SPORTS: Crescent hires Scott to coach girls basketball team

JOYCE — Brian Scott beat cancer.

Now he’ll try to get the Crescent girls basketball team to beat a few North Olympic League opponents.

Scott returns to the Logger bench this winter after spending the past two years overcoming a cancer diagnosis he received following the 2008-09 season — his first and only one as the Crescent girls head coach.

Thus, for the second time in three years, the 49-year-old Port Angeles resident gets an opportunity to start a rebuilding process from the ground up.

“I’d love to say I’d like to finish what I started, but to me it’s just starting over,” Scott said during a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. “It’s a fresh start.”

Indeed, Scott assumes control of a program that has certainly had several of those in recent years.

Crescent has had five different head coaches, including Scott, since Lee Keown abruptly resigned his post midway through the 2007-08 season.

The Loggers have gone winless in NOL play since then, submitting four straight 0-6 showings in league.

The best overall single season record in that period (6-12) actually came during Scott’s lone season in Joyce.

Last season’s head coach, Nate Mandeville, guided the Loggers to a 3-14 record overall before walking away from the job during the offseason.

“I am very excited about Brian’s return to coach in the Crescent School District,” Crescent athletic director Dave Bingham said in a news release.

“Brian had a great season in 2008-09, our athletes really responded positively to his leadership and mentoring.

“Brian supports the academic and athletic mission of our school, but most importantly it is fantastic that Brian’s health has returned and his long-term prognosis is good.

“When I hired Brian previously I had hoped that he would work in our school for a number of years, now I hope that he can continue the mission that was interrupted a couple years ago.”

Scott had grand plans for the program when he first started in 2008, including installing a full schedule of summer games in the offseason.

After he was forced to leave the team to treat his cancer in 2009, touching off two seasons of coaching instability, that dream never became a reality.

“If I would have stayed with them, this would’ve been my fourth year now,” Scott said. “I think we would have had a good chance to compete with Clallam Bay and Neah Bay [if that was the case.] But I wasn’t in the gym a lot these last couple of years.

“When the first day of practice comes, we’ll have to see where we’re at.”

Scott, a former Stevens Middle School boys and girls basketball coach, says he’s been given a clean bill of health from his doctor.

While he isn’t 100-percent cancer free, the bump that first appeared on his tongue three years ago has been treated and removed.

All that remains is a spot on one of his lungs that will receive treatment in the coming months.

Scott still struggles to talk for long periods of time, and he’s lost some feeling in his feet and finger tips as a result of chemotherapy.

But that wasn’t enough to keep him from coming back to Crescent gym.

“I always wished I could,” said Scott, also a water operator for the Crescent Water Association.

“I always thought that once I could get back strong enough, I would love to go back. The girls that I had had a good working relationship with me, and we kind of built back confidence in the program.”

Scott said he plans to stress fundamentals and conditioning in his first season.

After that, perhaps the wins will start coming for the Loggers as well.

“Hopefully we can get the kids going again, start them young and just keep them in the program,” Scott said.

“The core group of kids out here are a good group. I think they want to be taught.

“I show them the basics, and then we go from there.”

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