BOYS: Five players to watch

  • Wed Nov 24th, 2010 8:06pm
  • Sports

By Mike Cane Herald Writer

Jack Bonner | Glacier Peak, 6-4 Sr. Forward

College plans: Undecided.

2009-2010 season recap: Averaged 12.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.0 spg, 2.0 apg. Named to All-Wesco South second team. Helped Glacier Peak place fourth in the Class 3A state tournament.

2010-2011 season outlook: Also a standout football player, Bonner is “the heart and soul” of Glacier Peak’s basketball team, Grizzlies hoops coach Brian Hunter said. The third-year varsity basketball starter brings a potent combo of leadership and athletic ability to the court.

“His skill is a huge part of it; he’s just a very talented athlete,” said Hunter. “But it’s also the way he plays. He never, ever takes a play off. The kids just feed off of it.”

During the 2010 3A state tournament, Bonner raised his level of play, averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds, including 19 points and 14 boards in Glacier Peak’s win over Bellevue in the fourth-place game.

The past two seasons Bonner often played the post position, but this summer he spent considerable time knocking down long-range shots.

“We’re looking for him to shoot,” Hunter said of Bonner, Glacier Peak’s ASB president and reigning homecoming king. “He will be very tough to guard (matched up against) a guy that’s smaller than him.”

Eric Carlson | Arlington, 6-3 Sr. Forward

College plans: Undecided.

2009-2010 season recap: Averaged 15 ppg, 4.0 rpg. Named to All-Wesco North first team.

2010-2011 season outlook: Arlington’s leading scorer last season, Carlson is a versatile player and one of many key varsity returners for an Eagles team that’s a strong contender in the Class 4A Western Conference North Division.

“He looks good going into the season,” Arlington coach Nick Brown said.

The highlight of Carlson’s summer was his strong performance during a tournament in San Diego, said Brown. Carlson played well in all areas, standing out versus solid competition and impressing teammates and foes.

Carlson, who can score inside and also make mid-range shots, and speedy, experienced Arlington point guard Zach Cooper (10.0 ppg, 3.0 apg last season) play well together and are one of Wesco’s best combos.

So far, Carlson hasn’t attracted much college recruiting interest, coach Brown said, because the 6-foot-3 Carlson projects as a tweener — physically not an ideal guard and not an ideal forward. However, the senior has plenty of ability and could fit in somewhere.

“He can play at the next level, for sure,” Brown said.

Brett Kingma | Jackson, 6-1 Sr. Guard

College plans: Signed with Oregon.

2009-2010 season recap: Averaged 24.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.8 spg. Named to All-Wesco South first team. Helped Jackson advance to the Class 4A state championship game.

2010-2011 season outlook: Before he joins the Oregon Ducks and brings his skills to the Pac-10 Conference, Kingma hopes to lead Jackson to the top of the 4A mountain. A deadly, supremely confident shooter, Kingma is one of Jackson’s two returning starters (the other: 6-5 forward Austin O’Keefe) and knows he must provide more leadership this season to fill the void left by the Timberwolves’ solid group of seniors who graduated last spring.

“Last year some guys helped with scoring, leading, rebounding and defense. He’ll have to make up a little bit for some of what we lost,” Jackson coach Steve Johnson said.

During the summer, Kingma made major strides in two areas of his game: defense and ballhandling. He also got quicker and a bit stronger.

“That’s why his recruiting (opportunities) opened up quite a bit more,” said Johnson. “He was showing a more well-rounded game; not just a shooter.”

Ryan Shannon | Marysville-Pilchuck, 6-7 Jr. Forward

College plans: Undecided.

2009-2010 season recap: Averaged 13.1 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 4.0 bpg. Named to All-Wesco North second team.

2010-2011 season outlook: Following his breakout sophomore season for the Tomahawks, Shannon appears ready to take his place among the elite players in the area and possibly in the whole state.

Blessed with a 6-foot-7 frame, Shannon completed a rigorous conditioning program over the summer. He increased his strength and is more willing — and able — to bang around with opponents near the basket, Marysville-Pilchuck coach Bary Gould said.

The intense conditioning workouts also boosted Shannon’s vertical leap, speed and footwork. But here’s what makes the junior so difficult to defend: In addition to his ability to pound inside, he is now a more accurate long-range shooter.

Describing Shannon as “disciplined and hard-working,” coach Gould said Shannon has received recruiting interest from several local colleges and was visited by Cal Poly State University coaches.

Possessing great height, a well-rounded game and the potential to get much stronger, Shannon is “labeled intriguing by scouts as he is long and can shoot well,” said Gould.

Michael Washington, Jr. | Oak Harbor, 6-3 Jr. Guard

College plans: Undecided; has offer from Seattle University.

2009-2010 season recap: Averaged 18.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.0 apg. Named to All-Wesco North second team.

2010-2011 season outlook: Always an explosive scorer, Washington Jr. (195 pounds) is significantly stronger than last season. He put on at least 10 pounds yet also enhanced his leaping ability, Oak Harbor coach Mike Washington said. Another key area of improvement for the talented guard: ballhandling.

Washington Jr. consistently gets to the rim and aims to become a more dangerous shooter.

“He had very good shooting nights this past summer and he looks to improve in that area this season as well,” coach Washington said. “Additionally, I look for him to be a player who we can ask to lock down the best player on the opposing team, as well as make his teammates better.”

In addition to receiving a scholarship offer from Seattle U., Washington Jr. has attracted interest from teams in the Pac-10 Conference, West Coast Conference, Big West Conference and Big Sky Conference, said coach Washington.

Mike Cane, Herald Writer