Meridian's Alex Martin playing strong in first varsity season

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJanuary 4, 2014 

Meridian junior guard Alex Martin hasn't waited to show how impactful he can be playing on the varsity level.

Martin, who didn't score a point as a sophomore last year, has helped the Trojans to a 4-3 record and is leading his club with a team-high 20.3 points per game.

Last week against De La Salle, Ore., Cashmere and Mount Baker, Martin scored 32 points, 18 and 20, respectively.

Meridian coach Shane Stacy has spoke glowingly about his phenomenal junior, and Martin has even earned recognition from opposing coaches.

"Wow, can he ever play," said Cashmere coach Levi Heyen during the Cloud 9 Sports Christmas Classic basketball tournament. "I watched him yesterday, and he made some unbelievable shots."

Even though Martin has been Meridian's scoring leader in all seven games - against Bellingham Martin and Kyle Young each scored 14 - Stacy has said Martin doesn't force shots. Rather, he lets the game come to him.

"Really, they were all spread out," Stacy said of Martin's 20-point outing against Mount Baker. "It was a real quiet 20. He has been really smart about his shots and choosing how to take shots."

SQUALICUM FRESHMAN TURNING HEADS

It's not every year a freshman makes a varsity squad, and it's even more rare that they become a key contributor.

Squalicum freshman guard Damek Mitchell has given the Storm a glimpse during the past five games of the type of budding star he is.

He scored a team-high 16 points during his first game of the year against Bellingham and also led Squalicum in scoring with 18 points Thursday, Jan. 2, against Lynden.

Mitchell is averaging 8.8 points, has tremendous quickness and can run the offense well. He and Benjamin Garcia have provided a strong complement to Blake Youtsey on the offensive end.

"I think Damek is a play-maker, and tonight he was able to make plays on both ends of the floor," Squalicum coach Dave Dickson said of Mitchell after Squalicum's loss to Lynden. "He's got some hoops smarts, and he shows it out there when he plays."

MURASHOV SHOULDERING BAKER'S SCORING LOAD

Mount Baker's Reuben Murashov has gone above and beyond expectations as the Mountaineers' leading scorer over the past week, scoring nearly half of his team's points in their matchups against Sehome and Meridian.

Murashov had 25 of Baker's 53 points against Sehome on Monday, Dec. 30, and 18 of the Mountaineers' 38 points against Meridian on Tuesday, Dec. 31.

His play against Meridian drew praise from Trojans coach Shane Stacy, who called Murashov "one of the best players in the league" in a phone interview.

Averaging 16.3 points per game this season, Murashov also scored a career-high 31 points against Friday Harbor on Dec. 18, more than half of the Mountaineers' 59 total points in the overtime win.

SEHOME'S ANDERSON CONTRIBUTES BEYOND THE ARC

Sehome's Leif Anderson's four 3-pointers in an overtime win over Anacortes on Thursday, Jan. 3, came as no surprise to the Mariners. Anderson has been doing it all year.

Anderson is averaging 11.6 points per game and has scored double figures in six of 10 games this season.

Much of what makes Anderson successful comes from beyond the arc. He hit five 3-pointers and scored 25 points in a loss to Sedro-Woolley on Saturday, Dec. 21.

In the last six games, Anderson has led his team from beyond the arc three times and has totaled 15 3-pointers. And when you connect from deep, it leads to points for everyone - Sehome is winners of its last four games.

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