Wesco 3A North boys basketball preview

Key questions

  • Will future Falcons lead teams to playoffs?

During the high school season, Everett’s Jace Chacon and Oak Harbor’s Drew Washington spend their time on opposite teams. However, the duo play on an AAU team together and, after this season, the two seniors — and friends — will again play together for the Air Force Falcons.

“They’ve played AAU basketball together and in the fall league together,” said Oak Harbor coach Mike Washington. “They found out that they were each being recruited and thought it would be intriguing for them both to go. The coaches wanted to take them as a package deal.”

According to Mike Washington, Air Force “likes to shoot the three,” which Drew Washington can definitely do. He also said it is a prominent institution that will help both players once they’re basketball careers are over.

“It’s a prestigious school and it gives him a great opportunity after college,” Mike Washington said. “He’s looking to his future.”

Chacon and Washington – who “kick it up” when they play each other on the court – are both difficult to defend according to Stanwood head coach Zach Ward.

“You try to attack their weaknesses. You try to expose them,” Ward said. “But they’re both well-rounded. The weak parts of their game aren’t very big. They’re both different. Jace is bigger, and uses his body. Drew is more perimeter-based and can shoot it from 25 feet and in.”

  • Can anyone challenge Stanwood?

In the 2012-13 season the Stanwood Spartans cruised to a Wesco 3A North title and a district championship with a 12-1 league record and 18-6 overall mark. The next-closest team in the league was Oak Harbor at 13-11 overall, followed by Marysville Getchell (7-15), Everett (6-14) and Marysville Pilchuck (1-19).

Stanwood lost a few key players from last season’s squad, including first-team All-Wesco 3A North wing Cannen Roberson and second-team post Drew Sears, as well as Mason Garcea. However it also returns several talented members from its 2012-13 team, including Josh Thayer, Drew Stang, Brady Garcea and Ian Zipp.

So will another team be able to keep the Spartans from getting their third-straight league championship?

“Stanwood is just solid. I expect them to be the top team in the (Wesco 3A) North and probably a top team in the conference, honestly,” said Oak Harbor head coach Mike Washington. “They’re like a Duke or a North Carolina. They just reload. They have some good guards coming back and a big guy coming back. That’s going to be a tough challenge for anyone.”

Added Glacier Peak head coach Brian Hunter: “To me, Stanwood is probably a top-5 team in the state. They’re loaded. They’ve got a ton of talent.”

The Starting 5: The Herald’s Preseason All-League Team

  • G Jace Chacon, Sr., Everett: In his final year at Everett, the 6-5 guard looks to help the Seagulls improve after a tough 2012-13 season.
  • G Nathen Grimm, Sr., Marysville Getchell: The second-leading scorer in Wesco 3A North from a year ago returns to Getchell for his senior season and looks to lead the Chargers back to districts.
  • G/W Drew Washington, Sr., Oak Harbor: Elite scorer who can shoot from all over the floor looks to help Oak Harbor compete in Wesco 3A North.
  • W/P Michael Painter, Jr., Marysville Pilchuck: Junior, who can play guard, wing or forward, poses matchup problems for opponents.
  • P Drew Stang, Sr., Stanwood: Stang served as a strong post presence along with Drew Sears on last year’s Spartans’ squad. With Sears now graduated, Stang will be even more important in helping Stanwood establish a strong post game.

Player to watch: Drew Stang, Stanwood

After playing on a select team and working on his game, Stang appears to be more aggressive and assertive this season. Qualities that excite Stanwood head coach Zach Ward.

“He’s obviously going to get more touches … and I think with that aggressiveness he’s going to produce more,” Ward said. “He’s a big part of what we do every night. He’s probably going to be opponents No. 1 guy to stop.”

Stang, who actually averaged more points per game than Sears, has a wide range of shots in his arsenal.

“He’s very versatile,” Ward said. “He’s got range out to (the 3-point arc). He’s really developed an inside game. He’s developed some good post moves. He’s a lot more physical and aggressive in the block than I’ve seen before. Part of that probably comes with being a senior. He’s definitely more confident.”

Ward can envision Stang averaging a double-double for the Spartans in his senior year, which is a feat he said is not easily accomplished.

“I think he’s a double-double guy,” Ward said. “Ten rebounds in a high school game is a challenge. It’s tough to do in 32 minutes. But I think he can do it. He’s got the skills and the want to get those rebounds.”

Fresh face: P Skout Roberson, Jr., Stanwood

The younger, bigger brother of Spartans’ star Cannen Roberson should be a starter and strong contributor in the post for Stanwood.

Coaches poll

1. Stanwood

2. Marysville Pilchuck

3. Marysville Getchell

4. Oak Harbor

5. Everett

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