Bulldogs get by Bothell (copy)

Mount Vernon’s Isaiah Brown was the Skagit Valley Herald Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year last season.

Anacortes Seahawks

Coach: Brett Senff, 13th year

Conference: Northwest

Last year: 11-2 in conference, 16-9 overall

Key returners: Chase Cornett, sr., 6-5, post; Grayson Eaton, sr., 6-7, post/wing; Caeden Flynn, sr., 6-0, guard; Gavin Moore, jr., 6-0, guard.

Key newcomers: Treyton Wilbur, jr., 6-3, wing/guard; Gaige Berow, jr., 6-3, post; Alek Miller, jr., 6-0, guard; Michael Aggergaard, jr., 6-0, guard; Cam Berow, soph., 5-10, guard.

Outlook: The biggest news concerning the Seahawks just might be where they will be able to play their home games this season.

“We’ll be in our new gym Dec. 3 against Cedarcrest,” Senff said. “We have a home. The kids finally get to play in their own gym and have their own locker rooms. The place looks great.”

It will be a talented group that will take to the new floor. The group is led by a trio of veteran seniors.

“They (Cornett, Eaton and Fynn) bring back a lot of experience,” Senff said. “They been through the ups and downs of the season and the playoffs.”

Senff emphasizes defense. It’s stalwart of the program.

“Our defensive philosophy will never change,” he said. “We want to be the hardest workers out there on defense.”

Anacortes returns its leading scorer in Eaton, who also led the team in 3-point shooting percentage. Flynn returns to run the offense from his point guard position while Cornett will be a force on the inside.

Burlington-Edison Tigers

Coach: Chas Kok, third year

Conference: Northwest

Last year: 9-4 in conference, 19-8 overall, regional qualifier

Key returners: Jackson Reisner, 6-4, sr., guard/forward; Wyatt Walker, 6-7, sr., forward; Logan Wright, 6-1, sr., guard; D.J. Clark, sr., 6-1, guard; Erik Altenhofen, sr., 5-11, guard

Key newcomers: Zach Watson, soph., 5-10, guard; Isaac Donovan, jr., 6-6, center.

Outlook: A year after qualifying for the regional playoffs, the Tigers expect to again be strong.

Returners include Reisner and Walker, who combined to average about 27 points per game.

“I’m excited to get the year going,” Kok said. “It’s a special group of guys. They bought into the culture we’re building at Burlington-Edison.”

Kok said the Tigers will need to be ready once Northwest Conference play arrives.

“Every team in the conference has serious strengths that can’t be taken lightly,” he said.

Concrete Lions

Coach: Levi Stewart, second year

League: Northwest 2B/1B

Last year: 1-9 in league, 4-14 overall

Key returners: Devin Blankenship, sr., 6-1, forward; Levi Lowry, sr., 6-3, post.

Key newcomers: Kai Sahlin, jr., 6-1, guard; Lukas Sahlin, fr., 5-8, guard; Owen Aamot, fr., 6-2, post; Vincent Wenneker, sr., 6-0, guard; Aidrien Cassell-Seger, jr., 6-3, post; Bryan Ribera, sr., 5-8, guard.

Outlook: The Lions are young, and Stewart hopes they are hungry as well.

“There a lot of new faces,” he said. “We graduated about 85% of our varsity minutes. Levi and Devin are the only guys with varsity experience.”

Concrete’s philosophy will be to outwork and outrun its opponents. Over the past two weeks, the Lions have been working hard and their coach has taken notice.

“It’s been a pretty intense couple weeks and I’ve liked what I’ve seen,” he said. “They all understand that we can’t be outworked on the court.”

La Conner Braves

Coach: Todd Hinderman, second year

League: Northwest 2B/1B

Last year: 8-2 in league, 13-10 overall

Key returners: Charlie Cram, sr., 5-7, guard; Trey Casey, sr., 5-7, guard; Charles Baker, jr., 5-9, guard; Joshua Jolly, jr., 6-0, wing; Andre Knudson, jr., 5-7, guard; Spencer Olson, soph., 5-7, guard; Elijah Porter, jr., 5-10, guard.

