Anacortes Seahawks

Coach: Brett Senff, sixth year

League: Northwest Conference

Last year: 11-2 conference, 18-9 overall, state qualifier

Key returners: Matt Aldridge, sr., 6-3, guard; Billy King, sr., 6-3, post; A.J. Yost, sr., 6-6, wing/post; Sam D’Amelio, sr., 6-1, wing; Ty Johnson, soph., 6-1, guard.

Key newcomers: Alex Luevanos, sr., 5-10, guard; Andrew Medalia, jr., 6-4, post; Zach Vance, jr., 6-4, post; Jeremiah Stelvow, sr., 6-0, guard; Zach Hiles, sr., 5-10, wing; Jay Ivorson, sr., 5-10, guard.

Outlook: The Seahawks return a slew of players from a successful squad. Senff saying it is by far the most experienced and deepest team he’s coached at Anacortes.

“We have quite a few players who got a lot of experience last year,” he said. “Plus we have depth. That’s a good combination.”

The Seahawks also have height, the vast majority of the team standing 6-foot-1 or taller.

“We have height across the board,” said Senff. “But the keys this season will be our defensive intensity. We are going to have to keep that up every night. We are going to push the ball, but we will feed off our defense. Then we’ll need to play with consistency.”

Senff said he expects Aldridge, King, Yost and D’Amelio to set the pace, saying any one of those players, on any given night, could lead the squad.

“It really is about consistency,” he said. “We are going to have to play consistent basetball every time across the board.”

Senff believes the squads from Lynden and Lynden Christian will be the teams to beat in the Northwest Conference.

Lynden is the defending Class 2A state champion and Lynden Christian the defending Class 1A state champion.

Burlington-Edison Tigers

Coach: Jake Martyn, second year

League: Northwest Conference

Last year: 6-7 conference, 13-8 overall, state qualifier

Key returners: Daron Browning, sr., 6-3, forward; Isaak Davies, jr., 5-10, guard; Austin VonHerbulis, sr., 6-7, post; Jeremy Canniff, sr., 6-4, post; Dalton Schwetz, sr., 5-11, guard; Brandon Stransky, sr., 5-9, guard.

Key newcomers: Rudy Mataya, jr., 5-11, guard.

Outlook: The Tigers advanced to the state tournament for the sixth straight time last season. They have all the pieces to take that streak to seven.

“We are definitely in a different spot this season as opposed to last season,” said Martyn. “This year, we have six guys with varsity experience. So that is going to be nice.

“Last year, as inexperienced as we were, we had some good wins. We also had some tough losses. It was good for these guys to experience the highs and lows last year. They experienced both ends of the spectrum last year. This year, I think they are ready to go.”

Martyn still has some things to figure out since the players who took part in the football team’s playoff run just recently got onto the basketball court.

“We are definitely big,” said Martyn. “We can put a lineup out there that goes 6-foot-3, 6-foot-4, 6-f00t-7. We will certainly rely on our guard play as well. Davies is going to play an important part. We are going to rely on him. And I expect Browning, Schwetz and Stransky to step up big as well.”

Concrete Lions

Coach: Larry Tyndall, second year

League: Northwest 2B/1A League

Last year: 11-9, district qualifier

Key returners: Dallas Newby, jr., 5-10, guard; Cody Jarmin, sr., 5-10, guard; Josh Rogge, jr., 6-0, forward; Andy Freeman, jr., 6-5, post; Hayden Holbrook,, sr., 6-0, guard; Taylor Stern, sr., 6-5, post.

Key newcomers: Dylan Clark, fr., 6-0, guard, , Forrest Barnet, jr., 6-1, forward; Joey Solomon, jr., 5-9, guard.

Outlook: The Lions will have a new look after the graduation of all-time leading county scorer Tyler Clark.

“The group looks good,” Tyndall said. “It’s a really deep team, so it’ll be interesting to see who steps up. Think we’ll have a chance to be good. There will be growing pains at the beginning of year.”

La Conner Braves

Coach: Scott Novak, 19th year

League: Northwest 1A/2B/1B League

Last year: 14-0 league, 22-6 overall, sixth at state

Key returners: Spencer Novak, sr., 6-1, guard; Tyler Howlett, sr., 6-2, forward; Jonah Cook, sr., 6-8, forward; Jamall James, sr., 5-11, guard/forward; Sean Hulbert, jr., 6-1, forward; Hudson Zavala, jr., 6-0 guard; Skylar Krueger, jr., 5-11 guard; Cameron Sherman, jr., 6-1, forward.

Key newcomers: None.

