The Shagren household has been having a little bit of fun with it since the draw for the Class 2A State Tournament bracket was announced on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 24.
Shari Shagren attended Yakima West Valley High School - in fact, she was even a member of the Ramettes dance team at the school.
Her son, Dak, is a senior guard for the Lynden boys' basketball team.
As the luck of the draw would have it, those two schools will face each other in a 12:15 p.m. state quarterfinal on Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Yakima Valley SunDome.
"I'm pretty sure she'll be pulling for Lynden," Dak said in phone interview. "But we've been laughing about it around our house."
Shagren takes his relationship with his family very seriously.
In fact, he and his family have grown close raising and training Belgian show horses and traveling around the region to enter them in competitions.
The Shagrens have been quite successful at it, as Dak said they had a few champion horses in various competitions.
But Dak said the satisfaction of winning a show competition is nothing compared to winning a title with his other family at Lynden High. He should know, as he's been an integral part of back-to-back 2A state football titles and a state basketball championship a year ago.
"It's fun to win show competitions, and it really brings the family together," Dak said. "It's fun, but it's a little less exciting than winning a state championship. It's a whole other level, especially with the guys I've been able to do it with."
It's an experience that Shagren and his teammates obviously hope to duplicate this weekend in Yakima.
And as they look to defend, there's no doubt that the Lions' defense will play a key role.
Though he's second to John Shine's 13.4 points per game with his average of 13.1, Shagren really makes his presence felt on defense.
"He's one of the best defenders I've ever coached," Lynden coach Brian Roper said in a phone interview. "You can go up and down the list of guys in our conference that he has shut down."
Shagren said he actually likes the challenge of trying to shut down an opponent's top scoring threat.
The toughest he's faced in the Northwest Conference?
"I'd say (Isaak) Davies from Burlington is always a good player, and Isaac (Reimer from Lynden Christian) is always tough to stop," Shagren said. "But there are so many good players in this conference. Every team has somebody you've got to focus on."
And Shagren has done a good job of focusing on them and doing a pretty good job of shutting them down.
Roper said you could even see his defensive ability in the third quarter of Lynden's 58-39 victory over Sumner in the 2A state regional round on Saturday, Feb. 23.
"He guarded their best player, Keenan Jackson, who hit some big shots in the first half," Roper said. "Dak walled him off four or five times in a row. After that, he pretty much stopped trying to go to the rim."
Though not physically imposing, Shagren has all the physical tools to make him a good defender, Roper said.
He's got long arms on his 6-foot-3 frame to go with his quick hands and outstanding lateral quickness.
"He leads our team in steals (about two per game), and there is a good reason for that," Roper said. "He's a little small for his size, and I think he gets underestimated for that. But when you see him move and defend guys you understand. He just understands positioning and how to read what an opponent is doing, and he's got the physical skills to get there and stop it."
But those aren't the only tools Shagren possesses. He's also got the right mentality.
"You've got to have the mindset and the attitude to go all out and play as hard as you can for 32 minutes," Shagren said. "You've got to be tough to be a good defender. You can't be afraid to put it all out there on the floor."
And considering defense is an overlooked trait in today's game during ESPN highlights, it takes a special person to be a good defender.
"Dak has the perfect mentality I look for in a player," Roper said. "Off the court, he's a gentle, polite kid. On the court, he's got so much fire and competitive spirit. I like that. That's a great combination in my eyes."
It's a combination Roper sees in a number of the seniors on his roster and one he said he discovered right away when Shagren stepped onto the varsity practice court as a freshman.
Shagren has been a three-year starter for the Lions, and even hit a go-ahead bucket in a three-point win over River Ridge in the first round of the 2A State Tournament his freshman year, helping Lynden move on to a sixth-place trophy that year.
"He has a knack for making plays," Roper said. "It doesn't matter if it's at the offensive or defensive end of the court. He's got great anticipation and great understanding of the game. ... He seems to be in the right place at the right time all the time. He knows who he is and he's very comfortable playing in pressure situations. I don't see Dak getting rattled. I didn't see it when he was a freshman, and I don't see it now."
Roper doesn't expect to see it next year, either, when Shagren moves on to play for Northwest University in Kirkland - the same school where former Squalicum standout Michael Greene is playing a starring role as a junior and where former Nooksack Valley standout Rich Skillman played.
"He's a lot like those guys," Roper said. "Those are guys, when you watch the film, you see some extra things you didn't notice during the game. I give coach (John) Van Dyke a lot of credit, because he's seen those same things in Michael Greene, Rich Skillman and now Dak Shagren, and I think you've seen the benefit of what he's seen in those guys. I mean Dak is averaging (13) points per game, and most of time that's not going to be highly recruited. But with Dak comes a lot more than just points per game."
But before Shagren starts thinking about college basketball, he's looking for one more ride with the guys he's grown up playing next to.
Not surprisingly, he thinks that the Lions defense will be the key to their hopes of a repeat.
"There are a lot of good players down there, so you've got to come ready to play good defense," he said. "Sometimes you're going to struggle shooting, but playing good defense will always be there for you. On the court, you've got to come ready to be the best competitor you can be and give 100 percent. That's our whole team. We've got a lot of great guys to be around off the court, but on the court, we all have that fire and we want to win real bad. We're compeititors."
Reach DAVID RASBACH at email@example.com or call 715-2286.