Key newcomers: None

Outlook: The Braves return much of the same hard-charging group that qualified for the regional playoffs last year.

“It’s the same core group that took effort and hard work to heart. That’s their core identity and I’m glad to have those guys back,” Hinderman said.

He said the team will be able to offer a new look this year.

“We put in a new offense and some new defenses to play to our strengths,” Hinderman said.

Mount Vernon Bulldogs

Coach: Roger Valentine, fourth year

Conference: Western 4A

Last year: 9-4 in conference, 13-9 overall

Key returners: Carlos Garcia, sr., 6-2, guard; Isaiah Brown, jr., 6-1, guard; Ethan Chapin, jr., 6-4, forward; Chase Calvin, jr., 6-5, center; Van Stroosma, jr., 6-3, wing/forward; Cain Cress, sr., 6-2, guard; Liam Johnston, jr., 6-4, guard; Spencer Dutton, sr., 6-3, guard; Jira Padrnos, sr., 6-2, guard.

Key newcomers: None

Outlook: The Bulldogs look to add to last year’s strong season.

“It was a step in the right direction last year and we’ve got everyone back,” Valentine said. “We don’t have to go through as much teaching.”

In addition to standouts Garcia and Brown, the Bulldogs are looking for big years from others, including returning center Calvin and guards Cress and Johnston.

“Cain’s been very steady for us,” Valentine said. “I have confidence in him and he’s a good shooter. Liam’s seen the biggest improvement. He’s better defensively and has one of purest shots I’ve ever seen.”

Mount Vernon Christian Hurricanes

Coach: Pat Russell, third year

League: Northwest 2B/1B

Last year: 3-7 in league, 5-14 overall

Key returners: Noah Lubbers, sr., 6-0, guard; Christopher Wyatt, sr., 6-2, forward; Jonathan Myers, sr., 6-0, wing; Canaan VanderArk, jr., 6-1, wing; Julian Pedrosa, soph., 5-8, guard; Josh Denton, soph., 6-8, post; Carson Blom, jr., 6-2, post; Ben Rozema, fr., 6-1, wing.

Key newcomers: Nathan Hayward, jr., 6-3, wing; Jacob Hays, jr., 5-10, wing.

Outlook: Russell said his squad has an understanding of his open philosophy of play. And his squad gives him options as well.

“We can very big,” he said. “Then we can also go very fast. This team is led by its seniors.”

That open style of play philosophy involves playing full court in every aspect of the game.

“As a coach, I love playing man-to-man on defense, but we’ll throw in some zone,” Russell said.

Sedro-Woolley Cubs

Coach: Chris Spencer, second year

Conference: Northwest

Last year: 4-9 in conference, 8-13 overall

Key returners: Isaiah Guerero, sr., 6-5, forward; Peyton Burrell, sr., 6-0, guard; Dylan Schieb, sr., 5-9, guard; Jerome Mathias, soph., 5-10, guard.

Key newcomers: Brandon Belisle, sr., 6-1, forward; Alex Garcia, sr., 6-1, forward; Josh Heath, jr., guard; Austin Maikai, sr., 6-2, forward; Ian Valdovinos, sr., 6-0, forward; Colby Dills, sr., 5-8, guard.

Outlook: The Cubs havea solid core of returners — two starters and two who came off the bench — along with a lengthy list of newcomers.

“We have depth,” Spencer said. “We have the ability to play inside and outside or we can go with five guards. We can make adjustments as we play.”

Guerero will provide an inside force for the Cubs, while Burrell will spot up from the outside. Ball movement will be key to success.

“We have shown we can move the ball well,” Spencer said. “They look to share it which is good. They’re a blue collar team who really root for each other.

— Skagit Valley Herald staff

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