M-P basketball team faces off against alumni team

The returning Tomahawks who participated in the alumni game on Dec. 7. - Brandon Adam
The returning Tomahawks who participated in the alumni game on Dec. 7.
— image credit: Brandon Adam

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville-Pilchuck High School boys basketball team had its first alumni game which pitted them against graduates in a game of basketball.

The event welcomed back 10 Tomahawks who graduated in different years who played basketball for M-P.

The returning alumni were diverse. Jared Stohl was one of the returning alumni who, after graduating in 2007 competed on the University of Portland's NCAA Division 1 basketball team, and played one year as a professional for a German basketball team.

Stohl not only enjoyed the community feel of the game, but also the memories it brought. "I love seeing the guys I use to play with," he said. "There's nothing better then playing at your old school, with your old coach on the other sideline. It always felt like home."

Nathan Holthenrics, who graduated in 2007, played basketball for Everett Community College, and then for Warner Pacific University which placed 10th in the nation for the NAIA.

Holthenrics enjoyed his visit and playing time during the alumni game. "I love being in this gym. It's always good to come out and play," he said. "Especially when it's a real game with refs, and fans in the crowd."

Holthenrics started a non-profit called Playing 4 Kicks which donates shoes to underprivileged youth around the world. "We collect athletic shoes, give them out to kids to promote sports for youth," he said.

M-P also welcomed back Chris McCloud, who graduated in 2001. Happy to be reminded of playing basketball for M-P, McCloud enjoyed playing in front of fans again. "It's fun playing with the guys I grew up with and knew," he said. "I got to visit the varsity team and play in front of a crowd again."

McCloud attended Central Washington University after graduating from M-P.

The event also brought back fond memories for current Tomahawk Head Coach Bary Gould who enjoyed seeing his former players again on the court. "I coached all those guys at some point," he said. "I get to see the influence I had on their life."

The reunion brought joy for Gould knowing his past players would return again. "There's a connection when they play basketball in the same spot," he said.

The game was held to replace a missing game on the Tomahawks' schedule. M-P's basketball schedule currently has 19 games against other schools, as opposed to 20.

This was the first alumni game on the boys schedule where the girls had their first alumni game last year.

The game itself was a half-serious and one-sided affair with the alumni sweeping the current Tomahawk basketball team 90-74. After halftime, points were added to the scoreboard tying the game to even the playing field for the varsity basketball team. The score was 44-29 at the end of the first half.

Though far from an upset, Gould saw this game as helpful to the current team by having the younger Tomahawks square up with much older and more developed players.

"Playing against bigger, stronger men is extremely beneficial," Gould said.

Gould mentioned sophomore pointguard Bryce Juneau who regularly plays against adults at the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club. "He's so good because he always playing against grown men," Gould said. "That's why he wasn't intimidated, and played really well tonight."

The Tomahawks are currently 1-1 for the season, losing to Arlington, 68-42, on Dec. 3, and recently beating Snohomish High School, 64-61, on Dec. 6. M-P's next game will be Dec. 11 at Lake Stevens High School, and Dec. 12, at Marysville Getchell High School, both starting at 7:15 p.m.

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