Sports

Warriors ready to take the next step

King’s West can’t get that winning feeling out of their bones.

That’s a good thing.

“We were right there,” said Rick Walker, the boys basketball coach at the Class B school, recalling the Warriors’ three wins in last year’s Tri-District Tournament. “That’s the furthest we’ve gone. These guys have playoff experience. They’re primed and ready to take on district again and it make it to state.”

There’s reasons for optimism and it starts with returning junior starters Blake Anderson (14.3 ppg), Brandin Jones (13 ppg) and Peder Rauen (9 ppg).

Anderson, at 6-4, is the Warriors’ inside force.

“He knows how to take the ball to the hoop from anywhere in the key and he has a real knack for the ball while rebounding,” Walker said. “We’ll look to him as the go-to guy on the floor.”

If opponents choose to double-team Anderson, it’ll open it up for Jones and Rauen.

Emil Rogstad, a four-year player for the Warriors and the only senior, has moved into the starting lineup along with 6-6 sophomore Josh Beahan.

Walker thinks Jones will be one of the Sea-Tac’s premier point guards, and he’s got confidence in his backup, freshman Jesse Reeves.

“Jesse loves the game and has put in his time,” Walker said. “He’s going to be a real addition for us. I’m really blessed with a couple of very good point guards, which I’ve never had in the past.”

Reeves and Rogstad are both capable outside shooters, said Walker.

“I like our balance,” Walker said. “We have an outside game and we have an inside game, especially if Josh (Beahan) continues to develop. We could be a real powerhouse inside if he does.”

Sophomore Ben Dyer should help the Warriors out on the boards.

The Warriors expect to challenge always-tough Evergreen Lutheran and Seattle Lutheran for Sea-Tac honors.

Walker’s hopeful that a tough non-league schedule — the Warriors face 4A Bremerton, 3A North Mason, 2A Klahowya and B powers Chief Leschi and Mount Vernon Christian — will pay off.

“We might be fortunate to come up .500 in the preseason,” Walker said, “but I don’t mind. Playing against quicker and talented players should prepare us for league and the postseason.”

The Warriors opened Tuesday, Nov. 27 at home against Mount Vernon Christian. They host Chief Leschi tonight at 8 p.m. at Gundy Hall.

WARRIORS AT A GLANCE

Coach — Rick Walker (10th year).

Last year — 15-7 (fourth in Sea-Tac, won three games at district).

Returners — Blake Anderson, jr., 6-4, F/P; Brandin Jones, jr., 5-10, G; Peder Rauen, jr., 6-1, F; Emil Rogstad, sr., 6-1, G/F; Josh Beahan, so., 6-6, P; Curtis McCullough, jr., 5-9, F; Adam Bassett, jr., 6-0, F/G; Cody Cole, so., 6-0, F.

Newcomers — Jesse Reeves, fr., 5-10, G; Ben Dyer, so., 6-0, F; Erik Bright, fr., 6-2, P; Adam Shildmyer, fr., 6-0. F.

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