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The Daily News 2012-13 prep basketball guide

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Towers of Power Hockinson Hawks

Mark Morris Monarchs

Monarchs eye deep run p. 5

R.A. Long Hockinson Lumberjacks Hawks

Rockets, indians aiming high again

Mark Morris

Washougal Monarchs Panthers

R.A. Long Lumberjacks

Woodland Beavers

Camas Papermakers

R.A. Long seeks growth p. 45 A supplement to The Daily News

Washougal Panthers

Columbia River Chieftians


Beavers Fort Vancouver Trappers

Kelso Hilanders

Kelso chases playoffs p. 34

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inside Mark Morris boys . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Mark Morris girls . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Three Rivers Christian girls . . . . . 8 Rainier boys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Rainier girls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Clatskanie girls . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 2011-12 season in review . . . . 16 Clatskanie boys . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Kelso girls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Naselle boys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Wahkiakum boys . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Wahkiakum girls . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Naselle girls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Ilwaco girls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Three Rivers Christian boys . . . . 25 Kalama girls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Kalama boys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Ilwaco boys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Toutle Lake boys . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Toutle Lake girls . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Castle Rock girls . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Kelso boys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Castle Rock boys . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Toledo girls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 All-Area teams . . . . . . . . . . 38 Woodland girls . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Woodland boys . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Winlock girls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Winlock boys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Toledo boys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Boys schedules . . . . . . . . . . 44 R.A. Long boys . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 R.A. Long girls . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Girls schedules . . . . . . . . . . 47

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mark morris

monarchs 2011-2012 record: 18-6 Postseason: Lost in regional playoffs Head coach: Bill Bakamus (374-129) Last state appearance: 2010 Projected starting lineup: G Hayden Tapani G Keigan Baker G Tanner Brill F Grant Gibb F Ryan Littlefield Other impact players: Nate Teeters, Von Johnson, Seth Huhta, A.J. Golden, Hayden Tilton Graduated starters: Rem Bakamus, Casey Tilton, Jesse White


s the will of the opponent begins to falter, the Monarchs are turning up the heat, squeezing out turnovers and creating easy buckets to pull away. Sound familiar? Relentless pressure and a puritanical work ethic have always been staples of the Bill Bakamus era. But the quality and quantity of talent on this squad is even more noteworthy than usual. Senior guard Tanner Brill personifies this blend of old-school values with versatility that has Mark Morris eyeing a deep postseason run. “Brill has developed both an inside and outside game,” Bakamus said. “He’s able to hit the deep ball, he’s able to put the ball on the floor and he’s an outstanding defender.” Brill is just one part of the multi-faceted Monarchs machine. Blazing-fast point guard Hayden Tapani and bruising forward Ryan Littlefield — who Bakamus describes, aptly, as “like a freezer full of elk meat” — also featured prominently for last year’s district finalist. Von Johnson and Seth Huhta also have varsity experience. A young core of underclassmen coming off a 17-3 JV season are hungry to make their mark at the next level, none moreso than budding standout Grant Gibb. “There’s no one guy that’s really a bonafide star,” Bakamus said. “... We’re going to be very deep and this is a team that is really going to get along together. I’ve really been pushing camaraderie and chemistry, making the extra pass and unselfishness, and everybody has really bought in.” The Monarchs don’t have a lot of size, but that allows for in-your-face defense and constant opportunities to push the ball. The seemingly endless rotation also means that even if opponents

t Tanner Brill (top) and Von Johnson hope to lead Mark Morris back to state.

manage to keep it close, doing so comes at a grueling physical toll. “What I equate our team is as full of linebackers and safeties,” Bakamus said. “We have that kind of mentality on the basketball floor. We’re physically fit, so we’re probably going to go endline to endline a little bit more and try to create a tempo that is uncomfortable for our opponents.” Mark Morris is always comfortable with a lofty level of expectations. This is a program, after all, that has won 12 straight league titles. The uncommon level of returning depth and experience, however, means that the bar is set even higher for these Monarchs. — Matt Pentz / @TDNMattPentz

“There’s no one guy that’s really a bonafide star. ... We’re going to be very deep and this is a team that is really going to get along together.” — Bill Bakamus, Mark Morris boys head coach 

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monarchs “We’re a really young team with a lot of experience.” — Steve Rooklidge, MM girls head coach

2011-2012 record: 19-5 Postseason: Lost in regional playoffs Head coach: Steve Rooklidge, 2nd season (34-12) Last state playoff berth: 2004 Projected starting lineup: G Kourtney Eaton G Majerle Reeves G Karley Eaton F Breanna DuBois F Raimee Sluder Other impact players: Emmylee Holt, Ashley Coons, Renee Pond Graduated starters: Kelee Lambert, Kaytlin Ingman

t Karley Eaton is one of three returning starters for the state-ranked Monarchs.


here’s no escaping the excitement surrounding the Mark Morris girls basketball program. Head coach Steve Rooklidge can avoid it all he wants, preaching the virtues of taking games one at a time, but there’s bound to be hype when a defending district title winner returns so many impact players. The Monarchs won their first district championship in 11 years last season, thanks in large part to the efforts of a pair of freshmen. Twin sisters Kourtney and Karley Eaton were each named first-team all-area in their inaugural varsity season. They are the yin-and-yang of the MM offense. Kourtney is the playmaker, the point guard who appears to find more joy in setting up a score than converting it, while Karley is the pure scorer. “They make other players around them better,” Rooklidge said. “They both do that. They’re very instinctive players. ... In all respects, they stand out.” One has to squint to find this team’s weakness, but the most apparent one is a lack of

size inside, a problem exacerbated by the graduation of primary post threat Kaytlin Ingman. “(We can) not just rely on our down-low girls to get the rebounds, we need everyone else to do it too,” said junior forward Breanna DuBois, who will be called upon to fill the void inside. “That’s what I’d say we struggled with last year, not having everyone crash the boards.” What the Monarchs lack in height they make up for in depth, and in balance between youth and experience. Starters Majerle Reeves and Raimee Sluder will provide the squad with a dose of senior leadership, but every other major contributor is a junior or sophomore. “We were a really young team that did that last year,” Rooklidge said. “This year, we’re still a really young team. But we’re a really young team with a lot of experience. I don’t want to use youth as an excuse at all.” Should Rooklidge’s talented underclassmen continue their rapid ascension, he may not need any excuses. — Matt Pentz / @TDNMattPentz

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ucas Myers won’t ask Three Rivers Christian to be anything that he wasn’t as a multi-sport standout at Castle Rock. But he expects the Eagles to emulate the characteristic that most defined his playing days as a Rocket. “Just be tough,” said Myers, who took over the girls’ basketball program when Rob Hayes stepped down last spring. “That’s probably what all of my teams will be. Be physical, tough, aggressive, and out-work the other team. We’ll work on that as much as we work on skills. “These girls have really started to buy in,” he added. “We’re not the most skilled team in the world, and we’re not very deep. So we have to out-work other teams.” TRC has a strong volleyball culture, and part of Myers’ challenge is to create a similar commitment on the hardwood. The program is not stacked with experienced players; after point guard Stephanie Maldonado and off-guard Jordan Caddel, his roster ranges in experience from part-time varsity to never-touched-a-basketball. “We have eight girls,” Myers said. “Four are freshmen. Three or four have never really played basketball before. We aren’t very deep.” The abridged rotation and lack of experience means that the Eagles’ starting five will log a ton of minutes, which adds to the need for toughness (and conditioning). The experience deficit also means that Myers spends a lot of time teaching fundamentals, and less time fine-tuning strategy. That won’t prevent him from hitting opponents’ with an uptempo style.

“That’s probably what all of my teams will be. Be physical, tough, aggressive, and out-work the other team.” — Lucas Myers, Three Rivers Christian girls head coach

“The last few years, they walked up the floor and were a set-offense type of team. I’m trying to get them to push the envelope,” said Myers, who teaches at Lower Columbia College. TRC will try to exploit the speed of freshman guard Jesse Caddel — “She’s very athletic; a very raw talent,” Myers said — and emphasize transition offense when the time is right. There will be growing pains this season, but Myers takes comfort in the team’s natural chemistry, and the tone set by team leaders Maldonado and Jordan Caddel. “They have a good mesh,” he said. “They all get along really well. We have no personality problems. It’s a good group of girls who have bought into the idea of being good. They are willing to work hard.” — Ben Zimmerman / @TDNZimmy

2011-2012 record: 11-4 Postseason: Lost in district tournament Head coach: Lucas Myers, 1st season Last state playoff berth: None Projected starting lineup: PG Stephanie Maldonado G Jordan Caddel G Jesse Caddel P Nikki Schmidt P Alex Schmidt Other impact players: Kara Kadey Graduated starters: NA

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ith a brand new starting lineup, Rainier has been searching for an identity early in the season. “It’s been an ongoing process which started during the summer,” Columbians coach Joe Neill said. “We looked a little lost in the beginning, but guys started to fill into roles and figured out how to play without the guys who were a large part of our program.” All-state forward Brad Tripp graduated, as did all-league point guard Marshall Dean, and starters Erik Sutfin and Ethan McGlone. “The guys we have are figuring out ways to contribute,” Neill said. “Not just through scoring but by rebounding and playing defense. “We have the advantage of being really flexible,” he added. “There’s not a big dropoff when any of the guys go in. They all know when they go in, whether as a starter or off the bench, they have a job to do.” The Columbians’ offense is as malleable as its lineup. “We’re a mish-mash mixture of motion,” Neill said. “We’ll see a lot of zones in the league so we’ll be using a lot of inside-out and ball screens. We’ll spread the floor to attack the gaps and angles, and we’ll take advantage of our quickness.” Rainier will convert its athleticism into pressure defense. “Our interchangeable parts will allow us to press more,” Neill said. “We’ll switch up to man-to-man in the halfcourt with some trapping, and we’ll read the tempo and pace and play it to our strengths.” Neill said the Columbians hope to be in the mix for the league title and earn a state playoff berth. “We’ve made it to state the last six years, and we want to give ourselves the best opportunity in order to qualify for state,” he said. “The guys who made it to Coos Bays last year got a taste of state and they’re anxious to get back there again.” The first order of business, however, is surviving the brutal Lewis and Clark 3A League. “Top to bottom, there’s no team we can go up against that we know for sure we can beat,” Neill said. “Valley Catholic is the league favorite, Portland Adventist is tough and Clatskanie has a good group. DeLaSalle is fast, Oregon Episcopal has good guards and Warrenton and Catlin Gabel are sound. We’ll have to make sure we’re ready to go each night.”

