Sports

Kentridge boys move in with confidence | Prep preview

Forward Danny Torlai leaps to block a pass to forward Nick Hopson during a Kentridge practice on Dec. 2. Coach Dave Jamison says his team contains a good balance of speed and height, with shorter players making up for their lack of size with speed. - Ross Coyle/Kent Reporter
Forward Danny Torlai leaps to block a pass to forward Nick Hopson during a Kentridge practice on Dec. 2. Coach Dave Jamison says his team contains a good balance of speed and height, with shorter players making up for their lack of size with speed.
— image credit: Ross Coyle/Kent Reporter

Coming off of what head coach Dave Jamison describes as a "mediocre" two past seasons, the Kentridge High boys basketball team is preparing to take off for the 2013-2014 season.

Returning from the last season with a 12-8 record, Jamison knows his boys can do better. While he says they were "thrown into the fire" in their first two seasons as sophomores and juniors, now it's time to step up their game.

Having an average season has diminished the boys confidence, says Jamison, and he's worked on building them up to where they feel competitive.

"Now that they're seniors, they're good, and they should be playing like that all the time," he said.

Finding that consistency has been Jamison's focal point during practices, as he works to bring his first and second teams in line with each other.

This year, two juniors and two sophomores will join eight seniors. While the team has several standout players such as Jawan Stepney and Christoph Adams, it's also bringing on some talented new players who have impressed Jamison.

Sophomore Joran Ticeson is one such player who, according to Jamison, has good judgement on the court as well as good shooting skills. Jamison also believes his guards Keasean Kelly and Deon Thomas will put up resistance despite being smaller players.

The Chargers are a well-balanced mix of speed and strength, with larger players like Stepney working cohesively with smaller but fast players like Thomas.

"All the new kids are good basketball players, but they're all new to our terminology and the way we do things," Jamison said.

Kentridge went to the district tournament last year, but that isn't enough for Jamison. He plans to make the state playoffs. With a No. 4 ranking from the Seattle Times, the Chargers may be set up to do just that.

The Chargers already have solid victories over Thomas Jefferson, Mount Rainier and Kentwood. They host Auburn Riverside at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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Chargers at a glance

• 2012-2013 Season: (9-7 SPSL, 12-8 overall)

• Returning: G Jawan Stepney 6-3, Sr.; F Danny Torlai 6-6, Sr.; PG Keasean Kelly 5-9, Sr.; F Christoph Adams 6-7, Sr.; PG Deon Thomas, 5-7, Jr.; Post Joe Wainhouse, 6-7, Sr.

• New: G Marlon Palmer, Sr.; G Josh Garcia, Sr.; F Hussayn Ford, Sr.; F Nick Hopson Jr.; F Joran Ticeson, Soph.; G Elija Ticeson, Soph.

• Strengths: Balance, size, and experience are strengths.

• Weaknesses: Confidence and two average seasons are weaknesses.

• In a nutshell: "We're a real deep athletic group," Coach David Jamison said. "They're pretty unselfish. I think that if we show up and play hard every night and share the ball, we're gonna be pretty good."

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