Shorecrest boys' basketball face Steilacoom Friday night in Regionals at Mountlake Terrace

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The boys' basketball teams from Shorecrest and Steilacoom, with identical 16-8 records, will square off Friday night at Mountlake Terrace H. S. in the 2A Regionals, with the winner advancing to the state tournament in Yakima next weekend. Game time is 7 o'clock.

It figures to be a classic contrast-in-styles matchup.

Sentinels' coach Gary Wusterbarth will put a young, short, but athletic team on the court, one that features balanced scoring. LaJon Enis-Carter leads the way with 13.9 points per game.

Steilacoom has a rich basketball history, having been in the state tournament 18 times in the past. Last year the Sentinels were 4-16. With only three seniors on the roster this year, they went into the season with low expectations, as they were predicted to finish fifth in the South Puget Sound League. Instead they enjoyed a season of growth and improvement, finishing second behind River Ridge.

"We expect a big challenge from Shorecrest. They are playing very well," said Coach Wusterbarth.

With only three players listed on their roster as tall as 6' 2", Steilacoom figures to have its hands full with the taller Scots, who have five players listed  6' 3" or taller.

Balanced scoring is also the Scots' forte, with District Tournament MVP Malcolm Rosier-Butler (14 ppg), senior Tobyn Lawson (13 ppg), and lanky 6' 7" sophomore Philip Pepple (13 ppg) providing the firepower from all directions for Shorecrest.

Scots coach Brian Fischer likes the fact that his team was battle-tested last weekend in the District Championship, clawing their way back from as many as 19 points to force overtime against Squalicum before pulling away for a 62-56 win.

In the quiet moments that followed the postgame celebration, he told his team "you should be proud of the way you fought back and  when things get tough in the future, you should always know that you have it in you to turn things around."

--Frank Workman


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