Mountlake’s Zaveon Jones looks for an open teammate during a Class 3A state quarterfinal game against O’Dea on March 2 in Tacoma. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Mountlake’s Zaveon Jones looks for an open teammate during a Class 3A state quarterfinal game against O’Dea on March 2 in Tacoma. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Snohomish County prep boys basketball: 2023-24 season preview

Coaches polls, favorites, contenders and storylines to watch for the local high school boys basketball leagues this season.

High school boys basketball is back in full swing as teams are approaching the quarter-schedule mark of the 2023-24 season.

Below is an in-depth look at some of the area’s top teams and storylines to watch:

WESCO 4A

COACHES POLL

The predicted order to finish as voted on by the league’s coaches. Included are the average points per vote, with first-place votes in parentheses.

1. Glacier Peak (3) — 1.0

2. Jackson (1) — 1.67

T-3. Kamiak — 2.67

T-3. Lake Stevens — 2.67

5. Mariner — 4.0

Note: Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team. One coach did not participate in the voting.

FAVORITE

Glacier Peak

The Grizzlies finished 9-10 for a fourth-place finish in Wesco 4A last winter after claiming state regional berths in each of the five seasons prior, including three regular-season league titles in that span. Longtime coach Brian Hunter, who took a one-year hiatus from the program last season, is back at the helm. GP entered Monday with a 5-0 record, all against nonleague opponents. Standout first-team all-league pick Jo Lee, a 6-foot-3 lefty guard, has asserted himself as an early-season league MVP candidate as GP’s lone returning starter, putting up 31 points per game in the Grizzlies first four contests, including a school-record 49 points against Bothell on Dec. 7.

Glacier Peak’s Jo Lee drives the lane against Stanwood on Dec. 8, 2021, at Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Glacier Peak’s Jo Lee drives the lane against Stanwood on Dec. 8, 2021, at Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

CONTENDER

Jackson

The Timberwolves finished one victory short of their fourth state regional berth in a row last season after compiling a 17-5 overall record and a shared league title with Mariner. Jackson will be without the services of All-Area Player of the Year Sylas Williams, who stacked 23 points and 14 rebounds a game during his senior season. In what seems like a wide-open opportunity within Wesco 4A this season, the Timberwolves are off to a 3-2 start entering Monday, including wins over Arlington and defending Class 2A state champ Lynden. Returning 6-foot-7 senior Ryan McFerran figures to be a go-to post threat in Jackson’s new frontcourt after averaging a near double-double last winter with 10 points and 9.3 boards a night. McFerran was a second-team all-league choice, while 6-foot-1 guard Trey Hawkins, an all-league honorable mention, will look to step into a larger role after offering eight points a game as a junior.

Jackson’s Ryan McFerran jumps to make a layup during the game against Arlington on Nov in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Jackson’s Ryan McFerran jumps to make a layup during the game against Arlington on Nov in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

WESCO 3A/2A

COACHES POLL

The predicted order to finish as voted on by the league’s coaches. Included are the average points per vote, with first-place votes in parentheses.

1. Mountlake Terrace (11) — 1.0

2. Arlington (1) — 2.4

3. Marysville Getchell — 3.4

4. Stanwood — 4.0

5. Everett — 4.9

6. Cedarcrest — 6.1

7. Shorecrest — 7.4

T-8. Shorewood — 8.0

T-8. Meadowdale — 8.0

10. Archbishop Murphy — 8.5

T-11. Snohomish — 9.4

T-11. Monroe — 9.4

13. Edmonds-Woodway — 10.0

14. Cascade — 12.1

15. Lynnwood — 13.8

16. Marysville Pilchuck — 14.2

Note: Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team. Four coaches did not participate in the voting.