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2011-2012 record: 20-8 Postseason: Lost at state tournament Head coach: Joe Neill, 5th season (72-38) Last state playoff berth: 2012 Projected starting lineup: PG Jordan Brittain G Wes Tripp G Devyn Heflin P Jeff Tripp P Sala Clark Other impact players: Nayt Taylor, Parker Dean, Daniel Rea, Adam Langley, J.J. Hooper Graduated starters: Brad Tripp, Marshall Dean, Erik Sutfin, Ethan McGlone

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aylea Knox is back. Kylee Crape is back. Shoot, every starter is back for the Rainier team that snagged a fifth-place trophy in last year’s state tournament. But that isn’t why Columbians coach Doug Knox, who won a state championship in 2008, is thinking “title.” Normally, Knox would avoid drawing that kind of attention, or inviting that level of pressure. He merely figures that it’s too late to chase anything else. “When you take fifth, and you have all your starters back, there’s a bull’s-eye on you already,” said Knox. “It’s already there.” Plenty of obstacles lie between Rainier and a championship, including navigation of the treacherous Lewis and Clark 3A League. The biggest challenge, however, could be an internal one. “Our biggest thing is consistency,” Knox said. “We can’t have a 22-point first quarter, then a 4-point second quarter. That’s one of our big goals. “I would hope the girls got valuable experience (in the state tournament last year),” he added. “You can always talk about it, but until you’re there and experience it, you don’t realize what it does take to succeed.” This Rainier group reminds Knox of the one that won the crown in ’08, in terms of firepower and talent. “I don’t have Mollee Schwegler,” he said, “but I have Kaylea Knox. Mollee was a point guard. Kaylea is a shooter.” Kaylea Knox has the talent to keep the Columbians in any game, to compensate for off nights by dropping 30, and generally makes up for slack and mistakes in ways that only pure scorers can. But she needs a Pippen to

2011-2012 record: 20-9 Postseason: Placed fifth in state Head coach: Doug Knox, 7th season (139-54) Last state playoff berth: 2012 Projected starting lineup: G Jaden Thurston G Kaylea Knox F Aubree Coffman F Geneva Clarke P Kylee Crape Other impact players: Dominique Petterson, Jenny Westlund, Shelby Saylors Graduated starters: None

her Jordan, and that falls on 6-foot-1 senior Kylee Crape. “She knows she needs to dominate inside. She can,” Coach Knox said of Crape. “Whether or not she does is the question. Her defense never wavers; Kylee is going to play tough defense. We just need 8 (points) and 10 (rebounds) from her. She just needs to make four or five of the 12 shots she will get right at the basket every game. “We have the guard play,” he added, referring to Kaylea Knox, Jaden Thurston, Jenny Westlund and others. “If we have that inside game, we’re definitely unbeatable.” — Ben Zimmerman / @TDNZimmy


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ow do you replace Teauna Hughes, Danica Farbo, Kelli Burgher, Kierra Kallunki and McKenzie Garlock — the starters for the 2011-12 Clatskanie Tigers? You don’t. You wish the graduates well, and begin the hard work of building a new identity centered around the next generation. “Realistically, I think we can win a few games,” Clatskanie coach Renee Wells said. “We have speed and quickness. We get along. We have good team camaraderie.” The Lewis and Clark 3A League isn’t the most hospitable environment for a rebuild, but perhaps the top-heavy league will kick-start the maturation process the Tigers must go through to get back to contender status. Clatskanie certainly won’t stand around and hope for the best. “Our goal is to push the ball and do things quickly,” Wells said. “We’re not going to be slow and methodical, because we can’t do set things. Hopefully, we can play defense and run.” The scoring burden will rest on two sets of shoulders. Guards Holly Burghardt and Shelby Weldon are among the most talented Tigers on the roster — “the scorers,” as Wells puts it. “Holly is a natural leader. She sees the floor really well, and is really good at creating things,” Wells added. “She has a good shot and is good at taking control.” Weldon is effective, with shooting mechanics only a coach could love. “Shelby is a shooter. It may be the ugliest shot you will ever see,” said Wells, “but she can make it rain. “When she is on, she’s on.” Guard Jocelyn Dines rounds out the backcourt and has significant varsity experience. She’ll be a key piece of the rebuilding puzzle that Wells will spend most of the season assembling. — Ben Zimmerman / @TDNZimmy 14

p Holly Burghardt will carry a heavy scoring burden for Clatskanie.

“We have speed and quickness. We get along. We have good team camaraderie.” — Renee Wells, Clatskanie girls head coach

2011-2012 record: 8-11 Postseason: None Head coach: Renee Wells, 3rd season (26-22) Last state playoff berth: 2010

Projected starting lineup: G Holly Burghardt G Shelby Weldon P Kori Stavig P Megan Strong G Jocelyn Dines

Other impact players: Saige Anderson Graduated starters: Teauna Hughes, Danica Farbo, Kelli Burgher, Kierra Kallunki, McKenzie Garlock

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season in review LEFT: Castle Rock players, from left, Mattie Williquette, Macee Utecht, Tierney Uhlenkott, Kenzie Dahl and Maddi Klingberg, claim the 1A fifth-place trophy.

MIDDLE: Kalama’s Josh Wall converts a layup over a Cashmere player in the state 1A boys quarterfinals.

MIDDLE RIGHT: Mark Morris’ Rem Bakamus defends Clover Park’s Ahmaad Rorie. The Monarchs fell to the Warriors in the 2A regional playoffs.

BELOW: Toutle Lake celebrates after beating Adna 48-45 to win the state 2B thirdplace trophy.

TOP: Toledo senior Kenner Rakoz (3) exults on the bench with teammates Austin Trafelet (13) and Brennan Rakoz in the final minutes elapse in the Indians’ win over Naches Valley that earned fourth place at the 1A state tourney. BOTTOM: Wahkiakum’s Lars Blix (10), Yannik Kreutter (21), Wyatt Parker (24) and John Chambers (24) helped the Mules beat Dayton to win the state 2B fourth-place trophy. 16



“We have a lot of interchangeable parts and we’re still tweaking our starting lineup. We can go big or small depending on the lineup we face.”


latskanie’s two returning starters are all-league standouts, and the roster boasts plenty of varsity experience. “We have a lot of interchangeable parts and we’re still tweaking our starting lineup,” Clatskanie coach Jim Engen said. “We can go big or small depending on the lineup we face.” Tyler Johnson is a four-year varsity senior, Kyle Sharek is a three-year varsity senior, and sophomores German George and Colten Puzey are back for their second varsity campaigns. Although the Tigers boast experience, they’re learning new positions. “The roles have changed for nearly everyone,” Engen said. “German and Morgan (Keyser) were 6-foot-1 wings last season and both are pulling duty as wings and posts. We’re also getting good minutes from seniors Travis Griffiths and Jordan Knutson in the post. All of the guys have improved and are stepping up and working hard.” Griffiths is the Tigers’ tallest player at 6-4, and Knutson is 6-3. Andrew Norgren, a 6-1 freshman, has also seen minutes in the post. “Even though we have a great post presence we like to get up and down the floor quickly,” Engen said. “This goes against my coaching philosophy, since I like a more deliberate offense. In the past I’d yell at them to slow down, but since we have great team speed they all smile at me and off they go.” Puzey and senior Shaine Warren are the Tigers’ defensive stoppers. Clatskanie has opted to compress the court while playing man-to-man defense. “Colten and Shaine have stepped up their defensive play and are asked to defend the opposing team’s best players,” Engen said. “Shaine is the hard-nosed player who is always hustling.” The path to a league championship is daunting. “We play in one of the toughest divisions in Oregon with a number of private schools,” he said. “Valley Catholic has a 6-7 transfer (Gabe Taylor) who led the Oregon 5A in scoring last season. Warrenton is good, DeLaSalle is tough and Oregon Episcopal is improved. Six of the top 11 teams in the preseason state poll are in our league. There are no off-nights in this league.”

— Rick McCorkle / @TDNRickMc

— Jim Engen, Clatskanie boys head coach

p Kyle Sharek is part of a veteran Clatskanie backcourt.

2011-2012 record: 10-13 Postseason: Lost in league playoffs Head coach: Jim Engen, 3rd season (13-31) Last state playoff berth: 1984

Projected starting lineup: PG Kyle Sharek SG Colten Puzey SF Tyler Johnson PF German George C Morgan Keyser

Other impact players: Shaine Warren, Jordan Knutson, Travis Griffiths, Andrew Norgren Graduated starters: Tyler Puzey, Kreiter Stavig


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p The guard-heavy Lassies need Sierra Richards to control the paint.


elso has followed a consistent template in recent seasons: Start slow, gradually develop an offensive identity, heat up down the stretch. With an inexperienced roster, the Lassies are in for early growing pains again this season. Whether Kelso can hit its stride and qualify for the postseason again is an open question, but it is bolstered by recent successes. “There’s an expectation that we’re going to be in the (postseason) mix,” coach Lacey DeWeert said. “... We have the right pieces, we just haven’t figured out how to put those pieces together yet.” The most promising building block is sophomore Jamilee Iddings. The slashing guard was a steady role player for the Lassies last season as a freshman and has the potential to make the leap to go-to scorer. “We’re waiting for that breakout game for (Iddings),” DeWeert said. “She’s one of those kids that you watch in the gym and see she has so much talent. The night’s going to come when that kid’s going to step in to what everybody else sees.” Though just a sophomore, Iddings has more varsity experience than the bulk of

her teammates. Center Sierra Richards was a starter last year and forward Kailynn Rae was in the rotation, but senior starters Brianna Salberg and Taylor Flick didn’t even turn out for basketball last season, and Kelso’s top bench players are only sophomores. “The level of experience, it’s just not there, and there’s no substitute for experience and being in the limelight,” DeWeert said. Lack of experience doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of talent. Richards is one of the most consistent post presences in the area, Iddings a budding star and the young core off the bench hints at a bright future. In the present, though, Kelso will take some lumps — see: back-to-back, 30-plus-point losses to state contenders Mark Morris and Prairie. The Lassies hope to fill in the gaps with a physical, hard-working style that has become a program staple. “We do the things that people don’t like to do,” DeWeert said. “We’ll get on the floor for loose basketballs. We’re going to block you out. “It’s the things that keep you in games and things that get kids invested in each other.” — Matt Pentz / @TDNMattPentz

2011-2012 record: 12-12 Postseason: Lost in bi-district tournament Head coach: Lacey DeWeert, 8th season Last state appearance: 2007 Projected starting lineup: PG Brianna Salberg SG Jamilee Iddings SF Kailynn Rae PF Taylor Flick C Sierra Richards Other impact players: Loryn Musgrove, Kady Bruce, Sara Peterson, Brianna Sorenson, Kalena Gustin Graduated starters: Natasha Marith, Taylor Pritchett, Kylynne Whitright


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aselle coach Brian Macy wishes he could clone Dustin Eaton. The Comets’ valuable sixth man last season despite missing time with a shoulder injury, Eaton is now the point guard. But if there’s a favorable matchup in the paint, Eaton becomes the Naselle post. “Dustin has made the adjustment to playing the point,” Macy said. “He played some in junior high and early in 2011-2012 record: his career at the high school level, but 10-11 we had Nick Strange so we moved him Postseason: to the frontcourt. Dustin seems to be Lost district play-in game picking things up quickly.” Head coach: Strange, an all-Pacific League Brian Macy, 9th season (103-84) standout last season, has transferred Last state playoff berth: to Astoria. 2003 “Nick did a good job taking care of the ball,” Macy said. “His transfer has hurt Projected starting lineup: us a little.” PG Dustin Eaton Two other all-leaguers — Rob Baker SG David Blaylock and Jesse Lopez — graduated, leaving G/F Sam Scrabeck the Comets with just 40 percent of their F Chandler Chapman starting lineup back. F Calvin Zimmerman Eaton isn’t the only Comet having to learn multiple positions. When he moves Other impact players: to the frontcourt, junior David Blaylock Levi Wasmundt, Jake Williams, Tony shifts from off-guard to the point. Lopez, Cole Bergeson, Adrian Corona The Comets, who have four seniors, Graduated starters: are thin when it comes to experienced Rob Baker, Jesse Lopez players. Senior sixth man Levi Wasmundt leads a bench that includes three sophomores and a junior. At 6-foot-1 each, Wasmundt and Eaton are the tallest Comets. “We’re in the process of cultivating “We have a good some depth,” Macy said. “The younger guys will need to step up for us as the chance of advancseason goes on. They’re all hard working, because we’re ers learning to mix it up with the deparan underdog who ture of our leaders.” The Comets will operate a motion comes through.” offense while continuing to work on their outside shooting. Defensively, Naselle — Brian Macy, will utilize its quickness in a pressure Naselle boys head coach man-to-man defense, hoping for turnovers that translate into fast-break baskets. It will also have to compensate for its lack of size by playing some zone. Macy believes Raymond, with all of its key players back, is the clear favorite to win the Pacific League, with Willapa Valley, North Beach, Naselle and Northwest Christian in the mix. “We’ve been in the district tournament the last few years,” he said. “We have a good chance of advancing, because we’re an underdog who comes through.”

