Over the past two years, the North Douglas Boys Basketball team lost only two games in the Skyline league going a combined 17-2. The exciting part is The Warriors return almost everyone from last season after going 7-4 overall and getting a taste of post-season play.
“I knew we were talented and I think we had the benefit of some people probably overlooking us. But I don’t think that people are overlooking us this year,” said second-year Head Coach Jesse Leman. “In the OSAA Preseason coaches poll, we were ranked fifth which is really cool to have that recognition. Obviously, we want to be ranked first by the end of the season, but it just kind of shows me that people are taking this seriously this year.”
With the shortened season last year due to COVID-19, the North Douglas boys team only had seven kids on the team for the full year. But despite the smaller turnout The Warriors still had some success and were competitive throughout the whole season.
“It was also was really hard because we didn’t have a lot of practice time,” said Leman. “I felt like if we have more time, more opportunity to get in shape we could have been even better than we were. The more I get removed from it, the more I can appreciate how the season went. We were in every game, we were competitive in every loss. In the state tournament, we lost in our first-round game by two. So we were just right there knocking at the door in a really strange season with not a lot of preparation, it was a lot of learning on the fly.”
Four out of the seven players earned an all-league selection Ray Gerrard, Keegan Mast, Logan Gant and Trenton Rabuck highlight the returning players for the Warriors this season. With winter seasons returning to a mostly normal schedule, the turnout has also improved with newcomers Wyatt Reed, Tucker Kallinger, Marcelino Nunez and Jayden Montgomery looking to add more skill to an already talented roster.
“We have high expectations for sure,” said Leman. “I think that our first goal is to win the league. That puts us in a position to get a good seed going into state; hopefully, giving us the best possible road to make it far. I don’t think it’s unrealistic to think that we can compete with the best teams.
Leman added, “We know there are a few teams that are returning a lot of their guys, and we should be right in the mix with them and I think that we’re well equipped to try to compete.”
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