By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
MONROE — Last week, the Salem Stampede handed the Snohomish County Explosion their worst lost in franchise history, a 50-point drubbing.
Saturday night, the Seattle Mountaineers did Salem one better.
Seattle, which led by as many as 53 points, defeated the Explosion 154-103 in the Explosion’s home opener.
The Mountaineers outplayed the Explosion in every statistical category, but there were two factors that proved to be game changers. Snohomish’s inability to stop Seattle’s Rashaad Powell, and the sizeable rebounding advantage Seattle held over Snohomish County in the game.
Powell led all scorers with 48 points, shooting 15-for-24 from the field and knocking down all 12 of his free throw attempts. The Mountaineers also out-rebounded the Explosion 69-39 in the game.
Helping pad those rebounding numbers for Seattle was Manny Kennedy, who led Seattle with 15. Adding insult to injury is the fact both Powell and Kennedy, who added 16 points, are former Explosion players.
Explosion head coach Chris Weakley broke down the game in much more simple terms.
“We play no defense,” Weakley said. “We put 103 points on the board and gave up 154. The bottom line is you have to guard somebody.”
Weakley made it clear he was not going to put up with his team’s lack of effort on the defensive end.
“You have to have a basketball I.Q., defense is just common sense,” Weakley said. “If you don’t have a basketball I.Q., you better find another sport to play.”
The Explosion’s leading scorer from last season, Devon Greene tied Jason Hicks for the team lead in scoring on Saturday night, with 27. Greene, however, shot just 10-for-28 from the field and 4-for-17 from 3-point range.
Last season, Anthony Slater led the Explosion with nearly 14 assists per game. He had just six assists against Seattle. The Mountaineers had 41 assists as a team, to Snohomish County’s 17.
Explosion owner Nathan Mumm, like Weakley, didn’t take the loss well.
“If we lose again by 50 points, it will be a whole new team … from top to bottom,” Mumm said after the game.
Weakley and Mumm both know that the Explosion’s effort has to improve in order to have any success.
“This is professional basketball, guys say they want to move to the next level, they have to play like it,” Weakley said. “We didn’t play hard at all; it looked like we weren’t even trying.”