— Rick McCorkle / @TDNRickMc




hese Mules have spent nearly a decade on the court together, building toward one ultimate goal. “We not only want to get to that championship game, we want to win the state championship this year with this team,” Wahkiakum coach Bill Olsen said. “Because they started out playing together at that third grade level and they played a lot of games. “Hopefully it’ll pay off for them.” The balanced, close-knit squad is led by one of the most talented frontcourts in the state. Lars Blix is the undisputed leader, a natural fit for the quarterback of the Mule football state qualifiers. Seniors Peter Weiler and Eli McElroy have each developed into skilled, reliable scorers. Though those three played the most significant role in Wahkiakum’s postseason push last season, the rest of the roster has been itching to take on larger roles. Each Mule provides a different facet to the attack. Players are comfortable in everything from a 3-2 matchup zone to an attacking press, and this team can mold its game to match up with any opponent. “Basketball is a different game than every other sport,” Olsen said. “Everybody has to be good at everything. If we improve a little bit each day with this group, I think we’re going to be a tough matchup for anybody.” Toughness is one of Olsen’s favorite words to describe his team. The Mules will need plenty of it to survive the rigors of the Central 2B League. The league sent three schools — Wahkiakum, Adna and Toutle Lake — to the state quarterfinals last season, and will again test its members from start to finish. “You look at the schedule and think, ‘How am I going to win that game?’” Olsen said. Even so, there is a belief within the program that this could be a special season in Cathlamet. Teams don’t come around with this level of talent and experience very often, and the bar is set sky high. “They know how to play together as a team, they share the ball,” Olsen said. “Down the line, we are probably one of the nicest, most talented teams we’ve had at Wahkiakum. “We’re as good as any team we’ve had.” — Matt Pentz / @TDNMattPentz

p Lars Blix and the Mules have state hopes. 2011-2012 record: 21-8 Postseason: Placed fourth at state Head coach: Bill Olsen, 33rd season Projected starting lineup: G Shane Souvenir G Seth Doumit G/F Peter Weiler F Lars Blix C Eli McElroy Other impact players: Steven Doumit, Travis Wegdahl, Austin Good, Dallas Peacock Graduated starters: Wyatt Parker, John Chambers, Brett Chaput

“We’re as good as any team we’ve had.” — Bill Olsen, Wahkiankum boys head coach



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2011-2012 record: 7-16 Postseason: Lost at district tournament Head coach: Rob Garrett, 1st season Last state playoff berth: 2010 Projected starting lineup: PG Maya Stanley G/F Hailey Quigley G/F Baylee Olsen P Sam Boyce P Haylee Budd Other impact players: Kaylee Bryant, Rachel Patching, Tori Wegdahl, Madison LaBerge Graduated starters: Brieanna Olsen, Brianne Helms, Blaine Land

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new coach, players in different positions and a search for an offensive identity are among the changes Wahkiakum faces. Gone are former coach Tiffany Niemeyer, all-league scoring threat Brieanna Olsen and starters Brianne Helms and Blaine Land. In their places are longtime Wahkiakum boys’ assistant coach Rob Garrett, and bench players Baylee Olsen, Sam Boyce and Hailey Quigley. “Baylee has stepped up her offensive production and scored 12 points against a tough Winlock defense,” Garrett said. “Maya Stanley has also played well and Sam Boyce has also stepped up. All of the girls have been positive during the transition.” Olsen, a wing last season, retained that position this season. Others have learned new roles. Stanley, a former small forward, has shifted to point guard. Boyce has transitioned from the backcourt to the high post, and Haylee Budd has moved from forward to low post. The adaptation process has been positive. Boyce scored 20 points in a victory over South

Bend, and Stanley netted 18 points in a Central 2B League win over Winlock. Kaylee Bryant has also proven to be a key reserve in the Mules’ frontcourt. “We get a lot of offense out of the pushing pace of our defense,” Garrett said. “We only fast break when we press defensively, and we set up in a halfcourt offense when the other team scores.” When opposing teams get past the Mules’ backcourt press, they will either drop back into a man-to-man or zone depending on who they’re playing. “We haven’t really established any longterm goals,” Garrett said. “We usually discuss goals we want to try for in each game.” The Mules missed going to state last season after advancing in 2010, and they’re anxious to make another appearance in Spokane. “We’d like to finish at least third in the league and advance to the district tournament,” Garrett said. “The league’s going to be tough. Pe Ell and Napavine will be at the top of the league and Morton/White Pass is looking tough. I believe it’ll be between them, us and Onalaska for third, fourth and fifth place.”

— Rick McCorkle / @TDNRickMc




aselle coach Russ Hickman is patiently waiting, hoping someone steps up to fill the scoring void left by the graduation of three-time league MVP Carley Kitzman, who averaged nearly 20 points and 10 rebounds as a senior. “We have a syndrome where no one has stepped up yet,” Hickman said. “We have a couple kids who can score, but it’s been a struggle because we haven’t found the dynamic.” The Comets were also dealt a blow when frontcourt starter Ciara Sandell injured her knee during a nonleague game. It’s not known when — or if she’ll return. “Ciara is the heart and soul of this team,” Hickman said. “She’s definitely missed.” Depth is a concern. Naselle didn’t have enough players to field a junior varsity team during the preseason. “The class sizes coming up are smaller,” Hickman said. “The next few years, there aren’t more than four girls (per) class. We’ve got our principal actively recruiting in China.” A pair of freshmen — Kendra Leeland and Emily Bjornsgaard — are the Comets’ top two frontcourt reserves. “We’re having a dilemma finding girls to fill roles,” Hickman said. “Part of the problem is that we have a lot of green players. “We haven’t spent that much time teaching defense,” he added. “We’ve worked a lot on shooting and putting the ball in the basket. They’re all really good kids, it’s just that a lot of them aren’t basketball players.” Naselle will use an off-shoot of a passing game or a zone offense depending on the defense it faces. “It’s not an X and O problem, it’s more of a lack of confidence,” Hickman said. “We’ll adjust as they become more comfortable.” The defense will employ a traditional 1-2-2 zone. “Occasionally we’ll jump out and go into a man-to-man defense to throw off the opposing team,” he said. “We’ve been playing well defensively this season.” Hickman tabbed Raymond, Willapa Valley and South Bend as the league’s top contenders. “We have some general goals for the season, including playing hard and never giving up,” he said. “We don’t have any other set standards for the season, but we have set defensive goals for each game.”

— Rick McCorkle / @TDNRickMc

p Naselle will look to Katie Green to help pick up the scoring slack.

2011-2012 record: 9-13 Postseason: Lost at district tournament Head coach: Russ Hickman, 4th season (35-32) Last state playoff berth: 2003

Projected starting lineup: PG Katie Green G/F Kayti Nelson G/F Haley Pine P Makenzie Matthews P Kirsten Scrabeck

Other impact players: Kendra Leeland, Emily Bjornsgaard Graduated starters: Carley Kitzman

“The next few years, there aren’t more than four girls (per) class. We’ve got our principal actively recruiting in China.” — Russ Hickman, Naselle girls head coach 23




pposing defenses will have to defend a new-look offense when taking the court against Ilwaco this season. No longer can they gear up to stop an attack heavily-weighted around one all-league player. They must now deal with a diversified game plan and several scoring options. “We were more one-dimensional in our offensive attack last season with Elleigh Kaino at the point,” Ilwaco coach Ned Bittner. “We’re a more balanced offense this season with Cindy Pacheco and Jasmine Coffin on the wings. We’re not relying on one person for most of our scoring.” Ilwaco employs a small but quick starting lineup, with no player taller than 5-foot-8. Senior Grace McPhail takes over at the point, and is joined by senior guard Amanda Bell, senior post Jackie Smith and all-Southwest 1A Trico Division performer Pacheco. McPhail has shown poise in her new position as both a ballhandler and shooter, and Pacheco and Coffin are adept at hitting perimeter shots. Bell’s strength is slashing through defenders to the basket, and Smith has shown consistent improvement in the paint. Top Fishermen reserves include junior post Alicia Trusty and freshman guard Hannah Ellsworth, a transfer from Naselle. Junior McKenzie Dalton and sophomore Valerie Lindstrom have also contributed key reserve minutes in early nonleague games. Defensively, Ilwaco will switch between man-to-man and zone defenses depending on the opposing offense it faces. Pressing traps will also be employed at strategic moments in the game. Ilwaco’s goals include challenging for the league title and a berth to regionals. “Every year we want to compete for the league title, and it’s realistic to think we can finish in the top four,” Bittner said. “We have a 10-team league, and Castle Rock, Woodland, Kalama, Stevenson and La Center will also be in the mix challenging for the league title and a first round bye into district. “I believe whoever wins the league will have at least one loss. It’ll be interesting to see how we end up after beating up on each other.”

— Rick McCorkle / @TDNRickMc 24

p Cindy Pacheco is a key part of Ilwaco’s offense.

2011-2012 record: 13-10 Postseason: Lost at district tournament Head coach: Ned Bittner, 9th season (108-82) Last state playoff berth: 2011 Projected starting lineup: PG Grace McPhail SG Amanda Bell G/F Cindy Pacheco G/F Jasmine Coffin P Jackie Smith Other impact players: Alicia Trusty, Hannah Ellsworth Graduated starters: Elleigh Kaino, Logan Manecke, Kelli Grieve

“We’re a more balanced offense this season with Cindy Pacheco and Jasmine Coffin on the wings. We’re not relying on one person for most of our scoring.” — Ned Bittner, Ilwaco girls head coach

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ne veteran can make a big difference on a team packed with younger players, and its particularly helpful when that veteran is a point guard. “Josh Caddel usually plays 28 to 30 minutes per game for us,” Three Rivers Christian coach James Murphy said of the returning Columbia Valley 1B League co-Most Valuable Player. “There’s a 2011-2012 record: lot of pressure on him, but 12-8 he’s worked hard in the offseason and can Postseason: handle it.” Lost at district tournament Caddel moved from shooting guard to the Head coach: point, but isn’t the only TRC all-leaguer learning James Murphy, 3rd season (17-18) a new position. Ian Hoffman, who earned allLast state playoff berth: league honorable mention honors in the post, None will now face the basket as the Eagles’ power forward. Projected starting lineup: A pair of sophomore guards — Zach MartiPG Josh Caddel nez and Seth Carns — have stepped up to ease SG Zach Martinez Caddel’s scoring burden. SF Karsten Rentner “Seth has been a pleasant surprise as a kid PF Ian Hoffman with some pop off the bench,” Murphy said. “He’s hit some real big-time shots for us, and C Caleb Moore gives us another guard with quickness, the ability to drive to the hoop and hit pull-up jumpers. Other impact players: “We have four 6-footers so we can go with a Seth Carns taller lineup for inside matchups,” he said. “We Graduated starters: can also go with a smaller lineup if we have to. Sean Powell, Brady Backstrom Whichever way we go there’s always one constant, and that’s Josh at point guard.” The Eagles’ offense features plenty of motion, with three players manning the perim“We have four eter. 6-footers so we can “If we play against man-to-man defense we’ll ball screen a lot and run cutters off the post,” go with a taller lineup he said. “We don’t shoot a lot of 3-pointers for inside matchups. because we don’t have the firepower, so we really try to attack the basket with more of a We can also go with motion offense.” a smaller lineup if Murphy prefers a man-to-man defense. “It’s our defensive staple but it’s more of a we have to. We have sagging man-to-man,” he said. “We don’t have a good chance of a lot of quickness so we try to play the gaps advancing, because and work hard to keep the ball out of the paint. Occasionally we’ll go into a halfcourt trap for a we’re an underdog change of pace.” who comes through.” The Eagles hope to be playing their best basketball in mid-February. — James Murphy, “We want to continue to improve so we’re Three Rivers Christian ready for the district tournament,” Murphy boys head coach said. “We’d love to make it to state.” Murphy sees Columbia Adventist as the Eagles’ biggest obstacle in their quest for a league crown. “Columbia Adventist has been to state before and has seven seniors,” he said. “If we can beat them, we can win the league.”

