Sports

Tommies counting on team effort

The Marysville-Pilchuck basketball team, from left, Ryan Lanphere, Blake Lovell, Taylor Stevens, Brandon Greene, Collin Thomason, Blake Scheller and Joey Kelly. -
The Marysville-Pilchuck basketball team, from left, Ryan Lanphere, Blake Lovell, Taylor Stevens, Brandon Greene, Collin Thomason, Blake Scheller and Joey Kelly.
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While the players ran drills at the end of practice, M-P basketball coach Bary Gould encouraged them to dig deep and find something they didnt know they had.
Its also something Gould is expecting from the four guys who played during their 16-6 season last year. The Tomahawks finished second in the conference and earned the number two seed at districts.
Some of them have had considerable minutes, so they know what to expect. Their role has changed from a supporting role to a leading role, Gould said.
Its an adjustment theyll have to make because the teams two leading scorers, Jared Stohl and Nathan Lozeau, were lost to graduation and college ball.
Well be way more of a balanced team this year. Scoring is going to have to come from all seven of the guys instead of the majority coming from two, Gould said of his strategy to build on last seasons success. Our focus will obviously be on stopping the other team from scoring as well since we wont able to put as many points on the board, well have to stop our opponents from putting points on the board.
Six seniors and a junior comprise the team, with seniors Taylor Stevens, Collin Thomason and Blake Scheller and junior Ryan Lanphere bringing varsity experience to the squad.
Height should be another advantage for the team three guys are 6 feet 6 inches or taller. With strong defensive play, M-Ps height could force smaller teams to shoot from the outside.
Gould said he expects one of the teams new faces, 67 senior Brandon Greene, to be helping out a lot under the basket.
If he doesnt block a lot of shots, hell at least change the shots, the coach said.
Stevens, a 66 center, was one of last seasons reliable scorers. Back as captain this year, Gould said Stevens has shown a lot of improvement during the off-season and should be a force in the post.
Of the teams third tower, Gould said, Blake Lovell is just a solid post player (with) a good nose for the offense rebound to put it back. Really hard worker.
Gould paused, then added, Thats true of all the guys. They just work really hard. And theyre nice kids, too. Thats a good combo for coaches.
The Tomahawks kick off their season Nov. 27 at Mount Vernon.

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