SPORTS: Preview capsules for Class 1B boys basketball

Quilcene

■ Head coach: Mark Thompson (third year)

■ Last year: 7-7 in 1B Sea-Tac, 10-9 overall; reached 1B tri-district.

■ Returning starters: Jake Pleines (5-10, So., F), Mason Jordan (6-1, Sr., F).

■ Top newcomers: Jake Jordan (6-1, So., F), Jason Smith (5-7, So., G), Josh King (5-10, So., G/F), Kenny Early (5-10, Sr. G).

■ Outlook: The Rangers lost some key players off a team that returned to postseason play last winter, 1,000-point scorer Brandon Bancroft chief among them.

Coach Thompson (17-22 in two seasons) will look to retool with a roster that boasts four seniors, including Angel Perez (5-8, G) and Ethan Newman (5-10, G).

Thompson said preseason practice was spent giving the players an opportunity to compete for a spot in the rotation.

He said the team’s success will hinge on shooting, defensive rebounding and defensive fundamentals.

“We’re small and inexperienced, but nobody is going to outwork or out- hustle us, that I can guarantee,” Thompson said.

Neah Bay

■ Head coach: Gerrad Brooks (second year)

■ Last year: 6-0 in NOL, 23-6 overall; finished second in 1B (3-2 at state).

■ Returning starters: Zeke Greene (5-9, So., G), Titus Pascua (5-10, Sr., G), Mike Dulik (6-3, Sr., F/C), Johnny Smith (5-9, Jr., PG).

■ Top newcomers: Josiah Greene (6-2, So., G/F), Leyton Doherty (5-10, Jr., G/F).

■ Outlook: It’s going to be hard for coach Brooks to top his first year in Neah Bay.

The former Division II college star guided the Red Devils to their first state title game appearance last winter, with prolific scorer Drexler Doherty leading the way.

Now that Doherty has moved on, the Red Devils must find someone else to fill the scoring void.

“We’ve got some young guys but I still think we’ll be strong,” said Brooks, whose team includes several players from the 1B state championship football squad.

“Last year we had a good group. The guys were able to work out two weeks before the season. There’s a real difference there, but we’ll be a strong team.

“We have guys who are capable of scoring from all sorts of different angles.”

Clallam Bay

■ Head coach: Cal Ritter (third year)

■ Last year: 3-3 in NOL, 13-7 overall; eliminated at 1B tri-district.

■ Returning starters: Jacob Portnoy (5-11, Sr., G), Austin Ritter (5-10, Jr., G), Ryan Willis (6-2, Jr., F/C).

■ Top newcomers: Kevin Hess (5-11, Jr., F/C), Justin Welever (5-8, Jr., PG).

■ Outlook: The Bruins returned to respectability last winter, breaking a one-year playoff drought with a 13-win season.

A couple of talented seniors moved on from that team, but coach Cal Ritter said he has plenty to build around.

“I had quite a bit of individual talent last year,” he said.

“This year, I’ve got a good group of kids who work together.”

Forward Jacob Portnoy is the only senior on the roster, and underclassmen like Calvin Ritter (6-0, So., F) and Kelly Gregory (5-9, Fr., PG) will play a lot of minutes.

“I think the overall attitude and enthusiasm in the program is going to help out a lot. We’re getting those W’s and that does a lot,” said coach Ritter, referring to the football and basketball teams’ recent success.

“They want to build on last year and keep going with the winning.”

Crescent

■ Head coach: Darren Heaward (fourth year)

■ Last year: 0-6 in NOL, 5-15 overall; missed playoffs.

■ Returning starters: Joel Williams (6-3, Sr., F/G), Kai Story (6-3, Jr., C), Gene Peppard (6-2. Jr., C/F), Derrick Findley (6-1, Jr., F).

■ Top newcomers: Josh Sowders (6-4, Sr., F/C), Travis Walker (5-6, So., G), Sage Fadness (5-8, So., G).

■ Outlook: The Loggers bring back all but one starter from last year.

After a year of taking their lumps — Crescent was winless in NOL play — the Loggers are ready to compete for their second playoff spot in three years.

Crescent has the size to do so, with three different players 6-foot-2 or taller on the roster. That includes returning NOL MVP Joel Williams, a double-double machine last winter.

Loggers coach Darren Heaward listed defense as the key to his team’s success this season.

Matt Schubert

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