E-W feeling upbeat with four starters back

  • By David Pan Weekly Herald sports editor
  • Tuesday, July 10, 2012 7:23pm

The Edmonds-Woodway boys basketball team figures to be one of the top teams in the Western Conference 4A South Division.

Although the Warriors graduated their leading scorer in Grant Pattison, they return four starters, including a pair of all-league standouts.

This summer’s results certainly have reinforced the upbeat outlook for Edmonds-Woodway. The Warriors advanced to the finals in two out of the four tournaments they played in and the team made it to the semifinals in the Mountlake Terrace Summer League tournament.

“Our goals were to play as many games as possible in the month of June,” Edmonds-Woodway coach Steve Call said. “We have an experienced core group of players. We tried some different things offensively and defensively. We tweaked some things. The guys were getting familiar with each other. We did well. We definitely can improve. Conditioning is tough during the summer.”

Returning at point guard is second-team, all-leaguer Devin Joseph. The senior also spent his summer playing with an AAU Rotary select team out of Seattle.

Last season, Edmonds-Woodway’s offense went to its inside with centers Travis Bakken (6-foot-7) and Henry Olson (6-8) and with those two back, no major changes are planned. Joseph is going to be relied upon to direct the offense.

“We’re looking for his on-court leadership in distributing the ball to our big guys inside,” Call said. “He’s a really good defender. He’s made tremendous strides. He’s played with Rotary and I think that’s really helped.”

Joseph was the second-leading scorer behind Pattison and was followed by Bakken, a first-team, all-league junior center. Bakken will be playing football for the first time in high school.

“We’re totally supportive of him doing that,” Call said. “It’ll help him physically and mentally.”

Olson, who’ll be a senior, also has made significant strides in his game. Olson missed some of the Warriors’ summer games due to mono but has recovered, according to Call.

“I think we’ll be going to our strengths and try to push the ball when we can,” Call said. “We played really consistently with our inside and outside game. That’s how we did well this summer.”

The fourth returning starter is junior guard/forward Jason Smarr, who was something of a surprise starter as a sophomore.

“As a sophomore, he played really well,” Call said.

Pattison, a captain and top scorer, definitely will be missed, Call said, but he added that having four starters back is helping with the transition.

“We have good experience,” Call said.

Pattison, however, wasn’t the only senior the Warriors graduated. Three other seniors played reserve roles, so the bench is going to have some new faces.

“We have a very small junior class,” Call said. “We won’t be real deep.”

Call not only had the opportunity to take a good look at his players during the 28 games they played in June, but he got to see them go up against some different teams.

While many of the familiar Wesco teams were in the Mountlake Terrace Summer League, the opposition in the four other tournaments was diverse. Garfield, Lake Washington, Kentwood, Roosevelt and Nathan Hale were some of the other teams the Warriors played.

“It was nice to get some different looks from Kingco and the Metro League,” Call said.