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Garfield boys basketball team honored by MaxPreps

The Garfield boys basketball team, which won the Class 4A state title last month, was honored Friday by MaxPreps as part of the high school sports website’s Tour of Champions. Garfield is one of 10 basketball teams from around the country selected. The team was recognized and presented with a trophy at Garfield on Friday afternoon.

Here is the complete release from MaxPreps:

               SEATTLE, Wash., April 11, 2014 — The Garfield High School boys’ basketball team has finished No. 26 nationally for the 2013-14 season. The announcement was made by MaxPreps, the online high school sports leader and a CBSSports.com site. MaxPreps ranks more than 20,000 high school boys’ varsity basketball teams.

Once-beaten Garfield (27-1) handed Richland a 68-59 setback on March 8 to capture the Washington 4A state championship – the school’s first title in 16 seasons and their 12th overall. Garfield is one of 10 basketball teams being honored on the eighth annual boys’ MaxPreps Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard.

Garfield is the second Seattle high school to be honored on the MaxPreps Tour of Champions. Rainier Beach (ranked 55th) was part of the basketball tour for the 2011-12 season.

“Working with the Army National Guard, MaxPreps is delighted to honor Coach Haskins and the Garfield Bulldogs as one of nation’s elite high school basketball teams,” said President and Founder Andy Beal. “We congratulate the coach, players and Garfield High School for a great season and earning the Army National Guard national ranking trophy.

“This is beyond unbelievable even to be mentioned among the top schools of more than twenty thousand. We’ve worked hard over the last six seasons to be contenders at the national level by MaxPreps. To accomplish this is all about hard work and we’re proud to be a part of the trophy dedication,” said Garfield head basketball coach Ed Haskins, who completed his sixth season.

His teams have won 20 or more games in each of the last four seasons (cumulative record of 96-14 with a .873 winning percentage over that time) and five of the last six campaigns.

The Bulldogs avenged their lone loss of the season to Issaquah on Feb. 1 (65-63) with wins in the rematch on Feb. 21 (83-65) and then a 61-59 victory in the state semifinals.

Senior point guard Tramaine Isabell, who will play at Washington State University in Pullman next season, paced Garfield with a 25.5 point scoring average while averaging 4.5 assists and 3.5 steals. Senior forward Torrence Baker contributed 11 points, seven rebounds and 1.5 steals while senior forward Brayon Blake added 14 points, nine caroms and one blocked shot per contest. Sophomore point guard Jashaun Agosto averaged nine points, five assist and two steals for the Bulldogs.

Washington Staff Sergeant Jeffery Ossman presented Coach Haskins and the team with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy Friday afternoon during a spring sports assembly. The team also received a banner for its accomplishments.

“For over 375 years, the men and women of the National Guard have come to the aid of their neighbors during times of need,” said Major Mark Burns. “As Citizen-Soldiers who serve part-time, we live and serve in more than 3,500 communities throughout the country. It is our privilege to honor and recognize nationally ranked basketball teams with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy which includes the Minuteman statue, a symbol of the National Guard.”

MaxPreps uses a sophisticated computer program to determine team rank for the Tour of Champions. The system utilizes the huge number of game results stored in the MaxPreps database. Generally, the more a team wins the higher the ranking, but the system takes into account quality wins (against other highly ranked opponents), margin of victory, and strength of schedule. Playoff games are weighted 2.1 times a regular season game.

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