by coach Ed Lago
As a first-year coach for the boys middle school basketball team, it has been quite an experience so far. Our team is composed of 11 eighth-graders and seven seventh-graders. I’ve had the privilege of watching this group grow for the past several years, and I feel that being familiar with their different personalities has contributed to my transition as head coach. We started the season with a solid home game win over Mount Vernon Christian. This team is typically one of our strongest opponents. They are a big school with a strong basketball-centric culture. La Conner is very similar. With wins over Darrington and Concrete as well, we are currently sitting at a 4-0 record. The support from the community at our home games has been a huge boost for the boys, and we love seeing the packed bleachers. We are already halfway through the season but we have plenty of work left. The team is getting better each and every day, and I like our chances of doing well in the playoffs.
A big part of our success is due to the conditioning the boys have done during practice. We run. We are a running team. Our offense is not based on set plays. We set screens, pick and rolls, and give and go. We consider ourselves a motion-oriented offense, and we are working hard to instill that good defense will create offense. I believe that the Orcas Parks and Rec and SWISH programs are giant contributors to the rising basketball culture on Orcas.