Prep boys basketball preview: Rebuilding Warriors open season vs. Inglemoor Tuesday

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Edmonds-Woodway Warriors

2016-17 Season: 10-3 in 2A/3A Wesco League 16-7 overall
3rd place in 2A/3A Wesco League
Head Coach: Robert Brown

Key Losses: Keaton McCay, Jalen Nash, Ryan Peterson, Joe Cooper, Edikal Seare, Pietro Parrilla
Key Returners: Noah Becker, Mutdung Bol

Robert Brown, head coach of the Edmonds-Woodway boys basketball team, will have a new-look Warriors team when they take the court for the first time Tuesday night at home against the Inglemoor Vikings.

The team graduated six seniors from last season, all players who had been in the program for four years, leaving Brown with a lot of leadership and production to replace. Key among those losses were all-area standout guard Keaton McKay, point guard Jalen Nash, and 6-5 post player and three-year starter Ryan Peterson.

“Those are huge losses. We lost four starters, but the six seniors we graduated had all been in the program for four years. Just steady guys. They were our foundation,” Brown said.

The lone returning starter is senior guard Noah Becker.

“Noah’s going to start and will play the 2 (guard),” Brown said. “He’s one of those guys that leads by example. Not a vocal guy, but huge for us. He was huge on the football field for the football team, and he’s been huge for us since he was a sophomore.”

Brown also went on to highlight the play of 6-3 sophomore guard, Mutdung Bol, who had a very consistent off season learning how to play basketball at the varsity level. In one game this summer, Bol scored 18 points in one quarter of play, and Brown feels he will be key for the Warriors this year.

Complicating the matter of the Warriors’ rebuilding is the fact that eight of the 10 players from Brown’s junior varsity team last year chose not to come back and play basketball.

“The biggest surprise for us was our whole JV team didn’t come back this year,” Brown said. “They all made a decision to do other things, train for other sports. That’s kind of where high school sports is going. We lost eight, the other two will be on the varsity team.”

Evaluating the team and his expectations for the year, Brown said he has “no expectations for the season. That’s the kind of thing that I’ve found out as I’ve grown up as a head coach, you let them be who they are for that year. Sometimes that gets hard when you start to have some success. You let the kids be what they are, push them to be as successful as they can be as a group. You fine tune and tweak but you don’t hold any expectations on them.

“I expect them to play hard,” Brown continued. “That’s something we’ve been blessed with. The kids understand they need to give maximum effort and they have. Expectations record-wise? None at all. They will be what they will be.”

The Warriors take to the court for their first test of the 2017-18 season Tuesday night, Nov. 28 when they host the Inglemoor Vikings at Edmonds-Woodway High School. The game starts at 7:15 p.m.

— Story and photos by Scott Williams

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