Young Mavericks ready for new roles | Boys basketball

By David Pan | Aug 23, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Meadowdale's Hunter Moen attempts a shot during a summer league game at Mountlake Terrace High School.

The Meadowdale boys basketball team needs to fill a lot of key spots in its lineup.

Graduation took a heavy toll on the Mavericks with the loss of standout players such as Daniel Barhoum, Justin Chambers, Will Schafer and Mason and Drew Harvey.

“It’s a big turnover,” Meadowdale coach Roger O’Neill said. “But we’re excited.”

With most of the players responsible for putting up the points for the Mavericks gone, O’Neill is looking for three players in particular – seniors Nick Buckley and Haben Tekle and junior Colton Walsh – to step up their offensive games.

Buckley and Tekle assumed larger roles on the team this summer with the Mavericks as they played in four different tournaments and the Mountlake Terrace league and attended team camp at Western Washington.

“We really saw growth this summer with them being more assertive and in terms of leadership,” O’Neill said. “Haben and Nick embraced those roles.”

Walsh, who didn’t play with the Mavericks this summer, started almost every game last season.

“He’s such a gifted athlete,” O’Neill said. “We know what we’re going to get from him.”

The Meadowdale coach also is counting on the continued growth of junior Hunter Moen, a first-team, all-league quarterback.

“He had a really good summer for us,” O’Neill said. “That wasn’t a surprise. He dominated JV. He was called up for districts.”

O’Neill is predicting a great football season for Moen and hopes he will carry that momentum through to basketball.

Also returning are sophomore Cole Nelson and junior Will McKinley.

Schafer handled the point guard duties last season with Mason Harvey backing him up.

O’Neill is envisioning different players – Tekle, Moen, Nelson, Walsh and McKinley – directing the offense. A clear-cut starter should emerge at some point.

“We’ll let them share the ball,” O’Neill said. “We’ll have a number of different guys bring the ball up at different times. … It’ll be a competition.”

O’Neill added that those players who don’t end up as the point guard more than likely will still be on the court in another capacity.

Meadowdale should be a team that shoots the ball well, O’Neill noted. The Mavericks could have different lineups with four solid shooters.

The junior varsity team went 19-1 and O’Neill expects some of them to be on varsity.

“Obviously, varsity is different,” he said. “We have talented basketball players coming up. It was fun to see them start to click and see how the pieces are coming together.”

O’Neill will have some different faces to help him put the pieces together this season. Two former head coaches are returning to the program. Chad McGuire will be a varsity assistant and Andy Streit is going to be coaching the C team.

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