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.”
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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.”
at Oak Harbor
at Friday Harbor
at La Conner
Bellevue Christian (at Yakima Valley SunDome)
Royal (at Yakima Valley SunDome)
at Nooksack Valley*