Mavericks feeling upbeat after successful offseason | Boys basketball

Meadowdale fares well in leagues, tourneys
By David Pan | Jul 07, 2017
Photo by: David Pan Meadowdale returns an experienced point guard in senior Will Schafer.

Meadowdale boys basketball coach Roger O’Neill doesn’t put too much stock in a team’s success in summer leagues and tournaments.

Still, it’s hard to ignore the Mavericks’ success during a busy offseason. Meadowdale’s varsity team went 21-7 and the junior varsity squad was 22-5.

“It was a good month for us,” O’Neill said. “We have a really good core back. I think we had seven seniors with us this summer. … We were able to tinker around with some things. We’re going to be really versatile, pretty long and athletic and we’re going to be able to do some different things.”

Senior-to-be Will Schafer returns at point guard. Schafer also is a standout offensive and defensive football player and the starting shortstop on the baseball team.

O’Neill has high expectations for Schafer.

“He’s going to have a great senior year for us,” O’Neill predicted. “It’s nice to have an experienced point guard back. He’s a great leader and a calming presence for us on the court.”

The Meadowdale coach has options at point guard as seniors Justin Chambers and Daniel Barhoum, also have seen time in the position in addition to playing forward.

Barhoum and senior Mustapha Sonko have been on varsity since their sophomore years.

“They obviously have he most varsity minutes under their belts,” O’Neill said. “We’re definitely looking for them to step up and be leaders. Both of them are getting better. They’ve added some things to their game.”

Sonko’s perimeter shot has improved and he’ll be expected to knock down some 3-pointers.

“He continues to get more athletic,” O’Neill said. “He’s able to get to the rim a whole bunch.”

O’Neill likes Barhoum’s court saavy.

“He knows what’s going on at all times,” O’Neill said.

Chambers also elevated his overall game last season. The 6-foot-3 forward hit a game-winning 3-point shot in a key contest against Marysville-Pilchuck. Chambers can play any of four positions on the court.

The Mavericks are going to be a team that has the size to rebound well and play tough defense with a lineup of players ranging from 6-6 to 5-11.

“We’re looking to push the ball a little it more and get out and run and put some points up,” O’Neill added.

In addition to the returning seniors, some players from the 17-2 junior varsity squad will be moving up.

The JV team won the Western Washington camp team championship.

“We’ll definitely have some options,” he said. “The cupboard is full.”

The varsity team had its most successful offseason in O’Neill’s three-year tenure as head coach. Meadowdale advanced to the finals or semifinals in four tournaments this summer.

“We’ve got a lot to be excited about for sure come next winter,” O’Neill said.

YOUTH CAMP: The 22nd annual Meadowdale Youth Basketball Camp is scheduled for July 17-19 at Meadowdale High School. The camp is for players in grades K-9. The K-4 session is 8-11:30 a.m.; boys 5-9 is noon-3:30 p.m.; girls 5-9 is 4:7:30 p.m. Fee is $90.

For more information contact camp director Roger O’Neill at 206-295-5191 or email: rogeroneill22@gmail.com. Register at: meadowdalehoops.com.

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