After falling one game short of making the 3A state tournament to cap a 14-12 season, the Shorecrest High School basketball team will try and improve to reach unprecedented heights.
Last year was the first season since 1995 where the Scots had a winning record. The team fell 42-32 to Lynnwood, coming one game shy of reaching the state tournament.
This summer, the team has held practices and participated in several summer tournaments. Fifth-year coach Brian Fischer is very optimistic from what he has seen thus far.
“We’ve had success in the summer leagues,” said Fischer. He reported that the team plays with a lot of enthusiasm, and they have really good chemistry on the floor. Many of the starters have been playing together for a while.
The team is currently playing in a high school team tournament at Central Washington University. Practices started on Monday, June 1, and all tournaments and practices for the summer will be over at the end of this tournament on Thursday.
Fischer singled out seven players who will make up the core of next year’s roster. Returning seniors-to-be Travis Hake and Isaiah Clevenger will start as guards, a very deep and experienced position for the team. Senior-to-be Brandon McCoy and sophomore-to-be Jordan Diel have come off the bench in the past, but Fischer expects them to play larger roles in the team. Sophomore Trevor McCoy, Brandon’s younger brother, will be a back-up point guard.
Sophomore-to-be Junior Chibuogwu and senior-to-be Jordan Brown will be the top forwards. Fischer describes them as strong players, but he does not expect his team to rely too much on his forwards.
“We’re more of a sleek, quick team,” said Fischer. “We will get up and down the floor pretty quick.” The post game is lagging at the moment, he admits, but he expects that to improve before the season gets underway.
Even though the Scots have a strong core of returning players, last year’s senior class will certainly be missed, especially for their defensive contributions. Center Devin Shull, forward Randy Sullivan and guard Richard Weinberg were all imposing defenders, and Fischer is trying to raise the level of his current team’s defense in their absence.
“We lost (a lot) of our size and muscle in the senior class,” said Fischer. Shull and Sullivan stood at 6 feet, 7 inches and 6 feet, 4 inches respectively.
The team’s leading scorer last year, center Ryan Dodge, graduated as well.
Getting back to the level they were playing at defensively is a goal for his team, explained Fischer. Several league opponents, like Meadowdale and Lynnwood, have big men inside which Shorecrest’s much smaller team will have to learn to defend against if they want to be successful.
Offensively, the team is much more skilled.
“I think we’re going to be a lot of fun to watch this year,” said Fischer.