Jackson Reisner boys basketball Player of the Year

Jackson Reisner averaged a Skagit County-leading 15.7 points a game this season in helping the Burlington-Edison boys’ basketball team to 20 wins.

MOUNT VERNON — Jackson Reisner was a cog in the Burlington-Edison boys’ basketball machine that churned out a 20-win season.

But he was a big cog, considering he led Skagit County in scoring at 15.7 points per game, and was named all-state and all-Northwest Conference.

For his efforts on the court this season, Reisner has been named the Skagit Valley Herald Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year.

“It’s exciting,” Reisner said of the honor.

The senior was quick to add, however, that things didn’t quite go as planned for his Burlington-Edison team.

“Obviously, the season didn’t end the way we expected it to,” Reisner said of the Tigers’ abrupt, season-ending departure in the Bi-District 2A Tournament. “We grinded it out in the offseason and had high expectations.”

The season, however, was by no means a wash.

“We were league champs,” he said. “I’m pretty happy with the year.”

Reisner’s scoring average could likely have been higher, but the Burlington-Edison system used by coach Chas Kok doesn’t rely on a single shooter. Rather, it’s predicated on everyone sharing the scoring load.

The Tigers had two other players who averaged double-digit scoring and another pair who finished just outside that mark.

“We had a lot of guys that could score,” Reisner said. “Going into this season, I knew everyone (on other teams) knew I could shoot. I worked on my (ball skills) to be ready for full-court pressure.

“I also took more of a leadership role. I wanted to always motivate my teammates. If we were up, we needed to keep working hard. And if we were down, we needed to just get back to playing our game.”

The Tigers all-for-one, one-for-all scoring strategy worked.

“Coach’s offense is very good,” Reisner said. “We have guys that can score. All five starters were able to score. Props to all my teammates. If I was having an off game, someone else stepped up, whether it was Wyatt (Walker) or DJ (Clark) or someone else.”

Reisner added he’d played with a lot of his teammates for a decade. That chemistry was obvious this season.

“It was just so natural,” he said. “We have been playing together for 10 years. It was awesome.”

While Reisner said he relies on his outside shot to keep defenses honest, he didn’t shy away from driving to the basket. A solid ball handler as well as a stealthy passer, breaking down defenses was nothing new.

Driving to the basket also paid off in free throws as on many occasions he forced defenses to foul.

“Getting to the (free-throw) line was big,” Reisner said. “My game was definitely more balanced this year than last.”

The next phase of Reisner’s career will take him to Pacific Lutheran University.

“I’m really excited about that,” he said of playing at PLU. “I need to get quicker and a lot stronger because I’m going to be playing against much bigger guys.”

Reisner plans on majoring in elementary education in order to become a teacher.

“This year was so much fun,” he said of his final high school basketball season. “We had a good run.”

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