— Rick McCorkle / @TDNRickMc


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2011-2012 record: 7-12 Postseason: Lost district play-in game Head coach: Brynan Shipley, 3rd season (7-32) Last state playoff berth: 2007


he Chinooks are just two years removed from the rock-bottom of a winless season. That was Brynan Shipley’s first year as head coach. She knows that while this season is unlikely to see Kalama at the top of the mountain, the program is on a slow but steady rise. “Next year will be huge for us,” said Shipley, who retains the services of the top seven players from her 2011-12 rotation. “This is still a part of the climb up.” Shipley will oversee a small, tight-knit group anchored by that seven-player core. Kalama is still young, too, with just one senior, forward Jordyn Vandenberg. “The girls are quick and athletic, somewhat making up for the (lack of) size down low,” Shipley wrote in an email. “We hope to play an up-tempo, pressure-style defense (that makes) it fun to coach, play and watch.” The wins will come, but not necessarily in bunches, Shipley warns. The focus will be on improvement, and on continuing the upward trajectory that started last year, the season ending one win shy of a district playoff berth. “Everyone wants to win games, but with this group ... it is also very important to us to continue to show improvement, build character and make lasting memories,” Shipley wrote.

That’s not to imply that the Chinooks won’t be competitive. Sophomore Haley Bannister, a second-team all-league and all-area pick last year, is one of the top players in the Trico. Shipley plans on using her best player creatively. “If we put her down low, she’ll get more boards and have more chances,” Shipley said. “She can jump like crazy. She’s a great rebounder. She’s not going to be stuck there; she’s versatile. But on any given night, she might go from point (guard) to post.” Kalama’s point of emphasis this season is “competitiveness,” she added. “We have trouble scoring. We start slow. I’d like to start the first half as strong as we finish most second halves.” To compensate, the Chinooks will leverage their athleticism. “We have a great bunch of athletes, but not as many sharpshooters,” said Shipley. “That has to do with age, maturity, and obviously experience. But we have athletes that give us the ability to try different defenses. I don’t like to sit back in a boring ol’ 2-3 zone. “I like up-tempo basketball,” she added. “Fast basketball.” — Ben Zimmerman / @TDNZimmy




f you’re a basketball junkie, do yourself a favor: Circle January 24 on your calendar. That’s Round II of the Toledo-Kalama rivalry, a showdown that will help gauge whether the Chinooks are bona fide state contenders. “It’s going to be fun,” Kalama coach Jody Stemkoski said. “The last few years we’ve had some pretty good battles.” Toledo’s recent success makes it the Trico measuring stick for the rest of the league, and Kalama is no exception. Last season, the Indians took the first round of the rivalry decisively, but were pushed to overtime on their own floor in the return leg. The Chinooks stunned the title favorites in the district semifinals, but Toledo returned the favor with a state tournament rout. The series annually has Trico title implications. This year, it could play a role in settling the state championship race. Kalama returns four of five starters from a season ago, and no one sums up the experienced, versatile Chinooks better than threeyear starter Josh Wall. “Josh is a very headsy young man who has spent a lot of time working on his game,” Stemkoski said. “He’s gotten a lot stronger through the offseason. He brings quite a bit of scoring and he’s the one who helps keep everything calm.” Scrappy, tough-as-nails point guard Tanner Vossen, another multi-year starter, adds some grit to the squad. 6-foot-5 forward Jared Neiman fits right into Kalama’s up-tempo style with his ability to run the floor like a guard. Factor in scoring machine Elijah Bannister, defensive specialist Jared Shagool and a roster that can go 10 deep, and you’ve got a many-headed monster for opponents to deal with. “If you’re trying to match up with us and trying to defend, normally you can find one or two that you have to take away but we have probably four or five that can make plays,” Stemkoski said. “It’d be nice to have four or five guys averaging in double digits. It’s a real possibility.” For all its balance, Kalama is lacking a defined go-to scorer. Departed senior Ethan Oomittuk was the 2011-12 closer, a role the Chinooks will have to fill quickly. Kalama understands the fickle nature of momentum, having overcome a slow start last year with a frantic late push. “They seem to have a little bit of a fire burning to hopefully get back over (to Yakima), but there are a lot of things that have to work out your way to be able to do that,” Stemkoski said. — Matt Pentz / @TDNMattPentz

“Normally you can find one or two that you have to take away but we have probably four or five that can make plays.” — Jody Stemkoski, Kalama boys head coach

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p Josh Wall and the deep Chinooks are thinking championship. 2011-2012 record: 16-10 Postseason: Lost at state tournament Head coach: Jody Stemkoski (109-104) Projected starting lineup: G Tanner Vossen G Elijah Bannister G Josh Wall F Jared Shagool F Jared Neiman Other impact players: Dalton Carter, Austin Vaughn, Seth Freeman, Harley Gates, Elias Coulson Graduated starters: Ethan Oomittuk

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fishermen 2011-2012 record: 7-14 Postseason: Lost district play-in game Head coach: Kip Meinhardt, 5th season (52-48) Last state playoff berth: 2011 Projected starting lineup: PG Ross Kukula SG Kenneth Sheldon SF Eric McMillan PF Clark Wilson P Kienyn Adams Other impact players: NA Graduated starters: Ryan Tapio, Kasey Plato

Ross Kukula u is one of the most dangerous outside shooters in the Trico.


or Ilwaco, the good news is it returns its top two scorers from last season. The bad news? The Fishermen are inexperienced beyond that duo, which combined to average 23 points per game last season. “Ross Kukula and Clark Wilson could start on any team in the league,” Ilwaco coach Kip Meinhardt said. “Outside of them we have a lot of sophomores who should be playing junior varsity ball this season, and we don’t have a post player for other teams to focus on.” Meinhardt is looking for others to step up and help shoulder the scoring load. “We’re looking for a third and fourth scorer,” he said. “We’ve had six guys score in a game once, and most of the time its only four.” Until he finds the optimal scoring combination, expect Meinhardt to keep tinkering. 28

“We haven’t had the same starters twice in five games. We’re trying to find the right chemistry,” he said. “We have a lot of kids learning but they have to learn quickly.” Sophomores Kenneth Sheldon and Tyler Milligan have shown glimpses of becoming offensive threats. “Kenneth is coming around and has had solid scoring for a sophomore,” Meinhardt said. “Tyler is a skinny, lanky kid with a nose for the ball. “Realistically we have three scorers now with Kenneth, and Tyler is coming around as a fourth. The key for us is having guys who will put in time in the gym outside of the season.” The Fishermen are still trying to find their offensive identity. “We’re not a good halfcourt team because we don’t have enough scorers,” Meinhardt said. “We want to fast break and get the ball

out in transition, but we’ve been seeing a lot of decent defenses which tend to slow that down. “We’ve been playing better defensively and we’ll do all right depending on the matchup,” he added. “We have some size with Wilson and Kienyn Adams (at 6-foot-3), but we also have players who are 5-5.” Meinhardt believes the Fishermen can grab one of the Trico’s six district playoff berths. He figures Toledo, Kalama, Castle Rock, Woodland and La Center will claim five of those berths. That leaves the Fishermen contending against King’s Way, Seton Catholic, Stevenson and White Salmon. “If we can sweep the last four teams and maybe steal a couple at home against the top five teams, we can reach the district tournament,” said Meinhardt.

— Rick McCorkle / @TDNRickMc

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2011-2012 record: 22-5 Postseason: Placed third at state Head coach: Eric Swanson (399-132)

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Projected starting lineup: G Brendan Farley G Radley Risner G Dreland Allen F Tyler Wherry F Tyler York

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p Tyler York is a crucial frontcourt player for the Ducks.


ne of the old maxims in basketball is that traditionally powerful programs like Toutle Lake don’t rebuild, they reload. Facing the task of replacing the entire starting lineup, the Ducks will put that saying to the test. Toutle Lake made one of the greatest postseason runs in school history a season ago. Forwards Anthony Heintzman and Zack Hayes were named first-team all-area as the focal points of a well-rounded, experienced squad that reached the state semifinals. Though they lost there, the Ducks rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit in the consolation game to clinch third place. One of the lasting images from that night was a tearful head coach Eric Swanson sending off his seven seniors. “A lot of those kids played varsity for three years,” Swanson said. “When you lose a bunch of seniors like that, you’ve got some big holes to fill. We’ve got some guys that can step up and fill holes, too. But it’s going to take a little while.” Swanson will be leaning on a trio of returning seniors with varsity experience to take leading roles. Speedster guard Dreland Allen gives the Ducks the option to push tempo and adds an extra nuance to the offense. But it is the power

and grit of swingmen Tyler Wherry and Tyler York that personify the virtues that Toutle Lake will rely on to grind out wins. Helping to ease the shock of the heavy turnover is the no-nonsense culture within the program, ingrained through years of success. “It helps,” Swanson said. “For the most part, the kids within our program know what is to be expected. They know when they come to the gym, it’s time to come to work. They know to put in time in the offseason in the weight room and in the gym.” Even so, the transition will take some time. Newcomer Anthony Nusbaum has shown flashes of promise in the post, and freshman guard Radley Risner is a building block for the future. Offensive fluency will take some time to develop, but the Ducks should get better as the season progresses. Don’t expect the gauntlet of Central 2B opponents and its state contenders, such as Wahkiakum and Morton/White Pass to wait around for Toutle Lake to find its footing, though. These Ducks will need to grow up fast. “With our league, as tough as it is, you don’t want to get so far down that you don’t make the postseason,” Swanson said. — Matt Pentz / @TDNMattPentz


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2011-2012 record: 15-12 Postseason: Lost in regionals Head coach: Larry Hoff, 8th season (129-64) Last state playoff berth: 2011 Projected starting lineup: G/F Breezy Hockett G Erika Halverson G Bailey Hockett G Samantha Woodley P Maddie Adams Other impact players: Marissa Gardner (out with back injury), Kyla Kent, Makala Gardner Graduated starters: Shelby Wason

