but managed an inside basket that widened the lead to 18 points with a little over two minutes left in the first half.

Yet no one was taking anything for granted. The West Seattle fans were bemoaning the misses and holding their breath for the near-baskets as halftime approached. A sharp series of passes led to a basket for Taylor with a minute to halftime, and the score was 29-8. After a Sumner basket, a solo drive by Giomi had the fans chanting MVP! MVP! in a nod to her Metro League honors. And at 31-10, halftime arrived.

While the injury absence of Sumner star Jamie Lange had to be noted, that could not entirely explain the third quarter, in which the Spartans failed to score a single point. West Seattle just kept building on its lead, clearly taking nothing for granted. They built a 30-point lead by just under 2 minutes to go in the third quarter – which ended with WSHS ahead 46-10.

Sumner’s first points of the second half came at 6:47 to go in the game. By that point, coach Elliott was resting her starters, at least for a few minutes.

No matter who was on the court, the Wildcats remained in charge, drawing fouls as Sumner tried again to spark a comeback; what resulted instead were foul shots. Izzy Turk was at the line to bring West Seattle to a 40-point lead, 55-15. With 1:46 to go, more WSHS reserves came in to get a bit of playing time. By then, with a lead that big, even standing at the foul line with unlimited shots couldn’t close the gap, so the clock ran out and the Wildcats were able to bask in the realization that they’re state-tournament-bound.

We’ll publish an update when the first state game is set.

ADDED 3:47 PM SUNDAY: Lynnwood will be the Wildcats’ first state opponent, 2 pm Thursday in Tacoma.

UPDATE: Seattle Lutheran HS boys’ basketball team advances to state, will play Cusick first

February 28, 2015 at 3:21 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 4 Comments

(SCROLL DOWN FOR SUNDAY UPDATE: SeaLu’s first state opponent has been drawn)

(Our Instagram clip is from the final seconds of the game – photos a bit later)
We’re at Bellevue College, where the Seattle Lutheran High School boys’ basketball team has just secured a spot in the state tournament, defeating Yakama Nation Tribal School 52-49 in a regional playoff game at Bellevue College. More to come.

ADDED 7:24 PM: This was a close game most of the way, but Yakama was as much as 10 points ahead a few times, before the Saints finally clawed back ahead toward the end.

The first quarter was low-scoring, ending with the Eagles ahead by one, 10-9. Their crisp passing was a strong suit, as was rebounding, until they faltered in the final quarter.

Along the way, the Saints’ winning ways were the result of a team effort – no single player dominated, though Roberto Duenaz (below) finished as the top scorer with 19, including a trio of 3-point shots.

Xavier Turner (1st photo below) and Josh Meyer (2nd photo below) – recipient of the sportsmanship award given to one member of each team postgame – had 11 each.

A run-and-gun series of tradeoffs saw Yakama threaten to pull away by the middle of the second quarter, leading 19-9 until Lutheran started a comeback, including two foul shots representing Duenaz’s first two points of the game, and a resurgence in rebounding. By halftime, they were behind by just four, 25-21.

In the third quarter, it wasn’t yet clear that the Saints would be able to regain the lead. After they cut the Eagles’ advantage to two, they fell behind by 9. Another of Duenaz’s threes kept that margin from growing. His next one provided a few seconds of drama, swirling the rim what seemed like half a dozen times before finally dropping through the net.

Two successful foul shots by Turner brought SLHS to within three with a little over 3 minutes to go in the third quarter, and that’s where the tide really started to turn. Meyer was often there when the Eagles missed a shot, and the Saints would head back to their side for another chance. They were down by just one, 38-37, at the end of the third, and a foul shot by Ryan Okabayashi tied it up just seconds into the fourth. SeaLu went up by two shortly thereafter, 40-38. A three-pointer from Yakama gave them the one-point edge, and a short bout of see-sawing ensued.

The Saints’ defense got even more aggressive.

