Unfamiliar faces fill Marysville-Pilchucks varsity roster

Marysville-Pilchuck coach Bary Gould puts his players through a close-out drill during practice. - Travis Sherer
Marysville-Pilchuck coach Bary Gould puts his players through a close-out drill during practice.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

MARYSVILLE — Those looking for a familiar face aren’t likely to find one at Marysville-Pilchuck’s first game at home versus Woodinville Dec. 2.

Tomahawks coach Bary Gould had to replace his entire varsity roster, losing nine seniors to graduation in a small, experienced rotation that finished 12-4 in 2009 for third place in the Wesco Conference and lost in the District 1 tournament just a couple wins away from the Class 4A state tournament.

Ironically, Gould said this year’s squad isn’t without experience.

“A lot of these guys have been in the program for a number of years and we try to keep similar styles and strategies throughout, so there won’t be too many surprises,” Gould said about this year’s team that features a handful of seniors and played 40-50 games this summer. “And last year we had to replace all but two players and we had a good year.”

Leading those five seniors are co-captains Lucas Stevens and Danny Stokes.

“Those two are the most familiar with varsity experience because they split time (between varsity and junior varsity),” he said. “They are a pair of solid players that have taken the leadership role to heart.”

They will have the responsibility of showing a strong sophomore class of Don Kiblinger, Ryan Shannon and Marc Oden the ropes. Shannon, 6’5” is one of four Tomahawks standing at least six and a half feet tall.

“We’re not very tall, but we do have more players on the taller side than most teams,” Gould said. “And we’re going to look to push the ball up the floor because our bigs are faster than most.”

Along with the new 35-second shot clock this season, Gould said he plans to quicken the tempo and is instructing his team to play as hard as they can because there will always be someone to sub in.

“We have a lot more depth than we’ve had in the past,” he said. “So we’re going to look to mix it up on defense and get in people’s faces. I told them not to save anything because we have the players to rest anybody.”

And he’ll need to call on all his players against a tough Wesco Conference that includes a sustained Lake Stevens squad that qualified for the state tournament, along with a senior dominated Stanwood team.

“I think the rest of us will be trying to get in those second and third spots for a chance to play for state,” he said.

What could make the difference?

“We’re going to have to win the close games, and that means defense. It means making free throws and finding the right guys in the right spots at the end,” he said.

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