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outle Lake’s plans for early March are the same as usual. “Our sights are always set on Spokane, of course,” Ducks coach Larry Hoff said. “We’ve got the skill. We just need to blend. We have a nice mixture of youth and experience.” Toutle’s seniors have done a nice job of “showing younger kids the way,” he added. “They’ve shown hot to work hard, to get after it, how to practice.” The senior class shrank from six to three this year. Breezy Hockett, Erika Halverson and super-sixth-woman Kyla Kent are back, reprising substantial roles. But a trio of other seniors decided to forego their last hurrah for “health and other reasons,” Hoff said. So be it. The varsity debuts of younger players will simply be accelerated. “We’re going to be fine,” said Hoff. “I just have two other freshmen that kind of get thrown in the fire a little earlier than anticipated. One of them, starting guard Samantha Woodley, has already flashed all-league potential, leading the Ducks in scoring in several

early games. “Samantha is going to be okay,” said Hoff, emphasizing “okay” for sarcastic affect. “She has a nice skill set.” Guard Bailey Hockett is an accomplished ball-handler and scorer, and Maddie Adams, Marissa Gardner and Makala Gardner give Hoff a deep, experienced rotation — which he’ll need in the shark-infested waters of the Central 2B League. “We seem to be a pretty good rebounding team. We’re lanky,” he said. “We shoot the ball pretty well.” Hoff expects a “dogfight” at the top of the league, with Napavine and Pe Ell out front, newcomer Onalaska bringing “a nice little tradition” down from 1A and Morton/ White Pass “in the mix.” “With this group, when you have a bunch of seniors, you know what you’re going to get,” said Hoff. “We’re excited about this group. It’s young and exuberant. “Once we learn to play defense the way we’re used to, we’ll be all right. Offensively, we’re as good as we’ve been in a long time.” — Ben Zimmerman / @TDNZimmy

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“They’ve always known they could compete at that level in volleyball, but I don’t think they really believed that they could in basketball, until last year.”

rockets 2011-2012 record: 24-3 Postseason: Placed fifth at state Head coach: Don Misner (64-31)

Projected starting lineup: PG Macee Utecht SG Nicole Seidl SF Maddi Seidl PF Tierney Uhlenkott C Kenzie Dahl

— Don Misner, CR girls head coach

Other impact players: Harley Desarmo, Danielle Kerbaugh, Tarin Miller, Maddi Williquette Graduated starters: Maddi Klingberg

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railing by five entering the fourth quarter in a Class 1A regional playoff, Castle Rock was eight minutes away from squandering a one-loss regular season with a premature playoff exit. When the Rockets broke the huddle, Kenzie Dahl turned around with a message for head coach Don Misner. “Don’t worry, coach,” she said. “We got this one.” And they did, coming from behind to beat Bellevue Christian and sparking a run into the late stages of the state tournament. It was a flashpoint that summarizes these Rockets — poised, tested and, above all, supremely confident. The self-assurance stems from the fact that this group of seniors has been hugely successful in multiple sports. Every member of the Rockets’ starting lineup played a leading role for the volleyball team that won the state title last month. Such triumphs have spawned a winning attitude. “It makes all the difference in the world,” Misner said. “They’ve seen it before, they’ve done it before. ... They believe that they’ll give themselves every chance to win.” Leading the way is senior Maddi Seidl. It’s hard to pick a standout from a group

t Reigning Trico MVP Macee Utecht is back for the talented Rockets.

whose successes have been so intertwined — point guard Macee Utecht was the Southwest 1A Trico Division MVP last season, and all-state volleyball player Tierney Uhlenkott can light it up on the basketball court — but Seidl’s supernatural rebounding ability sets her apart. Seidl entered this season with 1,108 career boards, having already shattered the school record midway through her junior year. “She’s just tenacious,” Misner said. “Things you can’t teach: She understands the angles. She’s a setter in volleyball, so her hands never come down.” Seidl averaged more than 15 rebounds per game in the state tournament as the Rockets reached the semifinals. Castle Rock was agonizingly close to the title game, as Uhlenkott’s potentially game-winning tip-in the closing seconds of regulation bounced off and the Rockets lost in overtime. Despite the disappointing conclusion, the run fueled the fire for an already loaded squad. Castle Rock believes it can go toe-to-toe with the best. “They’ve always known they could compete at that level in volleyball,” Misner said, “but I don’t think they really believed that they could in basketball, until last year.” — Matt Pentz / @TDNMattPentz

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“We have guys that are used to winning, not just in our sport but in other sports.”




he Hilanders won’t deny it: Last year was rough. Kelso took its lumps, in close games and in routs, following up a promising start with 13 straight losses to finish the season. “It was a long year,” Hilanders coach Joe Kinch said. “... (We) certainly competed hard and played, and we were in a lot of games, but we fell short too many times.” Six of Kelso’s defeats came by 10 points or fewer. A trio of talented guards inspires hope that this year’s team can turn some of those close losses into confidence-building victories. The early signs are promising. Aaron Adams drilled a late 3-pointer to hold off a Yelm rally on opening night. It was a banner night for the backcourt of Adams, Cobi Johnson and Seth Gillihan, who combined for 62 of the 70 Hilander points in the win. Each guard provides a different skill set. Johnson is more of a spot-up shooter, Gillihan a slasher and Adams a hybrid of the two. All three are adept at creating scoring opportunities for teammates. For Kelso to drastically improve its win total, however, it must also rely on a diminutive frontline to play above its size. No Hilander stands taller than 6-foot-2, and Kinch is shuffling through a rotating cast at the power forward and center spots until he finds an effective formula. No matter which post players eventually get the nod, they will face some towering challenges among the trees of the Greater St. Helens 3A League. “If we can hold our own in there and rebound the ball somewhat efficiently, I think those three guards, Cobi, Seth and Aaron, can shoot it well enough to keep us in games,” Kinch said.

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— Joe Kinch, Kelso boys head coach

t Cobi Johnson’s versatility will help Kelso navigate the GSHL 3A.

The Hilanders are also drawing some inspiration from across the school parking lot at Schroeder Field. Not much was expected from the Kelso football team at the beginning of its season, either. But the gridiron Hilanders tripled their win total and made it to the state tournament, and it is hoped that quarterbackturned-swingman Adams and others can spark a similar renaissance on the hardwood. “(Football) had a great year and we get a couple of those kids,” Kinch said. “We have guys that are used to winning, not just in our sport but in other sports. We anticipate that carrying over this year.” — Matt Pentz / @TDNMattPentz

2011-2012 record: 3-17 Postseason: None Head coach: Joe Kinch, 14th season (121-163) Last state playoff berth: 1993 Projected starting lineup: G Seth Gillihan G Aaron Adams G Cobi Johnson F Zach Cummings F Tyler Covel Other impact players: Mike Croy, Justin Roberts, Cole Leppert Graduated starters: Corbin Sims, Joe Williams, Mike Giles

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castle rock

“We have some talented younger players to go with our experienced players. On any given night we can compete with anyone, but there’s also room for growth.”


— Kevin Johnson, Castle Rock boys head coach

2011-2012 record: 12-13 Postseason: Lost at district tournament Head coach: Kevin Johnson, 10th season (132-77) Last state playoff berth: 2009 Projected starting lineup: PG Cale Johnson G Ty Johnson G/F Nate Williamson F Austin Moore F Austin Elf Other impact players: Jacob Rahn, Brock Johnson, Mason Klingberg, Jesse Althauser Graduated starters: Will Dolan, Austin Gehring



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p Cale Johnson is scoring machine for Castle Rock.


ith one proven scorer and a number of talented underclassmen, the Castle Rock believes it can be one of the elite teams in the Southwest 1A Trico Division. The Rockets graduated Will Dolan, who earned first-team all-league honors averaging 19 points per game, but they return all-league senior point guard Cale Johnson and his 15 ppg. “Cale had a big game in our season-opener with 28 points, and we have a group capable of contributing points more than we have in the last few years,” CR coach Kevin Johnson. “Hopefully we can fill the void better collectively than in the past. We can be competitive but we’re also unproven.” The roster is full of Johnson siblings, including sophomore Ty and freshman Brock. The Rockets also have a good balance of upperclassmen and younger players. “We have some talented younger players to go with our experienced players,” Coach Johnson said. “On any given night we can compete with anyone, but there’s also room for growth.” The undersized Rockets will utilize a fastbreak offense. “We want to play fast when the opportu-

nity presents itself,” Johnson said. “We also have to defend and rebound, and it’s hard to run when you’re taking the ball out of the net. There are some teams we can’t get in a track meet with, so we’ll have to learn versatility, which includes game and clock management. “We’ll have to find ways to keep teams from getting extra possessions,” he added. “We can pressure in the frontcourt and backcourt and disrupt in the halfcourt but we won’t necessarily do a lot of pressing. It’s hard to do a lot of trapping with two 5-foot-8 guys.” Johnson believes the Trico has one of the toughest lineups he’s seen in several years. “Kalama and Toledo are legitimate top 10 teams in the state,” he said. “Kalama is probably the most talented team with older players who are long and athletic. La Center brings everyone back from a talented team last season, and Woodland, Seton Catholic and King’s Way are all new to the league.” Johnson expects a dogfight for the league’s six district berths. “Every team is competitive and we’ll have to show to play every game,” he said. “It’s a lot more fun when every night is a big game.”

— Rick McCorkle / @TDNRickMc


indians 2011-2012 record: 2-18 Postseason: Did not qualify Head coach: J.B. Ewers, 3rd season (10-31) Last state playoff berth: 2010 Projected starting lineup: G Kaelyn Whipp G Victoria Tjemsland G Chaselin Rice P Casee Rice P Denacia Oberg Other impact players: Courtney Moore, Hayle Tauscher Graduated starters: Tiffany Kinzie, Amy Trujillo, Kacey Hellen


etween Toledo and a programtransforming breakthrough stands a simple but formidable obstacle. Until the Indians prove they can beat the press, teams will press them. “We’re struggling early on, because every team is pressing us,” said Toledo coach J.B. Ewers. “Once we figure that out, we’ll be doing all right. Our guard play just isn’t where it needs to be. If we can’t get the ball up the court to the people that can put the ball in the basket, we’re going to struggle. “Once we can handle the pressure and the press, we’ll do so much better.” When that moment arrives — could be this season, might take a year — the Indians’ promising, talented frontcourt crew could explode. 20-point nights and consistent double-doubles become a plausible reality. Until then, a group headlined by sophomore twins Casee and Chaselin Rice will have to temper their scorer’s mentality and help handle the ball-handling slack. Freshman reserve Haley Tauscher and junior starter Denacia Oberg are 5-foot-9 and buttress the relatively strong frontcourt phase of the Toledo attack. “Our posts are having to be incorporated into our press-breaker,” Ewers said, “which takes away from what they do best.” The forwards and centers will continue chipping in while the backcourt soldiers on. “It’s a combination of mental and physical

p Casee Rice (34) has the potential to be a double-double machine for Toledo.

ability. All three of the guards I’m starting have never started before,” said Ewers. “It’s all new. The three kids that (graduated) were the three starting guards last year.” That dynamic is the main reason that this could be Part 2 of a rebuilding process, with last year forming Part 1. Toledo’s 14-player varsity roster has one senior and four juniors. Everyone else has more than 50 percent of her

high school career ahead of her. “The Rices are sophomores. (Courtney) Moore and Tauscher are freshmen,” said Ewers, mention four players who will log extensive varsity time. “This is a group that will be together for the next two years. This year is figuring things out, improving every game. Next year, I hope to put us back on the map.” — Ben Zimmerman / @TDNZimmy


the daily news

all-area teams Boys First team

First team

Brennan Rakoz

Maddi Seidl


Tanner Brill

Mark Morris

Austin Trafelet Toledo

Aaron Adams (pictured) Kelso

Tyler Johnson Clatskanie

Second team

Cale Johnson Castle Rock

Lars Blix Wahkiakum

Jared Shagool Kalama

Elijah Bannister Kalama

Blake Wood Toledo

Third team

Josh Wall Kalama

Ryan Littlefield Mark Morris

Cobi Johnson Kelso

Sam Scrabeck Naselle

Clark Wilson 38



Castle Rock

Kaylea Knox Rainier

Kourtney Eaton Mark Morris (pictured)

Karley Eaton Mark Morris

Macee Utecht Castle Rock

Second team

Sarah Luedke R.A. Long

Sidra Malik Woodland

Haley Bannister Kalama

Samantha Woodley Toutle Lake

Tierney Uhlenkott Castle Rock

Third team

Jamilee Iddings Kelso

Bailey Hockett Toutle Lake

Breanna Dubois Mark Morris

Cindy Pacheco Ilwaco

Majerle Reeves Mark Morris



p Sidra Malik is the leader of Woodland’s high-octane offense.