The Eagles seemed to lose their confidence a bit as Lutheran kept it close. Their last lead was with three and a half minutes left in the game, when a three-pointer by Joseph Sanchey put them up 46-44. DEFENSE! hollered the Saints’ fans, and they obliged, with a three by Garrett Ball putting them up by one, 47-46.

With the final moments still in cliffhanger status, both sides called multiple timeouts to strategize.

The lead seesawed again – Yakama had it one last time at 49-48, with Duenaz then scoring four points – a basket and two foul shots – for the final score, 52-49. The jubilant Saints now look ahead to the state tournament in Spokane, with their first game next Thursday (opponent TBA).

12:05 PM SUNDAY UPDATE: Just drawn – SeaLu’s first state opponent will be Cusick, 3:45 pm Thursday at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. The Cusick district is 50 miles north of Spokane and serves the Kalispel Tribe as well as the towns of Cusick and Usk.

After-school pancakes with the Chief Sealth IHS Link Crew

February 28, 2015 at 3:04 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

The school year is about two-thirds of the way through, and what a relief for high-school freshmen, who have finally settled in. At Chief Sealth International High School, that feeling of belonging has been fostered by the Link Crew mentor/buddy program. This past Thursday, they invited us to the Sealth Galleria to stop by and check in again, as we’ve done a few times already this year. The occasion: “Hotcakes Hangout.”

Yes, that’s hotcakes, as in pancakes. Link Crew ambassador Lincoln Vuong explained it wasn’t just about the pancakes – they played games while cooking and consuming, such as pancake trivia, with the answers written and held up on whiteboards:

Link Crew brings the freshmen together with volunteer upperclassmen mentors. This is Sealth’s third year with the program; we first checked in with this year’s group on September 4th.

You can help! Fairmount Park Elementary auction’s online encore

February 28, 2015 at 11:02 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

The Fairmount Park Elementary PTA is hosting an online auction as a followup to its recent “live” auction. You can support FPES students via any of more than a hundred items – among them, getaways for destinations such as Alderbrook Resort and Stevens Pass, unique items such as a Little Free Library or a 3-hour photo-booth rental, and/or theme baskets put together by classrooms, including “Family of Scientists,” “Northwest Craft Beer Sampler,” and “Jaunt in the Junctions.” The online auction is open until 9 pm next Friday night (March 6th) – go here to browse and bid.

Chief Sealth IHS launching WA Global Issues Network conference, to ‘bring youth together to share ideas for taking action’

February 27, 2015 at 10:30 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

After four successful years of World Water Week, Chief Sealth International High School is launching a new globally focused event this year instead, and it’s one week away. Here’s the official announcement:

Nearly 200 students and teachers from the Seattle area and participants from around the country will come together on March 6th and 7th at Chief Sealth International High School for the inaugural Washington State Global Issues Network (WAGIN) Conference. The aim of the conference is to bring youth together to share ideas for taking action on critical global issues. This year’s conference slogan is, “Our Future Is Now.” Most workshop sessions during the two-day conference are youth-led. The conference will also feature seven keynote speakers:

Christina Orbe is the Executive Director and co-founder of FEEST (Food, Empowerment, Education Sustainability Team).

Molly Freed is a Chief Sealth IHS graduate and is currently a senior at Scripps College. She created the school-wide local ideas festival, World Water Week, which has attracted national attention.

Chris Jordan is a world-renowned artist and activist best known for his large-scale works depicting mass consumption and waste.

Spencer Chumbley is a Washington DC-based producer and cinematographer whose work covering critical global issues has been featured by VICE on HBO, Al Jazeera America, and TIME.

John Delaney is a member of NSF’s Ocean Observatories Initiative and is leading a team building an underwater network of cameras and sensors that will turn our ocean into a global interactive lab.

Amy Benson is the co-founder of Nonfiction Media, a production company based in Seattle. She has created more than 25 films. She most recently directed and produced Drawing the Tiger, a film about the power of educating young women in developing countries.

