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Redmond High basketball teams score success at California tourneys
A pair of road trips. A double dose of success.
Redmond High’s boys and girls basketball teams traveled to California to close out 2013 and competed in tournaments in the northern and southern parts of the state.
In San Diego, the Mustang boys tackled the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic and placed fifth in the Governors Division with a 3-1 record. At the West Coast Jamboree in Walnut Creek, the local girls finished 2-1 and won the Turquoise Division consolation championship.
Now, it’s back to 4A Kingco ball, and the Mustangs are ready for action.
“The San Diego trip was a great experience for the team, helping build confidence and team unity,” said boys coach Brian Lund. “The team has been bonding more and more every day since the end of last year’s season. We attended team camp this last summer at Washington State University and played in numerous high school tournaments and leagues in the offseason.”
Added girls coach Kim Gervasoni: “I like where we’re at. The tournament was a good confidence booster. Kingco’s tough and you have to be prepared and ready to play every game. There’s a lot of talent and it’s just a brutal league. I think we’re excited about coming back and building on this. I think we’re in a better position than before we left.”
Both teams are coming off harsh 2012-13 seasons: the boys finished 1-13 in league and 2-18 overall while the girls were 2-12 in league and 5-15 overall.
Presently, the boys are 1-2 in Kingco and 5-4 overall and won their opening league game, 62-48 over Woodinville last month. Senior Marshall Cherrington led the Mustangs with 21 points followed by senior Tyler Yen with 15.
Redmond’s top senior returners and four captains are forward Cherrington, guard Yen, guard Alec Markling and forward Conrad Crowshaw.
“They all bring leadership, varsity game experience and a ‘chip on their shoulder’ from last year’s season,” Lund said.
Top newcomers are sophomore guard Kevin Carpenter, junior forward Jake Talbot, junior guard Riley Brown and junior center Connor Spores.
According to Lund: Carpenter is the team’s best ball handler and a crafty scorer; Brown is a sharp shooter and great communicator on the defensive end; Talbot is the team’s rebounding, charge taking and hustle leader; and Spores is a solid big man at 6-foot-5 who intelligently plays both ends of the floor.
“The team has been playing together and working hard since the final game of last year’s season,” Lund said. “The biggest key to success this year is how hard all the players play for each other. They all have the ‘We versus Me’ attitude and it shows in the way they play and communicate on defense and share the ball on offense.”
Redmond next hosts Newport at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Redmond’s two 6 footers — senior returners Kelley Koeppen and Madisyn Ohrt — helped lead the Mustangs to a pair of victories in Walnut Creek: 55-48 over Venice High and 48-44 over Buhach Colony in the consolation final.
The pair had double-doubles against Venice with Ohrt notching 12 points and 12 rebounds and Koeppen amassing 12 points and 11 boards. Against Buhach, Ohrt had 10 points and Koeppen had 11 rebounds.
Gervasoni said that Koeppen, who has garnered three double-doubles this season, is a team leader and brings energy and focus to the team scenario.
“She’s smart and mature and the team can really trust her and lean on her. That’s important for any team,” the coach said of her captain, who plays forward and center.
As for Ohrt, who made the jamboree all-tournament team, Gervasoni feels the forward is one of the strongest defenders in Kingco. On the scoring front, the coach challenged Ohrt to step up her offensive game — and she came through in a huge way at the jamboree, Gervasoni said.
Other top returners for Redmond are junior guard Sawyer Forseth, senior forwards Kape Cosmos and Olivia Schultz and sophomore guard Sierra Craig.
Forseth, who also earned all-tourney honors, brings swagger and confidence to her role as the team’s chief ball handler, said Gervasoni, adding that the junior implements a loud voice to encourage her teammates to do well.
Top newcomers are junior forward Morgan Grindell, sophomore forward/guard Ashlyn Lutz and sophomore forward Kaija Gibson.
Although the team is 0-3 in league and 2-7 overall, Gervasoni said the Mustangs have matched up well with opponents in most games, but was lacking a “killer instinct” for all four quarters.
Against Buhach Colony, the Mustangs held onto their lead, giving them a victory and an uplifting feeling jumping back into Kingco play.
Redmond next hosts Newport at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.