FAVORITE

Mountlake Terrace

The Hawks made it to the state quarterfinals for the second consecutive season last March, which included a second straight 3A District 1 tournament crown. Terrace went 19-8 and 13-2 in league in a tight Wesco 3A/2A league race last winter and retains most of its talented starting group, coming into the year as an overwhelming league favorite. Returning seniors and All-Area picks Jaxon Dubiel and Zaveon Jones look to continue as key cogs in the Hawks’ system after the graduation of double-digit scoring guard Chris Meegan. Jones posted 13.5 points and 11 boards per outing last season and was an all-state-tournament-team selection for the second straight year. Dubiel has recorded two 30-plus point performances to start the season after averaging 16 points and 5.8 rebounds as a junior. Senior Logan Tews, who averaged five points and three assists per game last season, came on strong towards the end of the year and figures to be an involved option as a spark-plug point guard. The Hawks were off to a red-hot 6-0 start entering Monday, including a come-from-behind 58-56 win Dec. 8 against Marysville Getchell, as well as a 69-65 victory over 2A defending champ Lynden.

Mountlake Terrace’s Jaxon Dubiel lets out a yell after scoring in the final minutes against Mount Vernon on Feb. 15 at Jackson High School in Mill Creek. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Mountlake Terrace’s Jaxon Dubiel lets out a yell after scoring in the final minutes against Mount Vernon on Feb. 15 at Jackson High School in Mill Creek. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

CONTENDERS

Marysville Getchell

Getchell put forth a program-best 14-6 regular season, a 16-9 overall record and were one win shy of a regional playoff berth last winter. The Chargers are working to remain towards the top of the ladder in the league this season, and their 5-2 start to the new year has Getchell in prime position to do so. The Chargers bucket-getting backcourt duo from last season remains a deadly combo, as junior Bubba Palacol looks to build on the 20.3 points and 2.8 steals per game that he supplied as a sophomore. He was the only sophomore to make the Herald’s All-Area teams. Senior running mate Shawn Etheridge is also coming off a solid junior campaign, when he averaged 15 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.9 steals. Returning junior forward Wyatt Harris posted 7.5 points and 2.9 boards per game last season and provides a rebounding presence along with floor-stretching capabilities.

Marysville Getchell’s Shawn Etheridge takes the ball down the court during the game against Mount Vernon on Feb. 17 in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Marysville Getchell’s Shawn Etheridge takes the ball down the court during the game against Mount Vernon on Feb. 17 in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Arlington

The Eagles made a trip to the Tacoma Dome for their first appearance at the Hardwood Classic since 2013 last March. One of Arlington’s biggest tests will be replacing the production from first-team All-Area pick and 6-foot-6 post David Zachman, who boasted 16 points and seven rebounds per game last winter. Star junior playmaker Leyton Martin figures to carry an even heavier workload this season after generating 15.1 points, 7.1 boards, 5.8 assists and 2.6 steals per contest as a sophomore, with seniors Jacoby Falor and Silas Miller both figure to have substantial roles as returning starters. Arlington entered Monday on a six-game winning streak after an opening loss to Jackson, including non-conference victories over Sehome and Camas.

Arlington players react to a score during the game against Jackson on Nov. 28 in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Arlington players react to a score during the game against Jackson on Nov. 28 in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Stanwood

The Spartans bring back most of their core group of returning starters after a 16-7 overall mark last season. The Spartans were on the cusp of a state regional berth for a second straight year but were bounced from the 3A District 1 tournament by Marysville Getchell two wins shy. This year, Stanwood looks to get over the hump as senior all-league guards Max Mayo and John Floyd figure to remain top perimeter scoring threats. Mayo averaged 16.6 points, 4.5 boards and 3.3 assists, while Floyd was a near 20-point per game scorer. The Spartans entered Monday 2-3 with wins over Shorecrest and Cascade.