Maketa Wilborn is a national organizational development consultant, trainer and educator. He will push the conference attendees to find ways to sustain their action projects.

Leading up to the conference, all 1,200 Chief Sealth International students will participate in a synchronous, lesson on global climate change on Wednesday, March 4th. All students will then attend an assembly with the group Protect our Winters on Thursday, March 5th. On Friday, March 6th, all CSIHS students will attend an assembly with conference speaker, Chris Jordan.

The WAGIN conference is organized by Chief Sealth International High School students Aisaya Corbray and Paloma Robertson, along with teacher and mentor Noah Zeichner. This core planning team has collaborated with a dedicated group of more than 20 Chief Sealth students and teachers. The conference is made possible through partnerships with several organizations and agencies including the Global Issues Network (GIN), Seattle Public Schools, the Foundation for International Understanding through Students (FIUTS), World Affairs Council, Global Visionaries, OSPI, the Confucius Institute of the State of Washington, King County EcoConsumer Program, IREX, and the U.S. Department of State.

Student suspended, apologizes after bringing ‘edible marijuana’ to Highland Park Elementary, offering to schoolmates

February 23, 2015 at 10:59 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 29 Comments

Seattle Public Schools has confirmed to WSB what a reader posted in the Forum over the weekend – that a Highland Park Elementary School student brought “edible marijuana” to school. SPS spokesperson Stacy Howard says, “The edibles included a candy bar and was offered in the lunchroom.” It happened on Wednesday; this is the letter HPES principal Chris Cronas sent to families two days later:

Dear Highland Park families and guardians,

Wednesday afternoon, school administration learned that a 5th grade student brought edible marijuana to school, which was offered to students. We are not aware of any students who consumed the edibles offered. Additionally, parents of students directly involved were contacted and the student has received consequences.

I am truly embarrassed by what took place Wednesday. It is my goal to ensure that our students are safe. Unfortunately, the actions of one child who made a poor decision may have had an impact on how our students and community are perceived.

This incident, however, opens the door for a constructive conversation about drugs and drug use. With the legalization of marijuana in Washington State, as well as an increase in doctor-prescribed medicinal marijuana, minors have unprecedented access to the drug. I would encourage you to talk with your students about alcohol and drugs as soon as possible. It is never too soon to start this conversation. If you have questions about how to have these conversations or wish to obtain more information, please contact Tina Urso, our school nurse. She will be happy to provide you with more resources. Additionally, you can find helpful tips and resources at www.drugabuse.gov

I want to assure you that we are committed to doing everything we can to keep our students safe at school. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to speak with families and guardians directly.


Chris Cronas
Principal, Highland Park Elementary

The person who posted in the WSB Forum expressed concern about the time that elapsed before families were notified; Howard says the principal “needed time to gather all the info on Wednesday/Thursday to clarify everything before sending to families.” We asked her how school staff found out about what happened: “We found out because students trusted the staff enough, to report what happened, subsequently initiating an investigation.” She adds, “This student has since written a letter of apology to the principal and asked what he can do over the next few days to make up for work he missed while on suspension, as well as how he can make amends among his peers.”

You can help! Dance at Madison with the West Seattle Big Band

February 22, 2015 at 12:20 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

Just five days until a fun fundraiser at Madison Middle School – one that can be a night out for your entire family, with swing dancing and a music lineup including the acclaimed West Seattle Big Band, whose mission is to help student programs like this. In case you haven’t already seen it in our calendar, here’s the announcement (with the official flyer above):

Madison Middle School’s 3rd Annual *Jumpin’ Jive Swing Dance* is on Friday, February 27, from 6 pm-9 pm in the Madison Commons. This fun event is for the entire family!! *Buy tickets online here.

