Eight seniors return for the Spartans

Coach Brett McDaniel knows the Sumner High boys basketball program has a long hill to climb, but meeting a challenge is the stuff of good coaches and teams.

Coach Brett McDaniel knows the Sumner High boys basketball program has a long hill to climb, but meeting a challenge is the stuff of good coaches and teams.

McDaniel took over the Spartan basketball program after guiding the Bonney Lake boys basketball team into the district playoffs in 2007 and 2008 and the Sumner girls basketball team into district play in 2004.

Now, he intends to create the same magic with the Spartan boys, a program that has not seen a league banner since 1969 and has enjoyed very few victories in recent years.

McDaniel said he kept a small team with “kids who work extremely hard. This is rebuilding. We can’t do anything about what has happened over the last 40 years, but we can do something now.”

The coach demands discipline, which includes players running if they do not come to practice early.

“Our motto is Sumner first, Sumner basketball second,” McDaniel said. “We are going back to square one. We want to win, but we can’t win until we respect the game first. The kids have to understand it is a privilege to play basketball, and they are reacting well.”

Sumner has eight seniors and two juniors on the team. Starting at the wing will be 6-foot-5-inch senior Johnny Greenwood.

“He’s been a leader on the team this year,” McDaniel said.

Twins Lui and Tema Koria, seniors, will be on the floor with Lui at the point and Tema at the power forward spot.

Senior Jordan Bone will also play the wing and 6-foot-5-inch Casey Lafkus will be in the post.

McDaniel said the team has been working at beating the press and trap on offense and will play a “multiple disruptive defense” rotating between man and zone.

“Our goal is to always give ourselves a chance to win,” McDaniel said.

The Spartans are scheduled to host Cascade Christian in a nonleague game Saturday and will travel to North Thurston for a nonleague game Tuesday. Sumner’s first league game will be Dec. 12 at home against Enumclaw. All begin at 7 p.m.

Reach Dennis Box at dbox@courierherald.com or 360-802-8209.

More in News

City of Enumclaw seeking downtown developer

A new three-story building may be built on the corner of Cole and Railroad.

Panthers jazzed for new Performing Arts Center

Sports fans should also be excited for new home-side covered seating at the school stadium.

New program offers incentives for keeping Lake Tapps clean

Becoming Lake TappsWise certified could lead to savings on a septic inspections and pumping.

Ellenson park likely site for new Enumclaw dog park

City Parks Director Michelle Larson estimates a mid- to late-summer opening.

A Canadian safe consumption site in Lethbridge. Photo supplied by ARCHES in Lethbridge
County plans for second safe drug site on hold

Following intense resistance to the proposal from the suburbs, county officials are taking a wait-and-see approach.

Bonney Lake team is the ‘People’s Choice’ at scholarship dinner

The Panthers advanced culinary team turned eyes and attracted taste buds with their bacon-themed three course meal at the last Bite of the Apprentice.

Colin Lund of the developer Oakpointe presented to the Black Diamond City Council last week, letting the council know how the two housing developments in the city are coming along. Lund estimated the first new Black Diamond residents will be moving in soon. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
Black Diamond council expansion plan put on hold

At first, the plan to grow the council to seven elected officials looked to pass. Then council members changed their minds.

Paintings by sumi-e artist coming to gallery

Darlene Dihel’s ink paintings will be on display until May 1.

Most Read