SVSJ preview: Experienced Cedarcrest High School boys’ hoops squad aims to compete in tough Wesco Conference

EDITOR’S NOTE: We continue our series of Valley high school winter sports previews looking this morning at Cedarcrest High School’s boys’ basketball team, as it looks to build into a competitive team in the Wesco Conference.

Cedarcrest High School’s boys’ basketball program is looking strong this coming season as it continues to build into a competitive team in the Wesco Conference.

The Red Wolves last season finished 8-12 overall, 3-10 in league, a team that battled injury issues all season. Back as head coach for his second season is Joe Ayers, and he has a good, experienced group to pay attention to.

“The energy and focus have been great to start the season. I am excited to watch this group as they grow their games,” Ayers told us. “We are going to be a team with good speed that is going to look to use our pressure defense to create transition scoring opportunities.” Fans should also expect the boys to follow a similar theme to their counterparts on the girls’ team this season. “Similar to (coach) Brad (Knowles) and the Lady Red Wolves, we are going to play an up tempo style that should be fun to watch,” Ayers told us.

Several of the varsity players are seniors. Leading the way is guard/forward Shawn Deming. “Shawn has improved his three-point shooting and footwork over the off season and is becoming a better scorer with every rep. We will look for him to lead the charge on the defensive side of the ball.,” Ayers tells us. “We have some pretty good guards in our league and Shawn will have to matchup with them regularly.” Other seniors to watch include center Cameron Brady, guard/forward Brennan Mallot, guard Nicolo Cammarano, guards Dawson Cairns and Hogan Chase, and guard/forward Alex Perry.

Cairns, however, will be starting the season late; according to Ayers Cairns suffered a broken foot during the Red Wolves’ football playoff game earlier this month at Sedro-Woolley and is expected to be out until perhaps after the holiday break. “He should be a fast recovery when he gets out of his cast though. Dawson had a great summer shooting the basketball and we will be looking forward to getting him back when he gets healthy,” Ayers told us.

“Our goal is to be Championship focused every day,” the coach added. “Compete in everything we do and follow the GGG model. Give, Grind, Grow.“

So how does the team shape up in Wesco? Ayers anticipates Mountlake Terrace will be a tough customer, and that one is especially important as CHS and fellow 2A Mountlake will compete against each other in the district RPI rankings, so a win here could be beneficial for the Red Wolves in their chase for the playoffs, of which the top 12 ranked teams in the computer ranking formula will get playoff spots. 3A teams to watch include Arlington, Marysville-Pilchuck and Stanwood; wins against any 3A team, especially ones expected to contend for the league title as these three are, provide additional significance in the rankings so CHS will need to get a few of those in league to solidify their playoff situation.

Also keep an eye on juniors Kian Pegueros-Warren and Tyler Hampton. Ayers noted both players have improved during their summer work and he expects both guys to make an impact on the varsity this coming season.

The Red Wolves’ schedule opens tomorrow with the annual Turkey Tip-Off. As we told you last Friday in the girls’ preview, this begins at 2:00 tomorrow afternoon and runs well into the evening, so your first look at the CHS program is right around the corner. As for the games, the boys open the season next Tuesday night at Anacortes, with their home opener being next Friday against Sehome and starting a four-game homestand to open the season.

CHS’ boys will also be competing at the Crush in the Slush holiday tournament in Port Townsend, like the Red Wolve girls, and they will close the season with Senior Night on February 5 against Shorewood and two road games to follow before the playoffs. All home games are at CHS’ gym, 29000 NE 150th St. in Duvall, and, with the exception of December 13 (8:15 p.m. against Cedar Park Christian), begin at 7:15 p.m.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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