Outlook: The Braves have a strong nucleus of players who got a taste of state a season ago. While several key players are still with the football team, Novak is excited about the possibilities.

“Once we get the football kids back, we’ll be able to really get going,” he said.

Novak said his squad will be able to go either up-tempo or slow it down, depending on the situation.

“We have the athleticism to do that,” he said. “Plus, we are a pretty deep team. They are just going to have to hang together and hopefully we can keep everyone healthy and eligible for the entire season.”

Novak said Friday Harbor should test the Braves in league play.

“Friday Harbor is going to be a challenge for us,” he said. “But this group certainly has the potential to be good.”

Mount Vernon Bulldogs

Coach: Vic Wolffis, third year

League: Western Conference 4A North Division, district qualifer

Last year: 9-4 conference, 10-12 overall

Key returners: Casey Leek, jr., 6-6, post; Kevin Hofstad, sr., 6-0, guard.

Key newcomers: Andrew Roozen, sr., 6-4, forward; Evan Repplier, sr., 6-6, post; Ian Johnson, sr., 6-2, forward; Adrian Johnston, sr., 6-0, guard; Seth Jensen, sr., 5-10, guard; Melvin Walser, jr., 6-4, guard; Miles Witt, jr., 6-4, guard; Robert Monroe, jr., 6-0 guard.

Outlook: Coach Wolffis will have his hands full this season with moving up a classification to the Western Conference 4A. He also has plenty of newcomers stepping up from the junior varsity squad.

The plus side?

Those newcomers are all upper classmen, with five seniors and three juniors.

“Seniors play with a sense of urgency,” Wolffis said. “It’s their last shot.”

Leek and Hofstad are the only two players with significant varsity experience and Wolffis expects them to help the team through its growing pains.

Aside from those two, the Seahawks should see significant contributions from Roozen, Jensen, Walser and Witt.

“They have to step up in a big way.”

The juniors will also have their fair share of time on the court.

Mount Vernon Christian Hurricanes

Coach: Garritt Kuipers, second year

League: Northwest 1A/2B/1B League

Last year: 3-11 league, 4-16 overall

Key returners: Kurtis Noste, sr., 6-0, guard; Mark Geertsma, sr., 6-2, forward; Ed Weidenbach, sr., 5-10, guard.

Key newcomers: Jonathan deHaan, jr., 6-3, forward; Andrew Graves, jr., 6-0, guard; Tim VanderKooy, jr., 6-0, guard; James Hurd, soph., 5-10, guard; Tyler Houtsma, soph., 5-11, guard.

Outlook: Kuipers said his squad had a great offseason where the majority of the players had plenty of summer league games together.

“We had eight or nine guys playing during the offseason,” he said. “That is really going to help us this season. They are just a great group of dedicated players. They are all hard workers and we don’t have any slackers. That makes them easy to coach. I’m excited about getting out there.”

The Hurricanes will look to play an up-tempo style of basketball.

“We want to be able to push the ball,” said Kuipers. “Our transition game this season is going to be huge. I have always stressed defense as a coach and it’s my belief that defense creates the offense. We are going to look to trap and press and hopefully that will create our offense.”

The Hurricanes are a team with players all about the same size. Kuipers hopes to take advantage of that.

“We don’t have the 6-foot-8 guy,” he said. “What we do have is a bunch of guys who are very quick and who I believe can get out and run. I think we’ll surprise some teams this season.”

Sedro-Woolley Cubs

Coach: Brett Farrar, first year

League: Northwest Conference

Last year: 6-7 conference, 9-11 overall

Key returners: Tristan Jette, sr., 6-0, guard; Jackson Price, soph., 5-11, guard.

Key newcomers: Jon Conijn, sr., 6-5, forward; Gabe Farmer, sr., 6-3, forward; Michael Moser, jr., 6-1, guard; Mason Elms, soph., 5-10, guard; Henry Janicki, sr., 5-11, forward; Troy Peterson, sr., 6-4, forward; Nick Doorn, sr., 5-11, guard.

Outlook: Farar inherits a young squad with little varsity experience.

“They are young,” he said, “but they are hungry. They are eager to get out on the court. There are a lot of guys with the word senior next to their names, but they have very little varsity experience.”

The Cubs will rely on a tough defensive mindset to keep games close.

“We have to develop a defensive culture,” said Farrar. “We have to focus on the defensive end. I am more interested in defensive stops than I am in who takes the shots. For us to have any chance of winning, we are going to have to play defense.”

The lone returners, Jette and Price, will be leaned heavily upon heavily. They will have pick up their games if the Cubs are going to be successful.

— Vince Richardson, Aaron Weinberg and Trevor Pyle


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