Stanwood’s John Floyd makes a no-look pass to a teammate against Cascade on Dec. 8, 2022, at Cascade High School in Everett. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Stanwood’s John Floyd makes a no-look pass to a teammate against Cascade on Dec. 8, 2022, at Cascade High School in Everett. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Everett

The Seagulls have some of the most roster turnover in the Wesco 3A/2A this season. Everett made it trough the 3A District 1 tournament gauntlet last season, etching their first state regional berth since 2000. The Seagulls were one win away from a trip to the Tacoma Dome, dropping their final game of the year to North Thurston. Without 6-foot-7 rim protector Hayden Conaxis and standout combo guard Daniel Savovic, a lot of responsibility figures to be placed on the shoulders of 6-foot-5, do-it-all guard Isaiah White. White, who compiled 15.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per-game numbers as a junior, has scored at least 20 points in all six games thus far. Senior off-ball guard Ty Bloomfield has stepped into a bigger role as a catch-and-shoot threat after posting 11.3 points a game as a junior. Jitterbug point guard Mahamed Juma provides extra stability in the backcourt, while 6-foot-4 junior Sam Lawless also looks to add a strong presence underneath as Everett (4-3) has won four of its last five games.

Everett’s Isaiah White makes a jump shot during the game against Shorecrest on Feb. 17 in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Everett’s Isaiah White makes a jump shot during the game against Shorecrest on Feb. 17 in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

STORYLINES TO WATCH

Will Sultan get another shot at a state berth?

The Turks have been knocking on the door of a Class 1A state tournament berth for the past two seasons under long-tenured head coach Nate Trichler. Last season Sultan was knocked out of state playoff contention by eventual champion and 1A powerhouse Lynden Christian for the second year in a row. Twin 6-foot-1 brothers Toby and Eli Trichler are back to lead the charge after a 20-4 overall mark last winter. Toby hung up per-game averages of 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals. Eli produced 17 points, five boards and five assists per outing. Both are on pace to break 1,000 career points. Returning junior Mathew Agnew provided six points a game. The Turks are off to a 4-2 start this season as the meat of their 1A Emerald Sound Chinook Division schedule approaches, including two-possession win over Seattle Academy on Dec. 12.

Will Kamiak or Lake Stevens gain traction in Wesco 4A?

The new-look Knights finished 8-12 overall and 2-6 in a top-heavy Wesco 4A league last winter and missed the 4A District 1/2 tournament. Kamiak has some big shoes to fill as recently-graduated star wing Josiah Pierre finished with a league-best 28 points per game during his final season as a Knight. Entering Monday, Kamiak has managed a 3-1 start this year behind a balanced scoring attack. Senior guards and main ballhandlers Elijah Pierre and Daniel Shubert figure to be leaned on heavily as the season goes on, while returning sophomore Maximus Christiansen looks to build on a strong showing down the stretch of his freshman year. Head coach Joe DeGrazia said he anticipates five or six players being able to score in double-figures on any given night.

Lake Stevens finds itself in a similar boat as the Knights, having graduated some important all-league talent in 13-plus-point scorers Maddox Preder and Tyson Eyman. Although, the Vikings, currently 2-4, got a taste of postseason play in 2022-23, beating Newport in a district play-in game before coming up two wins shy of a state berth. They ended the season 12-11 and 4-4 in league. Javon McFerrin, a 6-foot-5 senior post, has emerged as one of Lake Stevens go-to scorers to begin the year, posting 28 points in the Vikings’ second game of the year against Mount Vernon. He averaged eight points and six boards as a junior. Senior guard Mekhi Hunter also figures to have an expanded role as the only other returning varsity player for Lake Stevens after averaging four points and three rebounds in a backup role as a junior.

Lake Stevens’ Javon McFerrin tries to bull his way through two defenders against Mariner on Feb. 2 at Mariner High School in Everett. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Lake Stevens’ Javon McFerrin tries to bull his way through two defenders against Mariner on Feb. 2 at Mariner High School in Everett. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Can Mountlake Terrace maximize its season?

