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Friday, December 13, 1991 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Wesco AA Boys Basketball

BAINBRIDGE -- NICKNAME: Spartans. -- 1990-91 RECORD: 9-3 league, tied for second; 16-7 overall. -- HEAD COACH: Dean Scherer, 21st season. -- RETURNING PLAYERS: Seniors: Chad Croker, 6-3 forward; Craig Kuntz, 5-9 guard; Doug Merkovich, 6-3 forward. Juniors: Matt Axling, 6-0 guard; Jake Haley, 6-0 guard. -- TOP NEWCOMERS: Senior: Justin Eden, 6-3 forward. Juniors: Shane Dolan, 6-3 forward; Kip Posey, 6-2 guard; Chris Twardzik, 5-10 junior. -- OUTLOOK: Spartans lost only two players off last year's team, which averaged 68 points per game. But those two players, Jamie Halligan and Jeff Blair, accounted for 48 points per game. Not surprisingly, the remaining players need to learn how to score, and that shortcoming has slowed Bainbridge's progress thus far. Axling has a good outside shot and should develop a consistent touch, and a trio of wide-bodied inside players, all 6-3, should give Bainbridge an adequate short game. The Spartans will likely lead the league in rebounds; if they can convert a few of them into baskets, they'll qualify for the district tournament. -- COACH'S COMMENT: "We're just having a heckuva time shooting for any percentage. We get blown out by a bigger team, Olympic, 69-38, and we outrebound them by five. I don't know how that can be."

LAKE STEVENS -- NICKNAME: Vikings. -- 1990-91 RECORD: 1-11 league, placed seventh; 4-17 overall. -- HEAD COACH: Norm Lowery, third season. -- RETURNING PLAYERS: Seniors: Rio Three Stars, 5-9 guard; Gunnar Roberson, 6-3 forward; Troy Johnson, 6-3 post; Christian LaDue, 6-1 post; Chris Vorderbruggen, 6-1 wing. -- TOP NEWCOMERS: Juniors: Peter Jelsing, 6-5 post; Shane Posey, 6-3 forward. Sophomore: Harlan Roberson, 5-9 guard. -- OUTLOOK: The Vikings took their lumps last season with only one senior on the roster. The good news is that most of the starting lineup back. Losing guard Mark Rashell to a knee injury hurts, but Lowery's junior varsity won its league last season and there is spirited competition for starting positions. This should be the season Lake Stevens makes the jump up from second-division status and challenge for a league championship. -- COACH'S COMMENT: "Things are certainly different. We're having a problem choosing kids. The kids knew all along that there would be competition for spots this year and I think practices have been real good."

LYNNWOOD -- NICKNAME: Royals. -- 1990-91 RECORD: 9-3 league, tied for second; 16-10 overall. -- HEAD COACH: Art Ware, first year. -- RETURNING PLAYERS: None. -- TOP NEWCOMERS: Ken Ahlstrom, 6-3 soph. forward; Keith Bond, 6-1 jr. forward. -- OUTLOOK: The Royals graduated entire varsity unit that finished a game away from the state tournament. What's more, Coach Dick Parshall decided to take a year off from coaching to spend more time with his high-school-age sons. Coach Ware, Parshall's assistant, is starting from scratch with an inexperienced unit and has found it difficult finding a consistent starting five, and the team has yet to score more than 38 points in four losses. Ahlstrom and Bond have promise and should fill out physically. At times, Lynnwood will look bad, at other times it will look very good, and Ware's goal is to minimize the former and reinforce the latter. -- COACH'S COMMENT: "They've redrawn the boundries to make Mountlake Terrace bigger, so we're drawing from only part of one middle school. Our three top junior varsity players all would up at Terrace."

