Summer basketball closes season third place at Seaside

The summer high school basketball team finished up its season the last week of June taking third place at a tournament in Seaside.

Now, team members will head toward various camps and all-star teams over the next month.

At Seaside, the Huskies were 3-1. They defeated Seaside to open the tournament 47-24. They followed with Ilwaco, Wash., 53-51, winning in overtime.

The Huskies lost 39-33 to Taft then defeated Knappa 59-23 to place third.

“The kids played really well,” Coach Mark Risen said. They started the summer season 2-5, “which was greatly, particularly, my responsibility.”

Coach Risen has a large crew of new players, eight or nine he is evaluating right now, he said. Early on, he was trying to determine what kind of structure would be best for this group and how his philosophies and his team’s abilities would mesh.

Sometimes, he must mold his philosophy to fit his team. Other times, he needs to mold the team’s abilities to match his philosophy, and other times, both need to merge.

Once he had an understanding of the new team, “we changed a few things,” Coach Risen said. The team was “more uptempo” with more pressure. The team was 11-4 and over its last 15 games.

That was greatly dependent on a strong defense that allowed an average of only 28 points per game for Husky opponents in the last 15 games.

The Husky offense also had come a long way, Coach Risen said. The players started understanding their roles and shot selection improved.

Early on, returning varsity players Ricky Howe, Tim Matuszak, Anthony Mink and at times, Donny Cliver played aggressively, but hadn’t melded with the newer players into a team concept. As they settled into that idea, they’re games all improved.

“Once they understood when to be aggressive, they just soared, the team just soared,” Coach Risen said.

“I was really excited about the growth we had,” Coach Risen said. This was one of the best summers that he has had since coming to Sweet Home five years ago.

Many of the younger players are gaining confidence in their roles and “really came on” playing at the varsity level this summer, Coach Risen said. “I’m very excited about the future.”

Many of these players will be around for another two years, and Coach Risen is excited about the potential.

Coming up in basketball, Mink and Howe will travel to Las Vegas, Nev., with two different Interscholasitc Coaches Elite teams. Those include the top 20 players in Oregon ages 16 and under. They will compete in the Basketball Congress International championships.

The teams and tournament are “very exclusive,” Coach Risen said. “It’s a real honor to these guys to be on them.”

Four athletes, Ravi Patel, Cody Shipp, Charlie Fitzsimmons and Ryan Elliott, will attend camp in San Diego. Patel and Shipp are in the high school junior division. Shipp and Fitzsimmons are in the upper-intermediate division. Each division takes only 200 athletes from across the nation.

Being accepted at the camp is an honor and an opportunity to play at a high level, Coach Risen said. He is “very proud of these six kids.”

Fifteen players, next year’s freshmen and sophomores, will attend the 10-Star Hoop Camp in Portland beginning July 14.

At the recent Husky basketball camp, 109 children from the incoming first through the 10th grade participated in two sessions. The camp also included girls this year.

“Due to some unforeseen circumstances, we realized that the girls were not going to have a camp this year,” Coach Risen said. “So having promoted camp at elementary schools to the Boys and Girls Club and having some circumstances unfold the way they did, we felt an obligation to provide the girls a camp opportunity.”

Winning awards at camp were girl camper of the week Annie Whitfield and boy camper of the week Micah Villarreal in the younger morning session. Leah Villarreal and Ramino Santana were campers of the week in the afternoon session.

Afternoon driblle tag champion and stance up champion was Kevin Westfall. Matt Morneault and Lei Himan won the boys and girls “meatgrinder.” Levi Marchbanks won the morning dribble tag competition.