The *Silent Auction and Raffle* will benefit Madison’s music students and their Music Program. This is the Music Program’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The Music Program is currently not funded by the Madison PTSA or the School District. The Madison Middle School Sr. Concert Band, Jazz Band, and Sr. Orchestra will perform for your entertainment. Also featuring *The West Seattle Big Band!!* Come! Eat! And get your free swing dance lessons by *The Savoy Swing Club.* We’ll have snow cones and games for the kids.

Madison is at 45th/Spokane.

Congratulations! Daron Camacho from Chief Sealth scores big at state

February 22, 2015 at 2:25 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

Thanks to Lynn Ogdon-Perrine for the photo and report from the state high-school-wrestling competition in Tacoma: Chief Sealth International High School‘s Daron Comacho “is 6th in state for the 195 weight class. We are very proud of him and how he represented (Sealth)!” You can see his bracket and results here.

Basketball postseason: Seattle Lutheran boys win against close-to-home opponent, Shorewood Christian

February 21, 2015 at 9:20 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

(Photos courtesy Mike Jensen; above, SLHS #11, Xavier Turner driving)
Seattle Lutheran High School‘s Tri-District tournament game an hour from home today – at Mount Vernon Christian – was against an opponent that’s close to home: Shorewood Christian, from the unincorporated area just east of Arbor Heights.

The Saints came away with the victory, 65-53, and Tri-District third place. They’re now waiting to find out who they’ll face in regional competition next weekend; we’ll add that information here when it’s in.

Basketball postseason: West Seattle High School girls lose rematch with Cleveland

February 21, 2015 at 8:59 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 3 Comments

(UPDATED 11:25 PM with word of WSHS’s next opponent)

(WSHS’s Lani Taylor at left)

Photos by Patrick Sand
Story by Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

One week after beating last year’s state champion Cleveland in the Metro League title game, the West Seattle High School girls couldn’t quite repeat the feat. This afternoon’s final score in the district-third-place game at Bellevue College was Eagles 57, Wildcats 54.

Despite two consecutive losses, WSHS gets one more chance to advance, and will find out later this weekend who they’ll play next.

Like the last West Seattle-Cleveland faceoff February 13th, this one was close throughout. WSHS’s 9-2 lead midway through the first quarter was the biggest lead either team ever opened, and it didn’t last long. Cleveland took the lead for the first time, 13-12, with the first of Giavanni Flowers‘s five 3-pointers, just before the end-of-quarter buzzer.

Though the Eagles threw everything they had at the Wildcats’ Lydia Giomi (above), double- and triple-teaming her most of the times she got close to the basket, Giomi still led WSHS scoring with 20 points.

The Wildcats’ defense worked hard to keep Cleveland from getting too far in too often, but with more than half their 57 points coming on 3-pointers, the Eagles were able to work past that strategy.

As the second quarter began, Lexi Ioane (above) got the lead back for West Seattle. A bit of seesawing ensued, and every possession was hard-won – one struggle even led to a jump ball (with the “alternate possession” rule, WSHS won that one). The Wildcats had the edge on rebounds and steals, but the Eagles’ defense kept them from getting many clear shots.

Cleveland’s Joyce Harrell was hurt with three minutes to go in the first half. WSHS got the lead back shortly thereafter, on a three-pointer by Izzy Turk (below).

A minute later, West Seattle was up by four. But by the end of the half, two 3-pointers by Cleveland led to a 24-22 lead as the teams headed for the locker rooms.

Starting the second half, the Eagles picked right up where they left off, with another 3. WSHS answered with a layup by Ioane (WSHS’s third-leading scorer today with 10). Fans on both sides stepped up the shouts – from the Wildcats’ cheerleaders, DEFENSE! DEFENSE! – and the battle raged on.

WSHS took the lead back with a basket by Charli Elliott (above), who took a painful spill a moment later; pulled up by her teammates, she stayed in, and carried on. They extended the lead to 35-30 with three minutes to go in the third quarter, but Cleveland’s subsequent five unanswered points brought that to a tie, and the quarter ended 40-39 Cleveland.

