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Historic year for Northshore high school basketball teams
This has been a historic year for three Northshore high school basketball teams. One team was ranked No. 1 in Washington state during the entire season by the Associated Press, while two other local teams are ranked in the state’s top 10.
Cougar boys are still No. 1
The Bothell High School boys basketball team won the No. 1 seed to the 4A KingCo tournament along with the Crest Division title with a record of 18-2 overall and 13-1 in league play. It took two months for the team to lose its first game of the season on Jan. 21. The loss came during the prestigious King Holiday Hoopfest at Seattle Pacific University’s Brougham Pavilion. But it was the intensity of the 66-63 loss to the No. 1 ranked 3A team, Rainier Beach, that spectators will remember.
The game was played in front of more than 2,500 spectators. The Martin Luther King Day event annually features the best teams in the state.
Bothell senior Zach LaVine exemplified the spirit of the competition, finishing with a game high 34 points, despite waking up with a 103-degree temperature. The UCLA recruit fought hard during the fourth quarter to bring the Cougars back from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit, scoring eight points during the final two minutes of the game. But the Cougars came up just short, as LaVine missed two three-pointers inside of 20 seconds, including one at the buzzer.
Josh Martin and Perrion Callendret contributed 12 points each for Bothell.
“We learned that when you are down an important player (Kellen Webster) and have your top player (Zach LaVine) playing with a 103 temperature that the other players have to step up into roles that they don’t normally play,” said Bothell head coach Ron Bollinger. “When we are healthy we are the best team. We will continue to work on our overall team play, which will be vital when we are playing at state.”
Both Callendret and LaVine have been selected as finalist for the McDonalds All American games.
Bothell faced in-league rival Garfield the next night and picked up its second loss of the season 86-71.
Callendret and LaVine tried to rescue the team by combining for 66 points, but only two other players scored for Bothell during the contest.
“We were in a great position to win the Rainier Beach game and against Garfield we ran out of gas in the fourth quarter with the shorter bench,” said Bollinger. “The pressure experience for the bench will help us down the road. They were both games we can use in preparation for the play-offs.”
Callendret’s 31 points were a season high for the University of Idaho commit.
The Cougars got back on track to finish the season, beating league rival Inglemoor 96-67 on Jan. 25.
“The biggest surprise this year would be the margin of victory in many games,” said Bollinger. “The King-Co conference is the best in the state with good teams and good coaches. We have been able to get the JV players in many games this year for some good experience. Not just the last minute but in some cases almost the whole quarter.”
The Vikings will take the No. 2 seed from the Crest Division into the KingCo tournament.
On Saturday, LaVine scored 39 points during an 88-48 victory against Redmond. LaVine’s best game of season, 41 points, came during a 94-70 win against Eastlake on Jan. 18. The senior has scored more than 30 points in a game 10 times this season and more than 20 points in all but two games. LaVine is one of the top scorers in the state, averaging better than 30 points per game.
Eagle boys are No. 6 in state
The Cedar Park Christian High School boys basketball team has not yet achieved its biggest goal this year, despite having the best season in the school’s history. The Eagles were one of the last undefeated teams in the state until Tuesday when they lost to Cascade Christian. Despite the loss the team is 16-1 overall and ranked No. 6 in the state at the 1A level by the Associated Press.
“One thing is that we’ve been able to stay healthy - knock on wood - for the entire season,” said head coach Adam Lynch. “A few nicks and bruises along the way but nothing that has kept our guys out for an extended amount of time.”
The team will have its chance to attain a main goal set in the off-season by making it to the state tournament. The Eagles will take the No. 1 seed from the 1A Nisqually league into the post season.
“The biggest challenge for us will be to stay sharp between our last regular season game (Feb. 5) and the next game, which will be for the Tri-District Championship (Feb. 16),” said Lynch. “That’s a long lay-off not to play so as a coaching staff we are working on creative ways to make that a positive and keep our edge.”
The team’s largest margin of victory this year came on Jan. 2 in an 81-43 romp against Cascade Christian. Despite the big victory, the Eagles have grown accustomed to winning close ball games. The team has won five games by five points or less this season.
Junior Trey Drechsel has come into his own on offense, averaging 16 points per game and scoring a season high 29 points against Lathrop of Alaska on Dec. 22 and 28 points against Eatonville on Dec. 21.
Seniors Luke Sauferer and Evan Scholten are also having a big year, averaging in the teens for scoring and providing invaluable leadership.
“Setting up our teammates has been extremely important for us this season,” said Lynch. “It has been a big part of our success and something we talk about on a daily basis. The good thing is we have a bunch of players that buy into that and it translates to better play on the court.”
Viking girls rolling
The Inglemoor High School girls basketball team won the Crest Division title Wednesday with a 76-30 victory at Garfield High School and is ranked No. 9 in the state at the 4A level, according the Associated Press. Inglemoor will play at Woodinville Friday to finish the regular season and attempt to avenge one of its only losses of the year.
The team has had to deal with many hurdles this season, but the biggest has been injuries.
“Coming into this week, I am hoping we will be 100 percent healthy for the first time this year,” said Vikings head coach John Augustavo. “I am confident that if the girls go out and match the intensity of the teams they are playing we will have a good chance of winning those games.”
The Vikings exceeded Eastlake’s intensity on the road Saturday with an impressive 61-38 win, moving closer to clinching the regular-season crown and taking the No. 1 seed to the 4A KingCo tournament. It was the team’s fifth consecutive victory.
The Viking defense locked down the Wolves during the game, holding their opponents to single digits during the first three quarters. Inglemoor dominated the first half and went into the locker room leading 28-12.
The Vikings extended that lead to 48-21 before the fourth quarter even began. Eastlake gained some ground during the final eight minutes, but the lead was too much for the Wolves to overcome.
Inglemoor has just two losses on the season and sits on top of the division with 10 in-league victories. The Vikings are 15-2 overall. Inglemoor has been dominant this season with only two wins coming with less than a 10-point margin-of-victory and eight victories of more than 20 points.
The team’s only two losses came back-to-back on Jan. 4 and 9 to Woodinville and Issaquah.
“They learned if they don’t prepare and come out with energy for every game, they will lose,” said Augustavo. “Since the losses, the energy level has increased at every game. As far as post season goes, they learned what it felt like to lose and they don’t want that feeling again.”
Inglemoor is led by seniors Kelly Conroy and Deja Strother on offense. Strother is averaging more than 14 points per game. She has scored more than 20 points in a single game three times this season. Conroy is averaging nearly 14 points per game with a season high of 24 points coming on Jan. 25 against Bothell.
“They are all very versatile players,” said Augustavo about the entire team. “Most of the team can play more than one spot on the floor and are willing to do it for their team.”
All basketball game coverage by the Bothell/Kenmore Reporter can be found at wwww.bothell-reporter.com.