2011-2012 record: 15-8 Postseason: Lost in district tournament Head coach: Glen Flanagan, 16th season (271-95) Last state playoff berth: 2006 Projected starting lineup: G Sidra Malik G Madison Sorensen G Gracey Trice G/F Jessica Flanagan F McKenna Mulder Other impact players: Amber Malik, Kendall Grell, Dazhia Smith Graduated starters: Taylor McCullough, Emily Smith, Brianne Koering


ost programs with a history of success like Woodland’s simply plug returning impact players into an existing framework. Faced with major personnel turnover and an inexperienced roster, however, the Beavers are rethinking their style of play. “Last year, we had three 6-footers, so I thought we would be kind of the same team,” coach Glen Flanagan said. “But it is just a different dynamic. “It’s going to be a different identity. We’re going to be a little more up-tempo.” The key to the fast-paced attack is point guard Sidra Malik. The sophomore is the orchestrator on the offensive end and the facilitator at the top of the Woodland zone press on the other. 6-foot-1 sophomore McKenna Mulder is the lone true post player on the roster, while other Beavers are being shifted around to fit the needs of the altered system. Jessica Flanagan and Madison Sorensen are guards by trade, but will be spending more time in the post this season.

Unfamiliarity in new roles was apparent in the season opener against Ridgefield, as the Beavers shot less than 35 percent from the floor. Woodland’s swarming press forced 38 turnovers to eke out the win. “That’s what we’re going to have to do this year, is play pressure D,” Flanagan said. “We obviously can’t make a basket, can’t make a free throw, can’t make a lay-in. Our whole thing is pressure D.” Growing pains are to be expected from a squad with no seniors and just a pair of juniors. The starting lineup consists of one junior, three sophomores and a freshman, though their inexperience at this level is tempered, in part, by years spent together on youth courts. “We each play on a tournament team together, all five of us,” Malik said. “We’ve been playing since we were little together. ... We work together good so it pays off.” The payoff may not be immediate, but this is a squad building for the future. — Matt Pentz / @TDNMattPentz





eet the new Beavs, same as the old Beavs. With apologies to Pete Townshend, Woodland’s familiar cast of characters won’t accept the status quo as, starting lineup intact, it plunges into the unfamiliar territory of a new league. Woodland coach Aaron Shepherd’s research into the Southwest Trico 1A Division began with a scouring of a district tournament program. The rest of his education will come on the fly, as the Beavers prime themselves for the warp-jump from also-ran to contender in new gyms against new opponents after new bus rides. “I don’t know the 1A league.” Shepherd said. “We’re not dropping down and thinking we’re going to dominate. We haven’t proved anything. Dropping down means nothing. We don’t think it’s an advantage at all.” In a sense, where the Beavers are as a program comes down to Woodland itself, not league geography. Starters Tannyr Knight, Tanner Huddleston, Troy Flanagan, Kyle Hendrix and Logan Piper won six games at the 2A level last season. They had ground-breaking success against the 2A establishment, beating R.A. Long and pushing Hockinson to the brink. Woodland’s returning starters are young — four juniors and a sophomore — but experienced, as are sixth man Harley Bean and veteran reserves Henry Warndahl and Ryan Sturdivan. Sprinkle in athletic newcomer Anthony Dizon, and Shepherd’s confidence is high, regardless of which league or classification bars the way. “Huddleston is the best shooter in the region. I would take him over anyone,” said Shepherd, noting that the junior sharpshooter hit 40 percent of his 3-pointers last year, making a school-record 61. “Knight came into his own over the summer. Can can shoot and score, but he has become a facilitator. “Flanagan is a defensive stopper that can score. He can shoot. He can drive. He is going to do some big things. Hendrix is only 6-1, but he’s a crafty lefty and a tough matchup. He was a first-team all-league tight end in football. He can guard bigger guys. “Piper is our captain, our glue guy. He does the dirty work. When we won the small-school team camp tournament at Gonzaga this summer, he was the driving force behind that.” “Warndahl might be our best defensive player. Bean is a spark off the bench. Dizon has been a big surprise. “We’ll play eight guys,” Shepherd added, “and there’s not much drop-off.” — Ben Zimmerman / @TDNZimmy 40

p Tanner Huddleston set a school record for 3-pointers made last season.

2011-2012 record: 6-14 Postseason: None Head coach: Aaron Shepherd, 5th season (17-63) Last state playoff berth: 2004 Projected starting lineup: PG Tannyr Knight SG Tanner Huddleston SF Troy Flanagan PF Kyle Hendrix C Logan Piper Other impact players: Henry Warndahl, Harley Bean, Ryan Sturdivan, Anthony Dizon Graduated starters: None

“I don’t know the 1A league. We’re not dropping down and thinking we’re going to dominate. We haven’t proved anything. Dropping down means nothing. We don’t think it’s an advantage at all.” — Aaron Shepherd, Woodland boys head coach


cardinals 2011-2012 record: 1-20 Postseason: Lost league playoff Head coach: Scott Ashmore, 5th season (NA) Last state playoff berth: 2004 Projected starting lineup: G Michelle Gleason G Sydney Bradley G Caroline Garibay G Jazmine Lopez P Cecilia Stalcup Other impact players: Allison Wolf, Dustee Alvord Graduated starters: Sierra Fisher, Mackenzie Hodnot, Cassidy Jones


p The point at Winlock belongs to Sydney Bradley (4).

inlock will go as far this season as its deep group of guards can take it. “Our strength, if we have one, is we have a lot of guards,” said Cardinals coach Scott Ashmore. “We’re just inexperienced.” Winlock does not have a senior in the basketball program. After backcourt staples Michelle Gleason and Sydney Bradley, no one on the Winlock roster saw any significant varsity time in 2011-12. “Those are our only returning starters,” Ashmore said of the junior duo. Guards Caroline Garibay and Allison Wolf were swing players last year, playing two quarters of varsity and two of JV on any given night. The overall lack of experience in Cardinal land will require fans to be patient. This is a rebuilding season. “I’m looking for some bodies, but I don’t see them coming until the middle of the year. I want my young girls to develop. I’d rather them play JV for three and four quarters,” Ashmore said. “We’re just trying to stay competitive and develop.” The learning curve will be steep for players like Garibay, Wolf and penciled-in starters Jazmine Lopez (guard) and Cecilia Stalcup (at 6-foot0, the only true post on the roster). Especially now that Winlock has “dropped” from the Evergreen 1A Division to the ridiculously stacked Central 2B League. “They have to be players now,” Ashmore said. “They have to step up. On the JV level, you’re not worried about wins and losses.” Winlock’s varsity core spent a lot of time in the summer working on its shooting, and the Cardinals showed nonleague flashes of a knack for making jumpers. That would go a long way toward compensating for their lack of firepower in the post. “It’s going to take patience,” Ashmore said. “They’re still figuring out where they want to shoot from. We’re starting to play together, starting to work together. Now we need to figure out what they want to do, together. “My expectation from the day we walk on the court is we should be looking to compete for state,” he added. “We’re in a tough division; everybody knows that. We want to compete. As long as we compete, we’ve got a chance. Realistically where that takes us? I don’t know.” — Ben Zimmerman / @TDNZimmy




efore taking over the Winlock varsity program this season, Dennis Tauscher spent years at the front of another assembly line. A phenomenally successful one, at that. Tauscher coached boys’ basketball at Toledo Middle School “for nine or 10 years,” feeding a pipeline that Scott Merzoian has translated into 17 state victories and six state trophies since 2002. So Tauscher has been marinating in a winning culture, something he hopes to re-install at Winlock. “I’m still getting to know (my players), getting to know how they are going to perform in game situations,” said 2011-2012 record: Tauscher. “I’ve seen some 3-17 good attitudes and some Postseason: hard work. I know they have None high expectations of themHead coach: selves.” Dennis Tauscher, 1st season And what can CardiLast state playoff berth: nal fans expect from their 2009 squad? “We have three basic Projected starting lineup: goals: No. 1, play great PG Enrique Hernandez defense and try to hold other teams under 40 SG Caleb Rose points,” Tauscher said. SF Damon Hertz “No. 2, win the league. The PF Chance Fisher league is tough; we know P Mike Blum that. But every game is going to be a tough game, Other impact players: and if we play hard every Skylar Tremayne, Colton Woods game... No. 3, we want to Graduated starters: win the sportsmanship NA award that the officials give out.” Tauscher calls Winlock “a veteran team,” anchored by five seniors and a handful of other experienced role players. Guards Enrique Hernandez and Caleb Rose will set the tone for the Cardinals, as far as pace and defensive intensity. Mike Blum’s domain is the paint, where his work ethic and nose for rebounds is something Tauscher hopes will prove contagious. Winlock will run what Tauscher loosely calls “a West Coast offense.” “We’ve spent a lot of time talking about our goals and getting them to buy in,” he added. “The offense is kind of a marketing ploy. I’ve been selling them the whole philosophy of a successful team, and (the West Coast offense) just sounds good to the players. “They want to be an up-and-down-the-floor kind of team. But they really need more structure.” Tauscher isn’t deeply schooled on Winlock’s recent basketball history, but has heard that prior incarnations worked hard yet lacked organization. “From what players have told me, there was confusion,” he said. “I’ve heard from other coaches that (last year’s team) played their hearts out.” — Ben Zimmerman / @TDNZimmy




u Brennan Rakoz grew 2 inches taller in the offseason.


ake no mistake: Last year’s state first-round loss to Zillah is burned into the collective mind of this Toledo team. The Indians had 18 turnovers and shot 50 percent from the foul line, yet still had multiple chances to win. Zillah hung on 41-38 and eventually advanced all the way to the title game. Toledo tore through the consolation bracket by an average of 25 points to take fourth place. “Leaving the Dome, everybody realized that we had chances to probably be in that championship game,” coach Scott Merzoian said. “... That’s definitely in the back of the kids’ minds. And not in a negative way, in the fact that it gave them a lot of confidence.” Just how confident? “We set our goal to play in that state champi42

onship game,” Merzoian said. The most accomplished returning one-two punch in the area — Brennan Rakoz and Austin Trafelet — is the foundation for that optimism. Rakoz, who grew two inches in the offseason and now stands 6-foot-7, is on the short list of area MVP contenders. “He plays like a point guard but has the height of a center, for our league,” Merzoian said. “He can play multiple positions, and most importantly, he knows how to score and uses his skill set to be effective.” Trafelet is praised by his coach as a fanatically hard worker. The swingman has annually asked his coach for a weak spot to improve and always returns having perfected it. This offseason’s target was ballhandling. “(Trafelet) was a great 3-point shooter last

year,” Merzoian said. “... That’s always been effective, now he’s going to able to beat guys off the dribble.” To even approach their lofty goals, the Indians must replace a trio of graduated starters, including do-everything, Trico MVP Jesse Wallace. Seniors Lakota Rakoz and Blake Wood are the early candidates to take over as role players, and a talented group of underclassmen has Toledo set for years to come. Toledo may take some time to jell, but when it does, look out. “I would say if my sophomores were a year older, it would be one of the top teams at Toledo in the last 15 years,” Merzoian said. “By the end of the year, they’re capable of being one of the best teams I’ve had.” — Matt Pentz / @TDNMattPentz


2011-2012 record: 25-4 Postseason: Placed fourth at state Head coach: Scott Merzoian, 16th season (246-108) Projected starting lineup: G Lakota Rakoz G Blake Wood G Grant McEwen F Austin Trafelet F Brennan Rakoz

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Other impact players: G Brent Wood, F Joe Durham, F Skyler Muyskens, G Forrest Wallace Graduated starters: Jesse Wallace, Kenner Rakoz, Gibb Freece

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p Austin Trafelet has diversified his game, adding a more consistent drive.