MEADOWDALE -- NICKNAME: Chiefs. -- 1990-91 RECORD: 3-9 league, tied for fifth; 7-13 overall. -- HEAD COACH: Dave Wilson, 13th season. -- RETURNING PLAYERS: Seniors: Chris Coleman, 6-2 guard; Brett Merrick, 6-1 guard; Matt Steen, 6-4 post. -- TOP NEWCOMERS: Seniors: Andy Lwanga, 6-1 forward. Junior: Matt Ridgeway, 5-11, wing. -- OUTLOOK: Coleman is considered by most coaches to be the best player in the league. Has a strong move to the basket, is unselfish and continues to improve. Chiefs have some size inside, where burly Matt Steen is effective. Merrick, who signed an early letter of intent to pitch for the University of Washington, is coming into his own as Coleman's backcourt mate, hitting seven three-pointers and 23 points against Oak Harbor. Chiefs should challenge Shorecrest for league title. -- COACH'S COMMENT: "Last year we were rebuilding with young, small kids. We played some really good games, but couldn't beat the big guys. This year we're older, and should be able to compete better."

MONROE -- NICKNAME: Bearcats. -- 1990-91 RECORD: 3-9 league, tied for fifth; 4-16 overall. -- HEAD COACH: Dave Brekke, first year. -- RETURNING PLAYERS: Seniors: Matt Lowell, 6-9 center; Brock Shorno, 6-8 center; Dan Davidson, 6-2 wing. -- TOP NEWCOMERS: Juniors: Scott Rush, 5-1 guard; Chad Gallatin, 6-1 guard. Sophomores: Collin Rush, 5-11 guard; Garrett Pagon, 6-1 wing. -- OUTLOOK: The Bearcats have the best height in the league, and if they can develop a consistent supporting cast to go with Lowell, they should reverse the down trend that has kept the team at the bottom of the standings for four years. Lowell can average in double figures in points and rebounds. The Rush brothers will handle the backcourt, with the younger Collin working the point. A combination of Scott Rush, Pagon and Gallatin will start on the wing. -- COACH'S COMMENT: "I think we can be real competitive if we can get into a routine. We just have to convince these kids that they can win."

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE -- NICKNAME: Hawks. -- 1990-91 RECORD: 7-5 league, placed fourth; 15-12 overall, with state-tournament appearance. -- HEAD COACH: Roger Ottmar, 16th season. -- RETURNING PLAYER: Junior: Nate Smith, 6-5 post. -- TOP NEWCOMERS: Senior: Jeremy Hader, 6-1 wing. Juniors: Barry May, 6-4 post; Tim Bowens, 6-0 guard. -- OUTLOOK: The Hawks are young and inexperienced at the varsity level, but Ottmar has talent to be a factor in league. May is a transfer from Oakland, Calif., who gives Terrace a solid inside game teaming with Smith. Terrace has a reputation for coming on late in the year - witnessed by last year's surge to the state tournament. -- COACH'S COMMENT: "I don't know what's going to happen. We're so young and untried that I don't have any idea where we might be."

SHORECREST -- NICKNAME: Scots. -- 1990-91 RECORD: 5-9 in WesCo AAA, tied for sixth; 5-15 overall. -- HEAD COACH: Marv Morris, third season. -- RETURNING PLAYERS: Seniors: Travis Greer, 6-5 post; Nate Trichler, 6-4 forward; Lucas Davis, 5-10 guard; Chris Linhardt, 6-2 guard. -- TOP NEWCOMERS: Senior: Brian Nieuwenhuis, 6-6 post. Sophomores: Seth Davis, 6-2 post; Brian Branch-Moore, 6-0 guard. -- OUTLOOK: Scots are solid. Greer, Trichler, Lucas Davis and Linhardt took their lumps last year in WesCo AAA. Morris has club improving steadily each season and is a league favorite in first season in Class AA. Nieuwenhuis is a transfer from Watson Groen Christian and gives Greer help inside. Perhaps the best word to describe Scots will be tough. -- COACH'S COMMENT: "Our goal is to contend for the championship of the league. I think we can be a contender - at least we have the potential to be one. I'm optimistic."

Copyright (c) 1991 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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