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"Klahowya boys short, but not short on experience"
"After his Klahowya Secondary School boys basketball team beat Tyee 55-43 last week to open its 1999-2000 season on a winning note, first-year coach Scott McMinds had two wishes for the Eagles.First, he wished his win-starved team two wins in two seasons under departed Mike McCorkle, both of which came last winter would savor the victory and enjoy the feeling.Second, he wishes they have a chance this year to get used to that feeling.The thing for us this year is to win the games were capable of winning, says McMinds, a 26-year-old embarking on his first head coaching job. This was a perfect way for us to start. I wouldve been upset if we hadnt won that game, because we were the better team.In their first two seasons, the Eagles seldom got to make that claim. And, on those occasions when they mightve had a physical edge, they couldnt get over the hump mentally.This year, McMinds says, its time for Klahowya to come of age.Our guys need to get used to the feeling of winning, he says. I dont think this team really believed it could win before. Thats a routine you dont want to let yourself get into.In its first two years competing in the Olympic League mostly Class 4A and 3A opponents Klahowya took turns being done in by its lack of size (both in numbers and in height) and its lack of experience.There still isnt a lot of size in the Eagles camp. Sophomore Robert Tyree wins the tape-stretchin award, and hes a modest 6-foot-2.But the experience situation has improved. Theres a nucleus of seniors, guys who have been around since the programs first turnout, who are ready to make McMinds wishes come true.Weve got some good leaders here, McMinds says. Theres a group of seniors who arent gifted basketball players, but they have a lot of heart and desire. They want to do well, and they want the team to do well their senior year.That group starts with forward Brett Krache, last years leading scorer and rebounder despite standing in at just 5-10. Sturdy enough to bang inside against much-taller opponents, Krache also is a strong enough outside shooter to pose a 3-point threat.Hes joined by third-year veterans Jesse Rickabaugh, Joe Emel, Bob Merz and Jeff Berend. The latter missed all of last year and the baseball season as well with a preseason knee injury, but will be a welcome addition inside.Also back are junior guards Josh Merry and Eddie Bullock, who supply, respectively, some offensive polish and defensive quickness.The Eagles got a shot in the arm when Rick Gregory who played at Klahowya as a sophomore, then transferred to Central Kitsap last year opted to return for his senior season. Gregory is a smooth guard who brings with him ballhandling and shooting ability, and an acumen for playing in CKs fast-paced offense.Then theres Tyree, a sophomore who McMinds will look to for strong all-around play in the paint.Im excited for this year, McMinds says. We want to create a sense of team and build a winning tradition, and I think were off to a good start.And McMinds, formerly an assistant with Klahowyas junior high team, likes what he sees in the programs future, too.The junior high program is all ninth-graders this year, he says. Theyve got some size, some speed, some good players. Theyll feed 12 plus (potential players) into our program next year.Theyll also feed that newfound winning attitude McMinds is pushing."