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schedules Wednesday (DEC. 26) Vince Dulcich Holiday Tournament at Astoria — R.A. Long vs. Rainier (4 p.m.)

Thursday (DEC. 27)

Saturday (JAN. 5)

Three Rivers Christian (all 7 p.m.), Portland Adventist at Rainier, Clatskanie at Oregon Episcopal (all 7:30 p.m.)

Salmon, Toutle Lake at Winlock, Naselle at Ocosta (all 7 p.m.), Corbett at Clatskanie (7:30 p.m.)

Toutle Lake at Wahkiakum, Morton/ White Pass at Winlock (all 5:45 p.m.), Ocosta at Naselle (7 p.m.), Rainier at ValWednesday (JAN. 16) Saturday (JAN. 26) ley Catholic, Clatskanie at DeLaSalle Wahkiakum at Napavine, Adna at Winlock Rainier at DeLaSalle, Portland Adventist (all 7:30 p.m.) (all 7 p.m.) at Clatskanie (all 7:30 p.m.)

Vince Dulcich Holiday Tournament at Astoria — Rainier vs. North Marion Monday (JAN. 7) (4 p.m.); Wahkiakum at Dayton Tournament, Clatskanie at Gervais Tournament, R.A. Long at Hockinson, Mark Morris at Three Rivers Christian at Tenino Tourna- Ridgefield (all 7 p.m.) ment Tuesday (JAN. 8)

Thursday (JAN. 17)

Tuesday (JAN. 29)

Fort Vancouver at Kelso, La Center at Washougal at Mark Morris, R.A. Long Woodland, Toledo at King’s Way, Three Riv- at Ridgefield, Kelso at Mountain View, ers Christian at Pope John Paul (all 7 p.m.) Kalama at Woodland, Toledo at Stevenson, King’s Way at Castle Rock, Ilwaco Friday (DEC. 28) Hudson’s Bay at Kelso, Ilwaco at CasFriday (JAN. 18) at Seton Catholic, South Bend at Nastle Rock, Seton Catholic at Woodland, Wilbur Ellis SunDome Shootout at R.A. Long at Washougal, Kalama at elle, Columbia Adventist at Three Rivers Toledo at White Salmon, Stevenson at Yakima — Goldendale vs. Castle Rock Castle Rock, Ilwaco at White Salmon, Christian (all 7 p.m.), Rainier at Corbett, (3 p.m.), Kalama vs. Capital (4:30 p.m.), Kalama, Wahkiakum at Adna, Winlock at Wahkiakum at Pe Ell, Toutle Lake at Clatskanie at Warrenton (all 7:30 p.m.) Pe Ell, Naselle at Willapa Valley, MossyrWhite River vs. Toledo (9 p.m.); Vince Napavine (all 7 p.m.), Rainier at ock at Toutle Lake, Three Rivers Christian Dulcich Holiday Tournament at Astoria Wednesday (JAN. 30) Clatskanie (7:30 p.m.) at Napavine (all 7 p.m.), Rainier at Ore— North Marion vs. R.A. Long (4 p.m.); Mossyrock at Wahkiakum, Adna at Toutle Saturday (JAN. 19) Seton Catholic at Ilwaco (7 p.m.), Foster gon Episcopal, Clatskanie at Jefferson Lake, Onalaska at Winlock (all 7 p.m.) Mark Morris vs. Lynden at Saint Martin’s (all 7:30 p.m.) vs. Mark Morris at Mountlake Terrace Thursday (JAN. 31) University in Lacey (5 p.m.), Mossyrock (5 p.m.), Kelso at Mountlake Tournament, Thursday (JAN. 10) at Winlock (5:45 p.m.), R.A. Long at Fort Winlock at Morton/White Pass (5:45 p.m.), Wahkiakum at Dayton Tournament, Clats- Ridgefield at R.A. Long, The Collingwood Vancouver, Morton/White Pass at WahCastle Rock at Toledo, Woodland at kanie at Gervais Tournament, Three School at Kelso, Mark Morris at Washkiakum, Pe Ell at Toutle Lake, Naselle at King’s Way, Pope John Paul at Three Rivers Christian at Tenino Tournament ougal, Kalama at King’s Way Christian, Northwest Christian (all 7 p.m.) Rivers Christian (all 7 p.m.), Kalama vs. La Center at Toledo, Ilwaco at Woodland, Saturday (DEC. 29) Seton Catholic at Mountain View High Monday (JAN. 21) Washington State School for the Deaf at Vince Dulcich Holiday Tournament at School (7:30 p.m.) Castle Rock at Woodland (7 p.m.) Astoria (games at 11 a.m., 4 p.m., 7:30 p.m.); Three Rivers Christian (all 7 p.m.) Friday (FEB. 1) Wilbur Ellis SunDome Shootout at Yakima Tuesday (JAN. 22) Friday (JAN. 11) Mark Morris at R.A. Long, La Center at — Castle Rock vs. Lakewood (noon), Columbia River at Kelso, White Salmon Mountain View at Kelso, Castle Rock at Ilwaco, Wahkiakum at Toutle Lake, NorthBremerton vs. Kalama (1:30 p.m.), Toledo Stevenson, Winlock at Wahkiakum, at Kalama, Ilwaco at Toledo, Naselle at west Christian at Naselle (all 7 p.m.), vs. Sammamish (3 p.m.); Kelso, Mark Raymond, Wishkah Valley at Three Naselle at North Beach, Onalaska at Valley Catholic at Rainier, DeLaSalle at Morris at Mountlake Tournament Rivers Christian (all 7 p.m.), Warrenton Toutle Lake (all 7 p.m.), Catlin Gabel at Clatskanie (all 7:30 p.m.) at Rainier, Mark Morris at Hockinson Rainier, Valley Catholic at Clatskanie Wednesday (JAN. 2) (all 7:30 p.m.) Saturday (FEB. 2) (all 7:30 p.m.) Clatskanie at Knappa (5:30 p.m.), Seton Pe Ell at Winlock (5:45 p.m.), Adna at Wednesday (JAN. 23) Catholic at Kalama, Ilwaco at La Center Saturday (JAN. 12) Wahkiakum, Toutle Lake at Mossyrock (5:45 p.m.), Toledo at Castle Rock, King’s Woodland at Kalama, Three Rivers Chris- Morton/White Pass at Toutle Lake, (all 7 p.m.) Way at Woodland (all 7 p.m.) Wahkiakum at Onalaska, Winlock at tian at Columbia Adventist (all 7 p.m.),

Thursday (JAN. 3) Hockinson at Mark Morris, Wahkiakum at Mossyrock, Winlock at Onalaska, Naselle at South Bend, Toutle Lake at Adna (all 7 p.m.)

Friday (JAN. 4) Kelso at Columbia River, Kalama at Ilwaco, Woodland at Toledo (all 7 p.m.), Castle Rock vs. Seton Catholic at Lower Columbia College, Corbett at Rainier, Warrenton at Clatskanie (all 7:30 p.m.) 44

Mark Morris vs. Fort Vancouver at The Rose Garden in Portland

Monday (JAN. 14)

Napavine (all 7 p.m.), Clatskanie at Catlin Gabel (7:30 p.m.)

Thursday (JAN. 24)

R.A. Long at Mark Morris, Kelso at Prairie, Kelso at Hudson’s Bay, La Center at Castle Rock, Three Rivers Christian at Kalama at La Center (all 7 p.m.) Washington State School for the Deaf Tuesday (JAN. 15) (all 7 p.m.) Ridgefield at Toutle Lake, White Salmon Friday (JAN. 25) at Castle Rock, Stevenson at Woodland, Seton Catholic at Toledo, Lake Quinault Hockinson at R.A. Long, Ridgefield at at Naselle, King’s Way at Ilwaco, Winlock Mark Morris, Toledo at Kalama, Stevenson at Ilwaco, Woodland at White at Northwest Christian, Mossyrock at

Tuesday (FEB. 5)

Washougal at R.A. Long, Pope John Paul at Three Rivers Christian (all 7 p.m.), Oregon Episcopal at Rainier (7:30 p.m.)

Thursday (FEB. 7) Rainier at Catlin Gabel, Clatskanie at Valley Catholic (all 7:30 p.m.); Class 1A District Tournament at Kelso and W.F. West

* End of regular season Game schedules subject to change, cancelation and/or delays. Check for updated information.

r.a. long

lumberjacks 2011-2012 record: 3-17 Postseason: None Head coach: Rally Wallace, 7th season (61-77) Last state playoff berth: 2008 Projected starting lineup: PG Payton Miller SG Brady Hulings SG Bryce Eisele PF Jacob Johnston C Nolan Luedke Other impact players: Matt Fugleberg, Owen Bertram, Hunter Jones, Morgan Baker Graduated starters: Keenan Marin, Joe Buckley


ead coach Rally Wallace compares this season to the first years of childhood. “It’s like we’re going through the early parts of development,” he said. “The attitudes are super and I’m proud of how they’re responding and progressing. It’s fun.” Wallace acknowledges patience will be the key to RAL’s success this season. The Lumberjacks graduated their top scorers, and have only two seniors on the current roster. “It’s a slow progress but we’re going in the right direction,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of growth and progress as the season goes on.” Sophomore Payton Miller has stepped into the role of starting point guard, and is joined in the three-guard backcourt by juniors Bryce Eisele and Brady Hulings. Senior Jacob Johnston reprises his role as the Jacks’ power forward, and junior Nolan Luedke is back in the post after missing last season with a knee injury. “Nolan had major surgery and is working hard to overcome that,” Wallace said. “He can’t go for too long before we have to get him out of there, but his minutes will increase as the season goes on.” Freshmen forward Owen Bertram and guard Hunter Jones will be among the first players off the bench, along with sophomore post Matt Fugleberg and junior guard Morgan Baker.

p Payton Miller will run the point for the Jacks.