The final quarter wasn’t any less intense than the first three. Nobody broke away. The score was tied 49-49 with 3:15 to go after a dramatic series of plays.

Annalisa Ursino (above) brought the ball upcourt, got it to Ioane, who passed it to Emily Fiso (below), who shot and missed, got the rebound, shot and missed again, got the rebound, finally a basket for the tie.

That could have been a turning point – but Cleveland fired off a fast three pointer. A bucket from Fiso (the Wildcats’ #2 scorer today with 13) made up two of the points. After Cleveland missed two foul shots, a Giomi basket put the Wildcats up by one, 53-52 … but they were outscored 5 to 1 in the remaining minutes, and that was the difference; they had the ball with five seconds to go, and got it to Fiso for an outside shot, bringing the WSHS fans to their feet – but it was off the mark, and so the game ended, 57-54.

The two losses today and Thursday (to Juanita, 51-48) were the first since the only two that WSHS had experienced all season, and both of those were in the MaxPreps holiday tournament in California. Now head coach Sonya Elliott‘s squad has six days to rest until one more chance to keep the postseason going; we should know soon who they’ll be playing and where/when, and we’ll add that here when we know.

11:25 PM: According to our partners at The Seattle Times, WSHS will next play Sumner, which lost its district-title game today; here’s a look at Sumner’s roster. (The official brackets will be filled out here on Sunday.)

Basketball postseason: Seattle Lutheran wins; next game Saturday

February 20, 2015 at 11:03 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

In the Tri-Districts high-school basketball tournament tonight in Mount Vernon, a win for the Seattle Lutheran High School boys, 63-52 over Tulalip Heritage. That means the Saints play there again tomorrow, this time for third place, 4:15 pm Saturday vs. Shorewood Christian.

Basketball postseason: Seattle Lutheran boys lose to Lummi Nation in district-playoff game

February 19, 2015 at 10:50 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

Also in district basketball postseason play tonight, the Seattle Lutheran High School boys lost to Lummi Nation, 62-48 in Mount Vernon. They play again there tomorrow, facing Tulalip Heritage at 6:30 pm.

Basketball postseason: West Seattle girls fall short vs. Juanita in district semifinals

February 19, 2015 at 7:58 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

(WSB photo: Foreground, WSHS & Juanita’s leading scorers, Emily Fiso and Tea Adams; background at right, Charli Elliott)
7:58 PM: So close – but not close enough. In a game that just ended at Bellevue College, the West Seattle High School girls fell just short against Juanita, which got the district semi-final win, 51-48. The Wildcats were down by as much as 13 but fought back in the second half, falling just three points short. They play next for district third place, 1:15 pm Saturday vs. Cleveland, also at Bellevue College.

ADDED 1:12 AM: Here’s how Thursday night’s game played out:

Click to read the rest of Basketball postseason: West Seattle girls fall short vs. Juanita in district semifinals…

West Seattle schools: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, basketball legend turned children’s-book author, visits Sanislo Elementary

February 19, 2015 at 4:51 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 11 Comments

(First 3 photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
Before his appearance tonight at the Central Library downtown, basketball legend turned award-winning author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar made a side trip to West Seattle, delighting the students of Sanislo Elementary School, even autographing a basketball (held by Sanislo principal Bruce Rhodes, photographed with 5th grader Robert Chambers, student host for the event).

Right now, he’s promoting his newest book written for a youth audience, “Streetball Crew Book Two: Stealing the Game.” An earlier book, “What Color Is My World? The Lost History of African-American Inventors“, won the NAACP’s award for Best Children’s Book.

