Explosion ready for some home cookin’

  • By Kevin Johnson / Herald Writer
  • Monday, April 9, 2007 9:00pm
  • Sports

The time has come Everett.

Nine months after it was first announced that Snohomish County would get a professional basketball team, the Everett Explosion will take to the Everett Events Center court, making their home debut tonight at 7 p.m. against the Vancouver Volcanoes in an International Basketball League game.

“I’m very excited for myself and the team, especially the new guys and rookies. We’re going to have to get the jitters out in that first quarter,” Everett head coach Randy Redwine said.

The Explosion players may have good reason to be nervous – if Saturday’s season opener was a dress rehearsal then tonight’s game is opening night. Everett general manager Nathan Mumm said he expects the Explosion to play in front of a much bigger crowd than the one they played to on Saturday, when approximately 120 fans were in attendance at Morton High School. Mumm says he expects close to 5,000 and would love to see more in hopes of breaking this season’s record for largest opening-game attendance held by Indiana’s Elkhart Express.

The reigning IBL champion Express opened their season against Grand Rapids and the tallest professional basketball player, 7-foot-9 Sun Ming Ming, in front of 5,444 fans.

“I’m very excited that (the season) is starting. Our staff has been working a great deal to get the game day operations ready to go and I think we will really surprise a lot of people,” said Mumm.

The Explosion (1-0 overall) began their season in victorious fashion Saturday defeating fellow-IBL newcomer Lewis County convincingly, 161-133.

Tonight they will face a Vancouver team that has struggled in its three seasons in the IBL and has stumbled coming out of the gates this season, dropping its first four games.

Vancouver made its IBL debut in 2005 and finished with a record of 4-18. Last season the Volcanoes didn’t fare any better, finishing 4-21.

“Vancouver is a good, competitive team,” Redwine said. “They’re always in games. You can’t let your guard down against them. You can’t let your guard down against any of the teams in this league.”

The Volcanoes are coached by first-year head coach John Phillips and feature 2006 IBL all-star Brad Lechtenberg, who finished eighth in the IBL in scoring last year averaging 25 points per contest.

“He’s a marksman,” Redwine said of Lechtenberg.

The Volcanoes are also led by Chris Neal, Porter Troupe, Alex Hartman and 7-footer Nick Fusare.

” (Fusare) could be a problem for us,” Redwine said.

Everett counters with its own 2006 IBL all-stars. Both Rashaad Powell and Donald Watts were all-stars while playing for the Seattle Mountaineers. Powell was sensational in his Everett debut putting up 44 points and adding 15 rebounds, eight assists and six steals.

Everett fans should expect a high-scoring, fast-paced basketball game tonight.

“We’re really excited about being a part of the local sports community and we should have a real fun and entertaining halftime,” Mumm said.

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