Basketballs are thumping up and down the court as the prep season is underway. Here’s a rundown of the Overlake and Bear Creek boys and girls squads as they jump into the action.
First-year head coach Teron Sutherlin returns all of the Owls players from last season’s squad, which finished 18-5 overall and competed in the state tournament after winning the Emerald City League with a 14-0 record.
“Biggest key for success is building on the chemistry of last year and trying to take the season a step further than the last,” said Sutherlin, adding that his coaching philosophy is to work hard and have fun.
Top returners are senior Eliza Friend (a 6-foot-5 forward), junior Kaku Cosmos (a 5-foot-9 guard who is currently rehabbing her ACL), sophomore Meri Cosmos (a 5-foot-7 guard) and sophomore Rachel Sapirstein (a 6-foot forward).
Overlake was 2-2 overall at press time.
Coach David Bigelow’s squad also returns to the court after a trip to state last season and notching a 15-7 overall record.
“Like most teams that made the state tournament last year, we’ll need to replace a few key pieces. We are a bit younger, but will build on the culture of our program and look to reload rather than rebuild,” he said.
With a “next-play” philosophy on tap, the Owls return junior Alan Ngouenet (a 6-4 forward), junior Roman Peterson (a 5-9 guard) and senior Rohan Narasayya (a 6-3 forward). Top newcomers are freshmen guards Alec Odell and Jake Shuey.
Overlake was 3-2 overall at press time.
Bear Creek notched its first win in 20 games with a 38-33 result against Charles Wright on Dec. 6. The Grizzlies were off to a 4-1 overall start at press time.
Freshman guard Macey Huard (6-1) led the way with 22 points, 11 rebounds and eight steals, and freshman post Izzy Jones (5-11) added 16 rebounds and five points against Charles Wright. Bear Creek has one returner in senior guard Katie Krantz (5-6).
“We have a young team composed of seven freshmen that are stepping into the program and making a huge impact,” said coach Ebany Herd.
Commitment and hard work are two of the hallmarks to Tyler Mendezona’s coaching philosophy for his squad that finished 15-7 last season.
“Win or lose, we emphasize playing together, trusting each other and playing with toughness,” the coach said.
Top returner Jace Blankenbeckler, a 6-2 senior, will lead the way at point guard. Stepping onto the court as the Grizzlies’ top newcomers are sophomore guards Josh Linnenkohl (5-9) and Nathan Shields (6-1).
“We have a tough league (Emerald City), but I think our boys are capable of being pretty competitive. We have a lot of young guys and our ability to play tough defense will be important,” Mendezona said.