Sanislo third-graders are reading “What Color Is My World?” for Black History Month; Abdul-Jabbar asked if anyone could tell him who invented potato chips, and when a student gave him the answer (George Crum), he said he was pleased she’d paid attention to the book and would see her at her Ph.D. graduation someday. By the way – that was part of his message to the kids: It’s never too soon to start thinking about college. One student declared he wanted to play basketball in college and Abdul-Jabbar said, that’s great, but what are you going to *study*? P.S. If you’re trying to remember, we’ll save you the search – he left the NBA in 1989, at age 42, with a long list of achievements you can read about here.

P.S. Here’s a Sanislo library pic from Abdul-Jabbar’s feed, with a reminder about his SPL event:

And a pic our crew Instagrammed while there:

Seated, center, in the IG photo is Sanislo librarian Craig Seasholes, who’s brought many a memorable event/writer to the library over the years.

West Seattle’s first charter school: ‘Info session’ dates set

February 18, 2015 at 2:31 pm | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

(WSB photo)
When we last reported January 12th on the plan for West Seattle’s first charter school, its prospective operator, California-based Summit Public Schools, was planning to organize an informational community meeting; today, it announced two local dates.

As first reported here in early January, the school is proposed for the 2 1/2-acre Freedom Church site (above) on the southwest corner of 35th/Roxbury. Summit already has approval for two other charter schools in Seattle and Tacoma, and plans to apply to the state Charter School Commission for permission to open a high school here. Charter schools are publicly funded and were approved by voters in our state in 2012. The two meeting dates just announced by Summit, if you’re interested in finding out more about their plan, are 6:30-7:30 pm Thursday, February 26th, Southwest Branch Library (35th/Henderson) and 6:15-7:15 pm Tuesday, March 17th, White Center Library (11220 16th SW). Meantime, the project continues proceeding through the permit process, according to city Department of Planning and Development files.

High-school basketball playoffs: West Seattle HS girls win

February 17, 2015 at 9:59 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand; above, WSHS’s Emily Fiso)
9:59 PM: The West Seattle High School girls have won again. In a district-tournament basketball game at the Chief Sealth International High School gym, the Wildcats beat Bishop Blanchet, 55-45. Photos and more to come.

PHOTOS ADDED 12:42 AM: Though Blanchet got out to a fast start, WSHS regrouped after a timeout.

Click to read the rest of High-school basketball playoffs: West Seattle HS girls win…

High-school basketball playoffs: Seattle Lutheran boys win

February 17, 2015 at 9:47 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
9:47 PM: At home tonight, another postseason basketball win for the Seattle Lutheran High School boys – 65-52 over Providence Classical Christian. Photos and more to come.

PHOTOS ADDED, 11:52 PM: Junior Xavier Turner led the Saints’ scoring with 23 points, including the late-game dunk below:

Roberto Duenaz was next with 13, followed by Isaiah Dowding-Albrecht and Josh Meyer (below) with 12 each.

Head coach Brett Kapels and the SLHS boys next face Lummi Nation, 8:15 pm Thursday at Mount Vernon Christian.

Arbor Heights appeal ruling #3: Hearing Examiner upholds approvals – with a few tweaks

February 16, 2015 at 1:21 pm | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 3 Comments

City Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner has made her ruling on the third appeal filed against decisions relating to the Arbor Heights Elementary School rebuild. The appeal was filed by the Committee to Save Seattle Schools and three area residents; we covered the hearing downtown on February 2nd. Tanner promised a written ruling within two weeks; we found it in the city files today, dated February 9th. Read it in its entirety below (or here, as a PDF):

Toplines: While the appellants had argued that aspects of the decisions allowing the project, including four zoning exceptions, were “clearly erroneous,” Tanner found that was not the case. Her decision notes that two points of contention in the appeal, filed last November, had already been remedied by the district before the case was argued – the matter of two large Douglas firs on the northeast side of the site, which at one point were to be moved, will be left in place, and the issue of contacting the Duwamish Tribe before excavation work starts at the site; district testimony indicated that the Duwamish and four other tribes will be advised and invited to observe the work, in case of “inadvertent discovery” of cultural relics. But Tanner did decide to modify the conditions of the zoning exceptions’ approval, including the possibility of a four-way stop sign at 35th/104th – an intersection which will by fall of 2016 lie between the rebuilt AHES and the new home of Westside School (WSB sponsor) – provided SDOT approves. She also ordered a provision requiring any mitigation ordered for the project’s removal of what was considered an “exceptional” madrone tree.

