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Basketball: Nisqually boys, girl basketball preview capsules

Post by Doug Pacey / The News Tribune on Dec. 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm with No Comments »
December 8, 2011 7:38 pm

NISQUALLY LEAGUE BOYS BASKETBALL PREVIEW CAPSULES

CRYSTAL BALL
1. Life Christian (15-6)
2. Vashon (17-10)
3. Cascade Christian (25-2)
4. Seattle Christian (11-10)
5. Chimacum (5-15)
6. Orting (6-15)
7. Charles Wright (6-14)
*2010-11 records

STARTING FIVE
G Jordan King 6-1 Sr. Life Christian
Father is former NBA player, current coach of WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury Corey Gaines

F Karson Kuehner 6-3 Jr. Life Christian
Great athlete can make plays on offense and defense

P Shawn Spencer 6-9 Jr. Cascade Christian
Constantly improving, no player in the league can match his size

F Beau Iverson 6-8 Jr. Charles Wright Academy
All-league football player has emerged as a force in the paint

G Richard Jensen 6-1 Sr. Seattle Christian
Second-team all-league player started season off with a bang, scoring 18 in a win over Steilacoom

FASTBREAK
A team from the Nisqually League has claimed the Class 1A state championship in each of the past four seasons. If that streak continues, it’s anyone’s guess as to what team will emerge. Most teams are searching for new leaders – 16 of the league’s top 20 scorers graduated. … With three talented returning starters, Life Christian is the early favorite. Guards Jordan King (12.3 ppg) and Charles Davis (7.8 ppg) and forward Karson Kuehner (7.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg) are among the top players in the league. The Eagles will get a boost from Fife-transfer Will Lockert and guards Jeremiah Gilge, Paul Kunitsa, Tyler Bogue and Jake Comfort. … Two-time defending state champion Cascade Christian was gutted by graduation – no starters are back – but there’s reason to believe the Cougars can be contenders. Post Shawn Spencer, a 6-foot-9 junior, is primed for a breakout season and senior guard Jake Archer is one of the best athletes in the league. The Cougars will have some growing pains, but could find themselves a contender in the second half of the season. Coach Jerry Williams expects the same high-intensity work ethic from this team as the past two. … Vashon has turned out some talented players in recent seasons – center John Gage is at Stanford and Alex Wegner is a walk-on at the University of Washington – but the Pirates’ run of Pac-12 players has ended. Guards Ben Whitaker (5 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and Dan Lafland (4.6 ppg) are Vashon’s top returners. Coach Andy Sears said sophomore guard Peter Amick and freshmen guards Jessie Norton and Ian Stewart will make an impact. … Despite breaking in a brand new starting lineup, Charles Wright has won its first three games. Wings Nate Mondou and Koby Deitz, guard Raheem Hughey and post Beau Iverson are the Tarriers’ top returning players. … After graduating the bulk of its starting lineup, Orting will rely on guards Lucas Harbper and Saul Rios, wings Williams Sonmore and Joaquine Moreno and post Tim Williams. With none of its top returners taller than 6-foot-3, the Cardinals might struggle against teams with a legitimate center.

NISQUALLY LEAGUE GIRLS BASKETBALL PREVIEW CAPSULES

CRYSTAL BALL
1. Cascade Christian (18-6)
2. Vashon (14-9)
3. Seattle Christian (21-7)
4. Charles Wright (10-11)
5. Chimacum (6-10)
6. Orting (3-16)
7. Life Christian (3-16)
*2010-11 records

STARTING FIVE
W Kaycee Creech 5-9 Jr. Cascade Christian
First-team all-league player averaged 19 points per game last season

W Kadyn Coltom 5-9 Sr. Cascade Christian
Another all-league pick, Coltom averaged 13 points per game

P Charlotte Kehoe 6-5 Sr. Vashon
Few players can match the all-league player’s height, ability

P Sydney Hughes 6-6 Sr. Charles Wright Academy
Another returning all-league player, capable of taking over games

F Katie Collier 6-3 Sr. Seattle Christian
Reigning league MVP and Washington-signee is battling Leukemia, has been cleared by doctors to return to court this week

FASTBREAK
Cascade Christian shared the Nisqually League title last season with Seattle Christian, but with all five starters back the Cougars could find themselves alone atop the standings this winter. Wings Kaycee Creech and Kadyn Colton are returning first-team all-league players and guard Katie Rozumny and post Chloe Read were honorable mention picks. Senior Renee Qualls, recovered from a torn ACL, and post Rachelle Spencer and will make impacts. … Seattle Christian’s Katie Collier, who signed a letter of intent with the University of Washington, was diagnosed with Leukemia in the fall. She’s undergoing chemotherapy treatments and hoped to be healthy enough to return for the end of the season. She’ll be back much sooner than that. Earlier this week, her doctors cleared her to play. Along with Collier, Seattle Christian will rely on guard Catie Shelton (5.4 apg), center Alayna Gleason (3.6 ppg) and forward Jessica Johnson (2.6 ppg). … Vashon has two first-team all-league players back in sophomore Anya Quigg and Charlotte Kehoe. The Pirates have been one of the most consistent Class 1A teams in the state in recent seasons and that shouldn’t change. … Sydney Hughes, a first-team all-league selection and 6-foot-6 senior post, is back to lead Charles Wright Academy and gives the Tarriers an inside presence. … Rachel Goodman, Lauren Christine and Johnnise Moore will lead Life Christian Academy. The Eagles got their first win of the season on Tuesday, defeated Christian Faith 44-33, led by Moore’s team-high eight points.

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