By Kevin Brown and Mark Nelson Herald Writers
TACOMA — The state tournament often serves as a stage for reunions.
Jackson head coach Steve Johnson is friends with Skyline athletic director Kevin Rohrich, who used to be Cascade’s head boys basketball coach. Rohrich, a 1995 Woodinville High grad played basketball when Johnson coached Woodinville’s sophomore team. Later, Rohrich returned to Woodinville and was a junior-varsity coach for three seasons under Johnson, who was then Woodinville’s head coach.
Eventually, Johnson and Rohrich became head coaches at Jackson and Cascade, respectively. They coached against each other at the 4A state tournament in 2006 where Jackson beat Cascade 76-65 in overtime in a loser-out game and the Timberwolves earned fifth place.
Remembering Phil Lumpkin
Jackson senior Marshall Massengale, a transfer from Seattle’s O’Dea High School, decorated his sneakers with a few initials Wednesday. Along with Massengale’s uncle and a childhood friend, both of whom are deceased, the guard wrote the initials “P.L.” on each shoe in remembrance of longtime O’Dea boys head coach Phil Lumpkin. Lumpkin won five 3A state titles in 18 years as coach of O’Dea and was found dead in November at the age of 57. “It’s just for people that have passed that I try to play for and remember,” Massengale said.
Federal Way impressive
In the top-ranked Federal Way Eagles, the Stanwood Spartans faced the most athletic team they have seen all season.
Stanwood senior Kale Schmidt said the last time the Spartans saw athletes of similar caliber was during the summer basketball camp they attended in California.
“But it’s a little different playing in the Tacoma Dome rather than in a small gym in Santa Barbara,” Schmidt said.
Two stars will meet again
Today’s quarterfinal matchup between Gonzaga Prep and Federal Way won’t be the last meeting between Federal Way star Cole Dickerson and Gonzaga Prep standout Ryan Nicholas. Both are headed to the West Coast Conference next season.
Dickerson will play at the Unuversity of San Francisco and and Nicholas is headed to the University of Portland.