Lynnwood’s new boys basketball coach, Michael Richards, plans to make defense a top priority in his program.
His reasoning is simple.
“I know, as a young man growing up, we were taught how to play offense,” said Richards, who spent the past three years as an assistant varsity girls basketball coach at Edmonds-Woodway High School. “Everyone can shoot. … No one taught you how to play defense.
“In the fourth quarter, you have to make stops from the heart and from the brain. We’re going to pride ourselves on playing good defense.”
Richards, 54, replaces former coach Darrell McNeal. Richards also was an assistant for the Highline Community College men’s basketball team and was head girls coach at Ingraham High School, where he guided the team to a Metro South title for the first time in a decade. Richards was an assistant coach for seven years for the Lakeside boys basketball team.
The implementation of the shot clock in boys basketball was a major influence in Richards’ decision to return to coaching boys basketball. The lack of a shot clock helped draw Richards to coaching girls basketball in the first place.
“I really like having a shot clock,” he said. “In Metro, you’d get to a certain point for the boys and teams would hold the basketball. They would pass it around. I like the fact that the shot clock means there’s no holding up of the game.”
The switch from coaching boys to girls didn’t impact Richards’ approach to the game.
“My coaching style didn’t change at all,” Richards said. “The girls wanted to win. That’s pretty much it.”
The coaching opening at Lynnwood also was ideal for Richards since he works in security at nearby Edmonds-Woodway High School.
Richards met with his players last week and saw that the Royals have plenty of experience returning.
“We have seven seniors coming back,” he said. “They lost two starters from last year, but they were very packed as far as juniors.”
Lynnwood struggled last season, finishing with a 2-18 overall record, but Richards isn’t just concerned about improving the Royals’ success rate on the court.
“I want us to be good leaders in the school on-and-off the court,” he said.
His players need “contribute to the community as good human beings,” Richards added. “I want them to develop leadership.”
Last season, Lynnwood allowed 55 points per game while scoring an average of 42.
“We’re going to try our best to turn the tables defensively and offensively,” Richards said, and added: “We want to be the hardest working team on the court.”
Locals fare well at Hammer event
Snohomish’s Travis Picket and Glacier Peak’s John Higgins, who tossed a personal best, finished fifth and sixth, respectively, at the 2012 Washington High School Hammer Championships in Centralia on Sunday.
Pickett threw the hammer 176 feet, 3 inches — eight feet below his personal best of 184 feet — and Higgins had a throw of 169-11, exceeding anything he’d done before.
On the girls side, Snohomish’s Carolyn Gravelle finished third, throwing 126-5, and Glacier Peak’s Kylie Scott finished sixth with a throw of 111-4.
Wesco soccer all-star game
The top boys soccer players from Wesco 4A and 3A battle Thursday night in a game that will determine Wesco supremacy once and for all.
The first-team All-Wesco selections from the North and South divisions play the first-team selections from Wesco 3A at 7 p.m. at Shoreline Stadium. Admission to the game is free.
Jackson head coach Brett North and Lake Stevens head coach Kit Shanholtzer will coach the Wesco 4A team and Shorewood head coach Nathan Davis will coach the 3A team.
For a look at the first-team All-Wesco selections, visit www.heraldnet.com/highschools.
Lynnwood throwing coach Mike Davis was quoted in the story “Royals’ Basham wins shot put” on Page C5 of Sunday’s Herald. He was misidentified in the story. We regret the error.