“Owen was slotted as a starter before the season, but some of the other players stepped up and showed to be more ready,” Wallace said. “Matt logged a lot of varsity time last season, and Hunter and Morgan will be key reserves.” The Lumberjacks missed the postseason for the first time in Wallace’s tenure last season, and the team is ready to make a reappearance. “It’s a realistic goal but the league is going to be strong,” he said. “Mark Morris is tough and Washougal returns a lot of players. Ridgefield is ranked seventh in the latest poll, and Hockinson is always tough. “We’re going to do the things we have to in order to get back to the postseason.”

— Rick McCorkle / @TDNRickMc




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r.a. long



ew observers inside or outside the R.A. Long basketball program would dispute that sophomore Sarah Luedke is the Lumberjills’ most unstoppable force. Then why is head coach John Speed almost maniacally committed to pushing the tempo, instead of grinding the game to a stand-still and dumping it into his 6-foot-2 juggernaut? The answer is illuminated by taking a closer look at Luedke herself, and at the collective talents of her teammates. Luedke is not a traditional post, for one. She moves like a guard and can defend on the perimeter. And after furtively quick freshman point guard Jacki Smith, the RAL starting five is a swarm of long, athletic bodies. Of course Speed is going to crank it up. “Everything will come off of our fast break,” he said. “That goes back to our press. That will feed our fast break. We’re pretty athletic and quick, so our basketball is going to be based on running, pressing and developing a scoring mentality. “There’s strength in numbers,” Speed added. “We’re not going to rely on one person.” RAL has the numbers and the athleticism to sustain up-tempo basketball for four quarters, but will have “patience on offense when we do get into halfcourt sets,” said Speed. “When we’re in halfcourt, (Luedke) is our No. 1 target. Erin Kuhlmeyer will take some pressure off. You won’t be able to double-team (Luedke) as much. This is a “transition year” for the Jills, a term Speed selects specifically because it is not a synonym for “rebuilding.” RAL is deeper than last year, when a vast dropoff existed between a core of five and its supporting cast. Players like Luedke, sophomore guard Hannah Speed, and senior wing Paige Snair are experienced veterans. And junior post Kuhlmeyer is a welcome reinforcement after sitting out her sophomore season with knee issues. “If someone isn’t having a good game, we have someone else who can step up and fill that spot,” Coach Speed said. “We have seven or eight players we can consistently go to. “Good things are happening,” he added. “We’re just trying to build a young team. We’ll be building for the next three, four five years, trying to find our identity. We’re going to win some games we shouldn’t and lose some we shouldn’t. But we’re going to get better.” — Ben Zimmerman / @TDNZimmy 46

p Sarah Luedke (15) is an imposing presence in the middle for R.A. Long. 2011-2012 record: 9-11 Postseason: Lost district play-in game Head coach: John Speed, 3rd season (12-27) Last state playoff berth: 1994 Projected starting lineup: G Jacki Smith G Hannah Speed G/F Paige Snair G/F Erin Kuhlmeyer P Sarah Luedke Other impact players: Jenny Hagen, McKenzie Kendle, Cheyanne Jones Graduated starters: Sierra Welch, McKayla Bradshaw

“Everything will come off of our fast break. That goes back to our press. That will feed our fast break. We’re pretty athletic and quick, so our basketball is going to be based on running, pressing and developing a scoring mentality. — John Speed, R.A. Long girls head coach


schedules Wednesday (DEC. 26)

Morton/White Pass at Winlock (all 7 p.m.)

Vince Dulcich Holiday Tournament at Monday (JAN. 7) Astoria — Knappa vs. Rainier (2:15 p.m.), Kelso at Hudson’s Bay (7 p.m.) R.A. Long vs. Astoria (5:45 p.m.)

Thursday (DEC. 27) Vince Dulcich Holiday Tournament at Astoria — Rainier vs. North Marion (2:15 p.m.); Castle Rock at Hockinson, Naselle at Wahkiakum, Toutle Lake at Toledo (all 7 p.m.), Naches Valley at Winlock (8 p.m.), Clatskanie at Gervais Tournament

Friday (DEC. 28)

Tuesday (JAN. 8)

Ilwaco at Castle Rock, Stevenson at Kalama, Toledo at White Salmon, Seton Catholic at Woodland (all 5:45 p.m.), Rainier at Oregon Episcopal, Clatskanie at Jefferson (all 6 p.m.), Hockinson at R.A. Long, Ridgefield at Mark Morris (all 7 p.m.)

Clatskanie at Knappa (4 p.m.), Kelso at Hockinson, Seton Catholic at Kalama, South Bend at Naselle, Ilwaco at La Center (all 7 p.m.)

Thursday (JAN. 3)

Friday (JAN. 18) Ilwaco at White Salmon (5:45 p.m.), Rainier at Clatskanie (6 p.m.), Washougal at R.A. Long, Kelso at Fort Vancouver, Woodland at La Center (all 7 p.m.)

Saturday (JAN. 19)

Wednesday (JAN. 9)

Morton/White Pass at Wahkiakum, Naselle at Northwest Christian, Pe Ell at Wahkiakum at Adna, Mossyrock at Toutle Toutle Lake, Mossyrock at Winlock (all Lake, Toledo at La Center, Winlock at Pe 5:45 p.m.) Ell (all 7 p.m.), Woodland at Hockinson (7:30 p.m.) Monday (JAN. 21)

Vince Dulcich Holiday Tournament at Astoria — R.A. Long vs. Warrenton (2:15 p.m.); Seton Catholic at Ilwaco (5:45 p.m.), Kalama at Woodland (7 p.m.), Goldendale at Winlock (8 p.m.), Thursday (JAN. 10) Kelso at Mark Morris Holiday Tournament, R.A. Long, Clatskanie at Gervais Tournament Washington State School for the Deaf at Three Rivers Christian (5:30 p.m.), KalSaturday (DEC. 29) ama at King’s Way Christian (5:45 p.m.), Vince Dulcich Holiday Tournament at Kelso at Mountain View, Wahkiakum at Astoria (games at 12:45 p.m., 2:15 p.m., Winlock, Willapa Valley at Naselle, Toutle 5:45 p.m.); Columbia Adventist at KalLake at Onalaska (all 7 p.m.) ama (7 p.m.), Kelso at Mark Morris Holiday Tournament, Friday (JAN. 11)

Wednesday (JAN. 2)

Thursday (JAN. 17) Three Rivers Christian at R.A. Long JV (5:30 p.m.), Kalama at Castle Rock, Toledo at King’s Way, Wahkiakum at Pe Ell, Toutle Lake at Napavine (all 7 p.m.)

Castle Rock at Stevenson (5:45 p.m.), Catlin Gabel at Rainier, Valley Catholic at Clatskanie (all 6 p.m.), Washougal at Mark Morris, R.A. Long at Ridgefield, Ilwaco at Woodland (all 7 p.m.)

Saturday (JAN. 12)

Three Rivers Christian at Columbia Columbia River at Kelso, Castle Rock at Toledo, King’s Way at Woodland (all 7 p.m.) Adventist (5:30 p.m.), Castle Rock at Columbia River (5:45 p.m.), North Beach Friday (JAN. 4) at Naselle (7 p.m.) Three Rivers Christian at North ClackaTuesday (JAN. 15) mas (5:30 p.m.), Kalama at Ilwaco (5:45 p.m.), Castle Rock vs. Seton Catho- Lake Quinault at Naselle, King’s Way at Ilwaco, Stevenson at Woodland (all 5:45 lic at Lower Columbia College, Corbett p.m.), Portland Adventist at Rainier, at Rainier, Warrenton at Clatskanie Clatskanie at Oregon Episcopal (all 6 (all 6 p.m.), Mossyrock at Wahkiakum, p.m.), Mark Morris at R.A. Long, Prairie Adna at Toutle Lake, Naselle at Ocosta, at Kelso, White Salmon at Castle Rock, Winlock at Onalaska (all 7 p.m.), Mark La Center at Kalama, Seton Catholic at Morris at Hockinson (7:30 p.m.) Toledo, Napavine at Wahkiakum, Adna at Saturday (JAN. 5) Winlock (all 7 p.m.) Rainier at Valley Catholic, Clatskanie at Wednesday (JAN. 16) DeLaSalle (all 6 p.m.), Toutle Lake at Hudson’s Bay at Mark Morris (7 p.m.) Wahkiakum, Toledo at Woodland,

R.A. Long at Kelso, Hockinson at Mark Morris (all 7 p.m.)

Monday (JAN. 28) Ridgefield at R.A. Long, Mark Morris at Washougal, Woodland at Kalama (all 7 p.m.)

Tuesday (JAN. 29) Columbia Adventist at Three Rivers Christian (5:30 p.m.), Ilwaco at Seton Catholic (5:45 p.m.), Rainier at Corbett, Clatskanie at Warrenton (all 6 p.m.), Mountain View at Kelso, King’s Way at Castle Rock, Toledo at Stevenson, Wahkiakum at Mossyrock, Toutle Lake at Adna, Onalaska at Winlock (all 7 p.m.)

Wednesday (JAN. 30) Naselle at South Bend (7 p.m.)

Thursday (JAN. 31) Woodland at King’s Way (5:45 p.m.), Kal-

Tuesday (JAN. 22)

ama vs. Seton Catholic at Mountain View

Wishkah Valley at Three Rivers Christian (5:30 p.m.), White Salmon at Kalama, Ilwaco at Toledo (all 5:45 p.m.), Warrenton at Rainier (6 p.m.), Kelso at Columbia River, Castle Rock at Woodland, Onalaska at Wahkiakum, Toutle Lake at Morton/ White Pass, Winlock at Napavine (all 7 p.m.)

High School (6 p.m.), R.A. Long at Mark

Wednesday (JAN. 23) Clatskanie at Catlin Gabel (6 p.m.)

Thursday (JAN. 24) Three Rivers Christian at Washington State School for the Deaf (5:30 p.m.), R.A. Long at Hockinson, Mark Morris at Ridgefield, Toledo at Kalama, Raymond at Naselle, Winlock at Toutle Lake (all 7 p.m.)

Friday (JAN. 25)

Morris, Wahkiakum at Toutle Lake, Winlock at Morton/White Pass (all 7 p.m.)

Friday (FEB. 1) Northwest Christian at Naselle, La Center at Ilwaco (all 5:45 p.m.), Valley Catholic at Rainier, DeLaSalle at Clatskanie (all 6 p.m.), Toledo at Castle Rock (7 p.m.)

Saturday (FEB. 2) Adna at Wahkiakum, Toutle Lake at Mossyrock (all 5:45 p.m.), Pe Ell at Winlock (7 p.m.)

Monday (FEB. 4) R.A. Long at Washougal (7 p.m.)

Tuesday (FEB. 5) R.A. Long JV at Three Rivers Christian

(5:30 p.m.), Oregon Episcopal at Rainier Toledo at Kalama, Stevenson at Ilwaco, Woodland at White Salmon (all 5:45 p.m.), (6 p.m.) Corbett at Clatskanie (6 p.m.), Hudson’s Thursday (FEB. 7) Bay at Kelso, La Center at Rainier at Catlin Gabel, Clatskanie at Castle Rock (all 7 p.m.) Valley Catholic (all 6 p.m.)

Saturday (JAN. 26)

Rainier at DeLaSalle, Portland Adventist at Clatskanie (all 6 p.m.), Ocosta at Naselle (7 p.m.)

* End of regular season Game schedules subject to change, cancelation and/or delays. Check for updated information.


of the s r e t r o p p u S Proud

Kelly Clary

Jim Clary

BryCe Clary


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2012 Prep Basketball Guide  

A look at Southwest Washington boys and girls basketball, with team info and conference outlooks.

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