Terrace has maintained its hold as one of the most accomplished basketball programs in the area over the years. The Hawks have garnered state tournament berths in six of the past full-length seven seasons and have made an appearance at the Hardwood Classic 11 times since 2009. It certainly seems like the year when the Hawks have one of their best opportunities to make a run past the quarterfinal round. Terrace rode into state as the No. 6 seed last winter and was just a play away from a semifinal berth. The Hawks lost a 54-52 heartbreaker against fifth-seeded O’Dea in the quarterfinals, then fizzled out in the consolation bracket against Bellevue. In 2022, the Hawks took home a sixth-place trophy. Terrace didn’t lose much depth from last year’s varsity roster. Jones and 6-foot-4 swingman Jaxon Dubiel are both poised for productive seasons as seniors, while the Hawks tote a variety of other depth pieces. Gabe Towne, a 6-foot-7 post, has provided the Hawks with needed length underneath the basket, and 6-foot-2 post Svayjeet Singh was a key rebounder and defensive presence last season. Senior guard Logan Tews came on the scene in big moments as a junior, and junior Rayshaun Connor provides Terrace with an extra ballhandler along with his perimeter scoring touch.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

X
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for May 20-26

The Athlete of the Week nominees for May 20-26. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Champion Johnny Carey tees off during the 93rd Annual Snohomish County Amateur Championship on Monday, May 27, 2024, at the Everett Golf and Country Club in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Johnny Carey claims his first Snohomish County Amateur title

The Kamiak High School grad edges Snohomish High School senior Palmer Mutcheson by one stroke.

Seattle Kraken announce Dan Bylsma as new head coach

Bylsma, a former NHL head coach and Stanley Cup winner, has been coaching Seattle’s AHL affiliate.

Glacier Peak’s Mateo Ganje wins the Boys 200M 4A dash during the Class 4A, 3A, 2A track and field state championships at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, Washington on Saturday, May 25, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
State track: Glacier Peak’s Mateo Ganje claims 200 gold

Ganje, Everett jumper Shukurani Ndayiragije each take home three top-three medals.

The Jackson softball team poses with the Class 4A state tournament trophy after a 10-1 triumph over Emerald Ridge Saturday, May 25 at Columbia Playfield in Richland, WA. (Aaron Coe / The Herald).
Domination: Jackson repeats as 4A state softball champion

The Yanina Sherwood-led Timberwolves top Emerald Ridge 10-1 in the title game.

Is Mariners slugger Julio Rodriguez about to break out?

Sunday’s performance may be a good omen for the Seattle slugger, who’s been mired in a slump.

Snohomish’s Hannah Siegler becomes emotional after striking out in the final inning of the 3A state softball championship game against Auburn Riverside on Saturday, May 25, 2024 in Lacey, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish softball falls in 3A state championship game

The Panthers lose 11-6 to Auburn Riverside, marking their second straight championship-game defeat.

State roundup: Murphy’s Balen, Jackson boys win tennis titles

Grace Academy’s Pearce Hess sweeps the sprints in the Class 1B boys track and field meet.

Snohomish players move their teamname up the bracket after a 3A softball game between Snohomish and Seattle Prep at the regional athletic complex in Lacey, Washington on Friday, May 24, 2024. Snohomish won, 8-0. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish softball advances to state semifinals

Abby Edwards’ pitching, Camryn Sage’s hitting lifts Snohomish to an 8-0 quarterfinal win over Seattle Prep.

The Jackson softball team greets Yanina Sherwood after her sixth-inning, two-run homer put Jackson ahead 4-1 a Class 4A state playoff first-round game May 24 at Columbia Playfields in Richland, WA (Aaron Coe / The Herald).
Jackson softball halfway to defending its state championship

The Timberwolves beat Eastmont, Olympia to move into the Class 4A semifinals.

X
Lake Stevens’ Brown, Pilchuck’s Velasquez win state titles

How did locals fare at state in track and field, baseball and tennis on Friday? Find out here.

Mariners report card: ‘A lot of positives’ at 50-game mark

Does Seattle have enough to maintain its lead in the AL West through the rest of the season?

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.