Bear Creek Grizzlies spin around opponents to victory | Boys Basketball
By ANDY NYSTROM
Redmond Reporter Editor
February 1, 2013 · Updated 11:46 AM
Luke Blankenbeckler says that shooting the ball is paramount to Bear Creek’s basketball success.
Defense, teamwork, selflessness and unity have been crucial components to the Grizzlies’ 7-0 start in their 2B Sea Tac League campaign, but putting the ball up to the hoop from a distance is at the top of the list.
Blankenbeckler certainly isn’t shy to shoot 3-pointers, either. The 6-foot junior guard holds the Bear Creek record with 184 so far, including 76 in his freshman year and 43 so far this season.
“Everyone shoots on our team,” said Collin Feight, a 6-3 junior guard who’s averaging a team-high 12.3 points a game this season. His game high is 24 in a 77-41 victory over Auburn Adventist on Jan. 22. Blankenbeckler is averaging 11.1 points a game and scored 21 points in a 57-30 victory over Seattle Lutheran on Jan. 8.
“We have a lot of depth, we play around nine guys,” Feight added. “We focus a lot on defense and just try to score as much as we can.”
Eighth-year Grizzly coach Scott Moe said that the scoring should increase when junior Jesse Leuenberger returns after sitting out a host of games with a foot injury.
Under Moe’s tutelage, Bear Creek has won the league championship the last six years, the tri-district title four out of the last five years and has placed third at state once and fifth at state twice.
“We’ve had a really nice run,” Moe said, noting that this year’s team is an intense group. “I’ve had to finish practice before our allotted time was done almost every day for the last month. The kids are just working so hard in practice. It’s a good group: they’re fun, they’re crazy.”
And they’re ready to make up for last year’s 47-46 season-ending loss to Wahkiakum in the one-game regionals round of the 2B state tournament.
“We learned that you’ve got to bring it every game and all our guys didn’t bring it that game. We didn’t play that well,” Blankenbeckler said. “We’ve just been making sure we hard every day, so we can get better and get back there (to state).”
Blankenbeckler, who has grown from 5-8 as a freshman to 6 feet now, said that his goal is to share the ball with his teammates en route to Bear Creek victories.
Moe feels that Blankenbeckler is both a solid shooter and leader.
“He’s a great competitor — he absolutely hates to lose. We’ve had some games where it got pretty tight this year and he just hits big shot after big shot,” Moe said.
As for Feight, the coach said that the lefty is shooting well from his guard position, but is also effective at finishing his shots on the inside. Moe added that about two thirds of the team’s set plays are designed for Feight, who has also made an impact on defense.
Moe is also a big contributor to the team’s success, according to Feight and Blankenbeckler. The coach is just as intense as his players, the duo notes.
“He makes it seem more than a high school program, kind of like a college program. He makes everyone very accountable — showing up on time and working hard every day,” Blankenbeckler said.
Added Feight: “He provides great leadership. He gives us motivation to work hard.”
Contact Redmond Reporter Editor Andy Nystrom at email@example.com or 425-867-0353, ext. 5050.