Last year’s Sumner High girls basketball team didn’t experience the thrill of victory all that often, winning just five of 20 games, but a flock of returning players should help turn the tide.
The veterans will look to help everyone forget about a 2016-17 season in which the Spartans went 3-13 in South Puget Sound League 4A play and placed eighth in the nine-team league.
The rebound will likely be carried by a senior class that includes Kennedy Cutter, Abby Burns, Annie Smith, Kelsey Bell, Anna Seaton and Kaitlyn Clark. Most saw significant playing time a season ago and, when coaches voted for postseason honors, Cutter was an all-league second team selection.
This year’s varsity roster also includes juniors Katie Chalich and Ellie Salisbury, sophomores Callie Stevens and McKenna McDaniel and a lone freshman, Anuhea Borden. Stevens had cracked the varsity roster a year ago and saw plenty of floor time as a freshman.
Coach Jordan Moog notes this is the most experienced team she has had and the depth of the roster should pay big dividends. “I’m excited to see how our guards have developed this off-season and how our new bigs will help us,” she added via email.
The added size comes with the 6-1 Salisbury and 6-foot Chalich.
Boasting decent size and some well-placed varsity experience, the Sumner High boys will be looking to upgrade their results on the basketball court.
Last year’s Spartan squad finished 4-12 in South Puget Sound League 4A action and went 5-15 overall, missing out on postseason play. League wins came against Rogers, Puyallup, South Kitsap and Bellarmine, while the nonleague triumph came against district rival Bonney Lake.
While the victories didn’t pile up, valuable varsity playing time did. With a new season under way, the Spartans should anticipate that experience translating to a greater number of wins.
This year’s roster is led by a senior core consisting of Britton Bakke, Thane Birrer, Luke Ross and Brock Denison, all returning members of last season’s varsity squad. Juniors on this year’s roster include Cody Tanneberg, Jake Denison, AJ Andino and Carson Bohl; and sophomores on the squad are Mason Donovan, Mitchell Wolfe and Josh Lear.
A added factor to Spartan fortunes is the addition of Andino, who transferred to Sumner High after earning all-league honors a year ago at Bonney Lake.
The team is directed by Jake Jackson, in his second year at the Spartan helm.
“We are deep this season,” Jackson wrote in an email, noting he’ll be able to use a full 11-player rotation. He expects quality shooting from Lear, Tanneberg, Andino and Birrer, rebounding and a low-post presence from Wolfe, Bohl and Denison, and top defense and all-around hustle from Bakke.
Jackson said his squad benefitted greatly from playing 30 games during the off-season, winning 20 of those.