Some fresh faces have helped breathe new life into a Shorecrest boys basketball team with its sights set on the playoffs.
Junior guard Jermaine Castillo had his best performance to date in a 45-42 win over Edmonds-Woodway Jan. 24 and first-year Scots coach Bill Liley recently promoted a pair of standouts from the freshman team.
Paul Bordner and Jesse Hoffman each saw their first varsity action last week and will remain with the team for the rest of the season, according to Liley.
Bordner has already become part of the rotation at point guard and Hoffman brings a potential scoring punch to the lineup. He eclipsed 30 points in four games at the freshman level.
“They both confessed they were a little nervous but if I didn’t think they could play, I wouldn’t have brought them up,” Liley said. “It’s time to give them a shot.”
Though not at the expense of the upperclassmen who have been on the varsity roster all along.
“Our seniors know this is their team and we’ll go as far as they’re going to take us,” Liley added.
Castillo’s season-high 16 points against Edmonds-Woodway couldn’t have come at a better time for the Scots, who snapped a five-game skid with the narrow victory.
Senior forward Graham Morrisey registered his ninth consecutive double-double against the Warriors, scoring 12 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
“It’s unreal that he can keep that streak going,” Liley said. “I don’t know if teams can stop him 1-on-1.”
Behind 31 points on near-perfect shooting (14-for-15) from senior center Adam Moore, Everett bruised Shorecrest 70-47 Tuesday night.
Liley figures the Scots (3-9 league, 4-11 overall) will need to split their final six games to have a shot at advancing to the Northwest District 3A tournament.
To qualify, Shorecrest’s winning percentage must be higher than that of the sixth-place team out of the Northwest 3A League.
“Six or seven (league) wins will get us there,” Liley said. “That’s what we’re pushing for.”
Which opponents those wins could come against is a tough call. The Scots have saved some of their better outings for the division’s top-rung teams.
They pushed second-place Meadowdale to overtime, defeated perennial power Mountlake Terrace and were one of two teams to hold first-place Mariner under 50 points through the first cycle of league games.
“There’s no one in this league that can wipe us off the floor,” Liley said. “We compete every night. These kids are playing hard. They want the respect that they haven’t gotten the past few years.”