Wednesday, July 26, 2017 This Week's Paper

Exciting offseason for local hoops squads

// TCC Summer League winds down action

Despite it being the offseason for local basketball squads, several exciting things are happening recently for a couple teams as they continue competing in summer tournaments and leagues.

The Lincoln Abes have had arguably the most active and promising offseason, as they capped off their schedule in the TCC Summer League with a dominating 58-37 win over Steilacoom on June 25. That came on the heels of winning the 32-team Curtis Shootout tournament on June 22-24, as the Abes reeled off four straight close victories – including a victory over perennial Oregon power Jesuit, of Portland, by two points in the finals.

“Three of (the games) we were down double digits in the second half and came back and won,” said Lincoln head coach Aubrey Shelton. “It was a great weekend for us to win four close games against very good competition.”

Abes guard Ar’Mond Davis continued the momentum by putting on a show against Steilacoom, hitting six three-pointers in the first half on his way to 20 points. And the recent action on the court may not even be the most exciting news for Lincoln basketball.

The Abes have recently added two key transfers – reigning SPSL 2A MVP Ahmaad Rorie, a junior-to-be guard from Clover Park, and 6-foot-4 sharpshooter Caden Rowland from Mount Rainier – that will make Lincoln a force to be reckoned with next year.

“They’re going to be a big help,” Shelton said. “With both of them that makes us incredibly deep…we’ve got four or five guys that can all score 20 (points), we’ve got a bunch of guys that can defend, so we’re going to get after people.”

While the Abes are continuing to look solid under Shelton, new Lakes head coach Nick Jensen is just beginning to instill his game plan, having been hired to take over for JoJo Rodriguez on June 1. Taking on Central Kitsap on June 25 at TCC, the Lancers fought back from an early deficit for a 54-42 win, displaying their trademark athleticism.

“The kids have been great, they’ve been working really hard,” said Jensen, a former assistant at Bellarmine Prep. “They’re giving me great effort and great attitude, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Jordan Johnson’s three-point play gave the Lancers a 38-37 lead midway through the second half, and his dunk in the midst of a 17-0 run helped put it away. Jensen will look to Johnson and fellow seniors Terrell Toney and Andre Lewis, who he called a “do-everything guard,” to lead the way in his inaugural season at the helm.

Taking the stage after Lakes at TCC was Foss, which gutted out a 52-48 win over Curtis behind guard Noah Hunthausen and reigning Narrows 3A co-MVP Dezmyn Trent. The Falcons held a 36-23 lead with 13 minutes left, but Curtis slowly clawed back in it, and guard Dominic Robinson hit a layup to give the Vikings a 38-37 lead with six minutes left. After Robinson’s three pointer gave Curtis a 45-42 lead with just over two minutes left, Trent took over. The senior-to-be had a steal and an emphatic dunk, and salted the game away with two late free throws, showing that he will once again be a force for the Falcons next year.