High School Sports

PREP BOYS' BASKETBALL: Nooksack Valley preview

NOOKSACK VALLEY PIONEERS

Coach: Tyler Mitchell

Last year: 20-8 (7-6 NWC), placed third at the Class 1A state tourna-ment.

Players to watch: Rich Skillman (Sr., G/F), Efren Zavala (Sr., G), Nick Westergreen (So., G), Chad Van-Berkum (Sr., G), Dexter Beard (Sr., P).

Outlook: Mitchell takes over for the retired Bill Kelly after coaching with Kelly the past three years. He inherits a team that lost three of the top four scorers that helped Pioneers reach the 1A state semifinals. But Skillman, who averaged 12.6 points per game is back, and he should be even better. Skillman played AAU basketball this summer and played in a tournament in Las Vegas where he faced opponents with high skill levels. The Pioneers will ask the multi-talented guard to serve a num-ber of roles, especially considering he is the second-tallest player on the roster at 6-foot-3. Zavala also returns after averaging 3.1 points per game last year, as do Westergreen, Van Bernkum and Beard, who all saw substantial varsity playing time last season. Nooksack obviously will be hurt by the loss of Bret Handy, Chris Mitchell and Jeb Hobbs, but the guard-heavy Pioneers should have the talent to make another run to state.

ROSTER

No. Player (Ht., Pos., Yr.)

10. Nick Westergreen (5-8, G, So.)

12. Markus McLeod (5-8, G, Jr.)

14. Rich Skillman (6-4, G/F, Sr.)

22. Dexter Beard (6-3, P, Sr.)

24. Efren Zavala (6-0, G, Sr.)

30. Chad VanBerkum (6-0, G, Sr.)

32. Anthony Reese (6-0, G, So.)

34. Tyler Perry (5-10, G, Fr.)

40. Brent Gwinner (6-2, G/F, So.)

44. Jon Charroin (6-0, F, So.)

SCHEDULE

Dec. 4, at Meridian, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 8, Lynden Christian , 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 11, at Blaine, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 15, Lynden , 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 18, at Sehome*, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 21, Meridian*, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 27, Nooksack Valley tournament, TBA

Dec. 28, Nooksack Valley tournament, TBA

Jan. 4, Anacortes*, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 9, Blaine*, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 12, at Bellingham*, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 14, Friday Harbor , 4:45 p.m.

Jan. 16, at Lynden*, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 18, Burlington-Edison*, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 23, at Mount Baker*, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 25, Squalicum*, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 30, at Ferndale*, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 1, at Mount Vernon*, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 2, Sedro-Woolley*, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 7, at Lynden Christian*, 7:30 p.m.

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