Whatcom County boys and girls are ready to tip off the 2019-20 basketball season, and Whatcom Hoops has previews for all our teams. Today: Squalicum
Coach: Dave Dickson
Last season: 9-14 overall, 6-7 in NWC (tied for seventh)
Top returnees: Devante Powell (Sr.), Dedrick Mitchell (Sr.), Leland Zender (Jr.), Lincoln Hofer (Sr.), Brandon Cash (Jr.), Elliott Aslan (Sr.), Reed Richardson (So.), Clayton Bell (So.)
Top newcomers: Mason Binning (Jr.), Steven Owens (Jr.), Aiden Aune (Jr.), Djouvensky Schlenbaker (So.)
Outlook: After a great late-season run that saw them reach the 3A district quarterfinals, the Storm are more experienced, stronger, deeper and ready to take it to the next level. Powell, a second-team all-NWC pick and four-year starter, and point guard Mitchell, a three-year starter, give Squalicum an all-star level backcourt. Zender gives them another returning starter and at 6-7 an inside presence.
Coach’s quote: “How we blend together offensively and our level of toughness defensively will determine our level of success. There’s a good vibe in practices thus far.”
Coach: Ray Ootsey
Last season: 6-14 overall, 3-10 in NWC (11th)
Top returnees: Leah Austin (Sr.), Nichole Adams (Sr.), Grace Schroder (Jr.), Kali Haizlip (So.)
Top newcomers: Rachel Heinke (Jr.)
Outlook: The Storm will have one of the most experienced teams in the NWC having graduated only two seniors from a squad that just missed the district tournament last year. The offense will run through little Schroder, who made a big impact as a sophomore, and forwards Austin and Haizlip, one of the league’s top freshmen last year.
Coach’s quote: “We’re looking to make a competitive push for a 3A playoff spot. Our program is working hard to continue the growth and compete with all the tough teams in the Northwest Conference. We’re working to be a rough Storm for all.”
Jim Carberry is a former Bellingham Herald sports editor and author of several books on Whatcom County prep basketball. Follow him on Twitter @whatcomhoops and visit the Whatcom Hoops Facebook page.