Snohomish Panthers Basketball
Panther boys team under new coach, in new division
It is a new season for the Snohomish Panther boys, along with new challenges of playing in a new league along with a new coach. Over the offseason, longtime head coach Len Bone made the decision to retire from coaching; Jim Wilson is stepping in as the new coach.
Wilson, a 1993 Snohomish High graduate, takes over after several seasons of coaching the junior varsity boys team across the valley at Glacier Peak. Along with Glacier Peak, Wilson has served as a coach at Granite Falls and at Snohomish prior to the formation of the Glacier Peak program.
Having coached at Glacier Peak for the last few years will be a benefit for Wilson
as the Panthers and the Glacier Peak Grizzlies exchange leagues this year. Glacier Peak moves to the Wesco 4A for larger schools while the Panthers will be playing in the Wesco 3A.
The Panthers had seven players graduate last year, and while this year’s team is loaded with seniors again, only two have experience at the varsity level.
Leading the seniors this year will be Kyle Sandifer, who was one of the team’s top scorers last season and who should have a solid season this year, Wilson said. Also returning is Kole Bride, who according to Wilson has been working hard during pre-season practices and will be a factor in this year’s team.
A newcomer to the Panthers this year is Darius Johnson, a transfer from Sacramento, California who has had a lot of experience and talent in the sport, Wilson said.
With all the changes in the program over the past offseason and with the inexperience of much of the team, the expectations of how this year’s season will go is still unknown Wilson said.
“I have been just stressing to the guys to play hard, don’t worry about where we are starting with new coach, new system, we probably won’t play our best basketball at the beginning of the system,” Wilson said. “Our goal is to just get better at every practice and keep playing hard and playing as a team and getting to be a unit. It’s going to be a slow growing process and through the season we will grow with steps.”
The Panthers start the season with four non-league games including the annual cross-valley rivalry against the Glacier Peak Grizzlies which the Panthers will host on Friday, Dec. 2.
Nov. 29 @ Jackson
Dec. 2 vs. Glacier Peak
Dec. 6 @ Kamiak
Dec. 10 @ Juanita (3 p.m.)
Dec. 13 @ Marysville-Getchell
Dec. 16 @ Oak Harbor
Dec. 20 vs. Ferndale
Dec. 28 @ Bothell (8:30 a.m)
Dec. 29 @ Bothell (TBD)
Dec. 30 @ Bothell (TBD)
Jan. 3 vs. Everett
Jan. 5 vs. Meadowdale
Jan. 10 @ Lynnwood
Jan. 13 @ Edmonds-Woodway
Jan. 17 vs. Arlington
Jan. 20 @ Marysville-Pilchuck
Jan. 25 vs. Stanwood
Jan. 31 @ Shorecrest
Feb. 3 vs. Mountlake Terrace
Feb. 6 @ Shorewood
Tipoff is always 7:15 p.m. unless otherwise noted
Nov. 30 vs. Monroe
Dec. 2 @ Ferndale
Dec. 5 vs. Kings
Dec. 7 vs. Kamiak
Dec. 14 vs. Marysville-Pilchuck
Dec. 16 @ Oak Harbor
Dec. 20 @ Glacier Peak
Dec. 27 @ White River
(game at 3:15 p.m.)
Dec. 28 vs. Gig Harbor
(game at 4:30 p.m.)
Jan. 4 @ Everett
Jan. 6 @ Meadowdale
Jan. 11 vs. Lynnwood
Jan. 13 vs. Edmonds-Woodway
Jan. 18 @ Arlington
Jan. 20 vs. Marysville-Pilchuck
Jan. 25 @ Stanwood
Feb. 1 vs. Shorecrest
Feb. 3 @ Mountlake Terrace
Feb. 6 vs. Shorewood
Tipoff is always 7:15 p.m.
unless otherwise noted
Panther girls hope to repeat State run
Doug Ramsay photo, dougramsayphoto.photoshelter.com
After losing three straight games to open the season last year, the Snohomish Panther girls’ season took off in a big way as they reeled in 22 straight wins to reach the State 4A championship game for the fourth time in team history. However, as had happened in the first three championships, the Panthers came up short, losing 54-50 to Central Valley.
While losing the state title is still fresh in the team’s memory, it is the loss of four seniors that could make for a challenging season ahead.
Departing seniors Madeline Smith, Madison Pollock, Shaylee Harwood and Ellie Flitsch have left holes in the roster. Smith is playing ball at Montana State University; Pollock’s at San Diego State University; and Flitsch is at Wheaton College in Illinois. Harwood is on the rowing team at Oregon State University.
Head coach Ken Roberts said that while the four may be missed, there are others who will step up in their place this season.
As a freshman last season, six-foot-tall Kyra Beckman was the second-highest scorer for the Panthers. A hand injury sidelined her for a part of the season, but she is returning and on pace to possibly lead the team in points this year.
Senior Katie Brandvold, junior Emily Preach and sophomore Maya DuChesne are three more who will be back on the court this year. While all three saw plenty of action in both varsity and junior varsity play, DuChesne was able to moved up to a starting position at point guard by the third game of the season.
The Panthers will rely on two shorter centers this year with 5-foot-8 junior Lexi Sunagel and 5-foot-7 junior Morgan Marshall.
At 5-foot-2, senior Madi VanSligtenhorst will provide excitement this year with her quick speed and athletic ball handling skill.
Rounding out the returners from last year is sophomore Courtney Perry who will play an important role for the Panthers this season.
Roberts called it a team of depth that will be worked on to be more complete players during the season.
“We have some kids that are better shooters, others are better ball handlers, so depending on what the other teams do we may have one kid play a lot in one game, another kid a lot in another,” Roberts said. “It is going to be more of a mix and match, than a solid lineup this year.”
In Wesco 3A, they will be playing against several other top-ranked teams from last year. The Arlington Eagles made it to the state 3A championship game where they lost to Bellevue. The Lynnwood Royals, who won the 3A state championship two years ago, finished third at state last year.
The Panthers open the season on Wednesday, Nov. 30 hosting the Monroe Bearcats which will be a non-league game this year.
The season starts off against Monroe on Nov. 30. The annual cross-valley game against Glacier Peak is on Tuesday, Dec. 20.
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