Monroe Bearcats Basketball
Bearcat girls are looking strong
It’s a young team again this season for the Bearcats, but this does not deter head coach Ashley Tuiasosopo. Instead, she is excited to see how the girls will continue to grow and begin to reach their full potential as players.
This year, there are only two seniors, one junior and one sophomore returning to the team, but they all played significant time last year.
“We’re still pretty young, and so it will be an exciting year to see how they can develop, and it’s also going to be exciting to see how they handle adversity,” Tuiasosopo said.
The team is coming off of a strong 16-7 overall and 12-2 league record last year.
One thing that the team is focusing on this year is how much better the girls can be by the end of the season.
“Our focus is going to be our growth as a team, learning from each game and finding ways to get better. Our hope is that in doing that we’ll be able to potentially surprise some people in playoffs because we were able to play and learn and grow and develop,” said Tuiasosopo.
Returning 5-foot-8 senior Monique Fierke is a player to look out for this year, Tuiasosopo said.
“She has been a clutch shooter since her sophomore year when she played in her first varsity game. She just has a knack for nailing some big shots…she’s a lights-out shooter from behind the arc, and she’s developed some other skills to her game.”
“We’re hoping to see a big year from our other returning senior Emily Toycen,” Tuiasosopo added. Standing 5-foot-11, Toycen is a “hybrid guard-forward” and Tuiasosopo is excited to see her finally play to her capabilities this year.
Last year, the team had a rocky season, and it had freshman playing the majority of the minutes. “But, that’s kind of the cool and exciting part,” Tuiasosopo said, “even though we’re still kind of young, these young players played all last year.”
Tuiasosopo has coached the team for three years now, and she is excited “to see the girls finally grasp and apply” the things she has been trying to implement without really having to stop and talk about what she means.
The team’s first home game is Wednesday, Nov. 29 against Snohomish.
Nov. 29 vs. Snohomish
Dec. 1 @ Maryville-Getchell
Dec. 5 vs. Arlington
Dec. 8 @ Mariner
Dec. 13 @ Jackson
Dec. 15 vs. Lake Stevens
Dec. 27 @ Ferndale (1:30 p.m.)
Dec. 28 vs. Cascade Christian (TBD, 11 a.m.)
Jan. 3 vs. Kamiak
Jan. 5 @ Mount Vernon
Jan. 6 @ Federal Way (5:30 p.m.)
Jan. 10 @ Glacier Peak
Jan. 12 vs. Cascade
Jan. 17 vs. Mariner
Jan. 19 vs. Jackson
Jan 24 @ Lake Stevens
Jan. 26 @ Kamiak
Jan. 31 vs. Mt. Vernon
Feb. 2 vs. Glacier Peak
Feb. 5 @ Cascade
Tipoff is always 7:15 p.m. unless otherwise noted
Bearcat boys working hard
The Monroe boys basketball team is getting ready to make a full-court press of fun and teamwork, and new head coach Ben Williams thinks they can take their season all the way this year.
Williams, who formerly coached at Skyline High in Sammamish, thinks his varsity squad of 10 tight-knit athletes is ready. They spent all summer practicing, and the team attended camp at Gonzaga University in July.
“I’m really excited for what the season will be,” Williams said. “The boys have been working hard and we practiced all summer, I got to know them and they got to know me, and that was really important work.”
Another ace up Williams’ sleeve is 6-foot-8-inch senior Colby Kyle, who committed last month to play college ball at Princeton University. Yes, that Princeton University — the Ivy League school in New Jersey.
“Colby is a good player, and a good team leader,” Williams said. Other team leaders who want to play college ball are 6-foot-6 senior Spencer Davidson, and 6-foot-3 junior Taylor Sturgeon.
“These guys are all great players, very coachable, and want to go to the next level after high school,” Williams said. Apart from college ball dreams, Williams said the varsity athletes are tight-knit friends. The whole team has a dynamic of friendship that aides their teamwork, and taking that into the new season, after a pretty good last season, could mean success.
The Monroe Bearcats varsity boys went 17-7 last year and made it to the District Championship tourney. This year, they want to go further.
“They want to go past District, which would be Regionals, and possibly State,” Williams said. “They’ve been working hard. We’ve got the size, the reach and the athleticism, and they’ve all got great attitudes. But it’s going to be their ability and desire to want to be pushed and become the best that they can be that will determine it.”
Williams is willing to push them. “We’re going to play an exciting brand of basketball,” Williams said. “Our mentality is going to be ‘team first.’ We’re going to defend, play really hard, and we’re going to be really energetic ... they’ll be working hard for their community.”
Dec. 1 vs. Shorewood
Dec. 5 @ Marysville Getchell
Dec. 8 vs. Mariner
Dec. 12 vs. Jackson
Dec. 15 @ Lake Stevens
Dec. 27 vs. University (4pm)
Jan. 2 @ Kamiak
Jan. 5 vs. Mt. Vernon
Jan. 10 vs. Glacier Peak
Jan. 11 @ Cascade
Jan. 15 @ Mariner
Jan. 19 @ Jackson
Jan. 23 vs. Lake Stevens
Jan. 26 vs. Kamiak
Jan. 30 @ Mt. Vernon
Feb. 1 @ Glacier Peak
Feb. 2 vs. Cascade
Tipoff is always 7:15 p.m. unless otherwise noted
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