BACKSTORY: We also covered the previous two appeals, both of which were argued and decided last year – May 2014 WSB coverage here; August 2014 WSB coverage here. The new AHES is being built in two phases, with the first – demolition and site clearing – now complete, and the second to start this spring; it’s still scheduled to open in fall 2016.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Presidents Day 2015 edition

February 16, 2015 at 6:12 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 2 Comments

(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
It’s Presidents Day, so we have some notes to start:

*Water Taxis are not in service today
*Metro is on regular weekday schedule (plus “no UW”)
*Sound Transit Route 560 is on a regular schedule
*School’s out today and tomorrow for Seattle Public Schools

West Seattle schools: Wishing Madison 8th graders ‘bon voyage’

February 15, 2015 at 1:02 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 3 Comments

Bon voyage! Only three days of school next week for Seattle Public Schools, and these students will be spending those days far from home. NP shares the photo – taken Saturday at Sea-Tac Airport – and explains, “Madison Middle School 8th graders are traveling to France for a week of adventures with their French teacher Paula Rippe.”

High-school postseason: Chief Sealth wrestlers headed to state competition; Daron Camacho named Metro Wrestler of the Year

February 15, 2015 at 8:41 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

(L-R, Coach Buiford, Coach Daven, Gonzalo Guzman, Ryan Davis, Coach D, Daron Camacho, Coach LT; photo by Lynn Ogdon-Perrine)
Thanks to Lynn Ogdon-Perrine for an update on Chief Sealth International High School wrestlers who are headed into state competition:

In the big regional competition at Sealth on Saturday, Daron Camacho won first in his weight class and has been named Metro League Wrestler of the Year. Lynn adds that Antonio Childs placed 3rd in regionals in his weight class, and that Ryan Davis is first alternate in his weight class and Gonzalo Guzman is second alternate for state in his weight class.

Meantime, after girls’ regionals on Saturday in Bellingham, Sealth’s Makayla Dorn is also going to state:

(Makayla Dorn; photo by Brad Kelln)
She placed third. State competition is next Friday and Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.

High-school basketball postseason: End of the line for WSHS boys

February 14, 2015 at 9:24 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
9:24 PM SATURDAY: We’re at Eastside Catholic, where the West Seattle High School boys’ basketball season just ended with a 79-56 loss in a loser-out district playoff game. Photos and summary later.

ADDED SUNDAY MORNING: For one, sophomore star Nate Pryor (#1, above) took a while to get up to speed:

Click to read the rest of High-school basketball postseason: End of the line for WSHS boys…

West Seattle schools: UW soccer players visit Roxhill

February 14, 2015 at 5:04 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
School’s out until Wednesday for Seattle Public Schools, and dozens of students at Roxhill Elementary went home with fun memories from their last PE class before the break. PE teacher Chellie LaFayette brought in University of Washington soccer players to meet and work with her afternoon classes.

The visitors, left to right with Roxhill’s “Buddy Bench” (made famous by another distinguished visitor) and Ms. Lafayette below, were Amanda, Kate, Kat, Paige, and Madi:

You can find out more about them on the UW’s roster page. They talked with students about what it takes to get into college as well as about playing sports.

Report #2, tale of the triumph: How West Seattle HS won the Metro League title

February 14, 2015 at 5:58 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 6 Comments

(REPORT #1 with postgame-celebration video is here)

(League MVP Lydia Giomi)

Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

It was the kind of game that left spectators as breathless as the players whose battle they had just witnessed.

