High School Basketball

PREP BOYS’ BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Mount Baker Mountaineers

Coach: Rob Gray

Last year: Finished 12th in the Northwest Conference with a 2-10 record. ... Ended season after going 1-2 in the 1A Northwest District Tournament and finished 5-18 overall.

Players to watch: Colton Ranson (sr., G); Timothy Soares (jr., F); TJ Bass (so., F); Grant Balvanz (so., G)

Outlook: Most of the faces on Mount Baker’s roster are unfamiliar. The Mountaineers return only one player, Ranson, who played significant varsity minutes last winter. But even with the lack of experience, Gray sees several admirable traits in his young team. “They really try to play hard,” Gray said in a phone interview, “and they stay positive as possible.” That effort and team chemistry should serve the team well as is navigates the season schedule, and Gray has been pleased with Ranson’s team leadership. Ranson averaged 8.3 points per game a season ago and makes up a backcourt that includes Kennan Gray, Tanner Bass, Mason Bass and Balvanz. Junior 6-foot-8 forward Soares is an interesting prospect. He came out for the team this year for the first time, and Gray said he has some strong basketball bloodlines. “We’ve been talking about the process of getting better,” Gray said. “We keep talking about the little things and getting better everyday. ... They are a lot of fun to watch.”

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