High School Basketball

They’ve gotten so close the last 2 seasons; will Mount Baker break through?

Coach: Rob Gray (20th season)

Last year: Finished 17-9; tied for fifth in NWC; advanced to Class 1A bi-district tournament

Player to watch: Grant Balvanz is Mount Baker’s top returning scorer, averaging 12.7 points per game last season, but he’s key to the Mountaineers in other ways, too. “He’s a very intense competitor and competes really hard and is a pretty good defender,” Gray said.

Newcomer to keep an eye on: With seven returning lettermen, it will be difficult for newcomers to make a big difference, but sophomore Kaleb Bass has impressed. “He’s a tough, hard-nosed young man who will do what you ask of him,” Gray said. “He doesn’t look overwhelmed when the lights come on.”

Key to the season: Mount Baker will lean heavily on its experience. “We’ve seen pretty much everything you can see in a year,” Gray said. “They’ve done this for the past two years, for the most part.”

Outlook: Mount Baker has plenty of talent returning, with the big, physical, athletic TJ Bass (10.4 points per game in 2015-16) and Keenan Gray, who is 35 assists shy of the school career record. This group has been one win from advancing to state the past two years, and that’s a hurdle they desperately want to clear. “This is a tough group with lofty goals for themselves,” Gray said. “Hopefully we’ll get that one more win, because this is the same group as the last two years.”

2016-17 Roster

No.

Player

Pos.

Yr.

3

Ethan Gates

F

Jr.

5

Keenan Gray

G

Sr.

10

Jed Schleimer

F

Sr.

11

Kaleb Bass

G

So.

20

Parker Malone

F

Sr.

21

Hayden Linderman

F

Sr.

22

Dionisio Romero

G

Sr.

24

Carson Engholm

G

Jr.

32

Thomas Barbo

F

Jr.

33

TJ Bass

F

Sr.

35

Grant Balvanz

G

Sr.

2016-17 Schedule

Date

Opponent

Score

Dec. 1

South Whidbey

W 70-46

Dec. 3

at Oak Harbor

W 74-41

Date

Opponent

Time

Dec. 10

at Friday Harbor

ppd.

Dec. 13

at Blaine*

7:15 p.m.

Dec. 16

Ferndale*

7:30 p.m.

Dec. 17

at La Conner

7 p.m.

Dec. 20

Lambrick Park

7:15 p.m.

Dec. 29

Bellevue Christian (at Yakima Valley SunDome)

4:30 p.m.

Dec. 30

Royal (at Yakima Valley SunDome)

10:30 a.m.

Jan. 3

Bellingham*

7:15 p.m.

Jan. 6

at Sedro-Woolley*

7:15 p.m.

Jan. 9

at Lakewood*

7:15 p.m.

Jan. 12

Burlington-Edison*

7:15 p.m.

Jan. 17

Squalicum*

7:15 p.m.

Jan. 20

at Nooksack Valley*

7:30 p.m.

Jan. 23

at Meridian*

7:15 p.m.

Jan. 26

at Anacortes*

7:30 p.m.

Jan. 28

Lynden Christian*

7:15 p.m.

Jan. 31

Lynden*

7:15 p.m.

Feb. 2

Sehome*

7:30 p.m.

*NWC game

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