New faces among Lakewood cagers

Senior Max Dragitch defends senior Billy Rist during a passing drill. -
Senior Max Dragitch defends senior Billy Rist during a passing drill.
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This is a season of opportunity, said Lakewood boys basketball coach Ron Thorvilson.
The coach admits this team is one of the least experienced hes coached in his 25-year coaching career.
Only two players on this years squad seniors Terrence Ordonez and Billy Rist saw any significant time on the court last year when the Cougars went 11-11 to finish third in the Cascade Conference behind 1A dynamo Kings and second-place Granite Falls. Much of the team, which nabbed a number-two seed at districts, graduated last spring.
Terrence is a very good athlete, very quick, Thorvilson said of his starting guard. Hes the guy weve got to expect to be our leader.
Rist, a forward, has stepped up in his own way.
Billy has worked really hard in the off-season, probably worked as hard as anybody in the off-season, Thorvilson added. Really strong, 62, can play on the inside or the outside.
Another senior, Fabrice Lays, rotated through a few games last season, the coach said.
With just a few practices under their belts, Thorvilson is taking time to select the rest of the players who will make up the Lakewood roster. The lack of a concrete lineup hasnt dramatically affected how Thorvilson runs practice or how he plans for games.
We always have our basic things we do, he said.
Despite the relative lack of experience, Lakewood fans have every reason to trust Thorvilson is capable of putting together another strong season.
Over the last three years, we probably have the second best team record in the league, after Kings, he said of the team that went 14-0 in the conference last year. And were the only team to beat Kings.
While the team wont set any goals for the coming season until the rest of the roster is complete, one guy likely to play is senior Max Dragitch, who struggled with an injury last season. The groups tallest player, his height would be an advantage on a team of relatively short players.
Thorvilson added he is encouraged by the ability he is seeing in some underclassmen players.
We have some young kids that want to get better, he said. Competition will make them get better.
The Cougars will play four non-league games before opening their conference schedule on the road at Sultan Dec. 14.

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