The Metro League girls-basketball title game won by West Seattle High School over Cleveland was as close throughout as the 49-48 final score implied.

Playing at the Seattle Pacific University gym in north Queen Anne, Cleveland led for much of the game but never threatened to run away with it. WSHS opened its biggest lead toward the game’s end but Cleveland – last year’s state champion – fought back to within one and had the ball when time ran out. The defense was intense from start to finish, and that led to more than a few foul shots for both sides – 13 of the Wildcats’ 49 points came from the free-throw line.

West Seattle’s first scoring came on a 3-pointer by senior Annalisa Ursino about a third of the way through the first quarter, and that tied the score 3-3. Cleveland answered with one of its own to restore its three-point lead. And so it went. WSHS’s first lead came with just over 2 minutes to go in the first quarter, 9-8 after a basket by senior Emily Fiso (above), the Wildcats’ #2 scorer of the night with 12 points in all.

That was the only time WSHS led during the first half.

Click to read the rest of Report #2, tale of the triumph: How West Seattle HS won the Metro League title…

Report #1: West Seattle High School girls are Metro League basketball champs!

February 13, 2015 at 7:15 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 6 Comments

(Video of game-ending celebration, close-up YouTube version substituted for previously published Instagram clip)
7:15 PM: A nailbiter game has just ended at Seattle Pacific University with the West Seattle High School girls winning the Metro League title in a memorable basketball battle – 49-48 over last year’s state champs, Cleveland. Their first game in districts is Tuesday night at Sealth – time/opponent TBA. Photos and more, to come.

9:51 PM: We’ll tell the story of the game in a separate report that we’re working on right now. But in the meantime, here are the champs right after the game:

Postgame celebrations also included each player taking a turn cutting part of the net – and then finally one more loop for head coach Sonya Elliott:

A ceremony before the game honored her as Metro League Coach of the Year as well as all-league players including, from the Wildcats, league MVP Lydia Giomi and all-league team members Lexi Ioane and Emily Fiso.

6 AM: Our second report with photos and full details is here.

Children’s Academy of Seattle: Spanish-immersion preschool – welcome, new WSB sponsor!

February 13, 2015 at 12:55 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

Today we welcome our newest sponsor, Children’s Academy of Seattle, a Spanish-immersion preschool now open in West Seattle. Here’s what they would like you to know:

The program at Children’s Academy of Seattle supports optimal Spanish-language learning by tying language to a broad range of day-to-day activities. Children learn language best by experiencing it naturally, by being immersed in it.

The benefits go beyond being bilingual. Exposure to another language, through immersion, provides cultural competency and sensitivity to others. Language immersion takes advantage of a child’s natural ability to rapidly acquire another language. At no time in life is this task easier than in early childhood.

Children’s Academy of Seattle believes that young children develop to their fullest potential when they are allowed to enjoy life at an unhurried pace. Our program focuses on imagination and creative work and play. Our center offers a rich curriculum and hands-on learning, science, and social skills.

Our staff has a minimum of five years teaching child development experience. Our high-quality program with experienced teachers ensures success in learning a second language.

Children’s Academy of Seattle is at 2410 SW Juneau; call 206-466-1121 for information about enrollment, which is open now. You’re also invited to visit the preschool during an open house 10 am-1 pm on Saturday, February 28th.

We thank Children’s Academy of Seattle for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

Basketball playoffs: West Seattle HS boys, Seattle Lutheran girls win

February 12, 2015 at 11:56 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

From the postseason-basketball scoreboard: West Seattle High School‘s boys-varsity team beat Bainbridge tonight, 67-62, led by Nate Pryor with 28 points. Head coach Keffrey Fazio‘s Wildcat boys play at Eastside Catholic, (update) 8 pm Saturday … Seattle Lutheran High School‘s girls won against Muckleshoot Tribal School, 46-40, led by Abbi Sanders with 24 points; we’re checking to see what’s next for the Saints.

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