Washington teams ready for Northwest Shootout
The top senior boys and girls players from Oregon and Washington will meet in the annual series Saturday at the University of Portland's Chiles Center.
Seattle Times staff reporter
When Mark Morris coach Bill Bakamus and Mountlake Terrace's Nalin Sood assemble the Washington boys roster for the Northwest Shootout, they look for the 10 basketball players who, as a group, make the most competitive team.
That's not an easy task. Some players, like Garfield point guard Tony Wroten Jr., are out of the talent pool because they participate in other games. Wroten will instead play in the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland on April 9 and the Jordan Brand Classic in Charlotte, N.C., on April 16.
Still, Washington teams have had the right mix in recent years, winning six of the last eight contests against Oregon's top high-school senior boys.
"You're trying to put together a group of players that's going to play like a team," Sood said. "We've all watched all-star games where it becomes a one-on-one show and it just becomes a lot of individual basketball."
His group lacks a traditional post presence, but Sood likes his roster for the 6 p.m. game Saturday at the University of Portland's Chiles Center.
"It's not about any one player," Sood said. "It's about who is going to be the best team when it's all said and done. That's sort of our mantra. We've been fortunate to have kids buy into that."
The Washington squad features a group of deft scorers who can get to the basket, led by Kentridge's Gary Bell (a Gonzaga signee), Curtis' DaVonte Lacy (Washington State), Tahoma's Christian Behrens (Cal) and Auburn's Kevin Henderson (Montana).
Win or lose, Sood is looking forward to getting to know more about this group.
"You find out some unique things about these kids as you coach them for the next couple of days and I use the term 'coaching' loosely, because we've only got three days with them," he said.
An Oregon vs. Washington girls game will open the event at 4 p.m. Washington's roster is led by Holy Names senior Erika Johnson, The Seattle Times State Player of the Year.
Northwest Shootout rosters
Rosters for Saturday's 4 p.m. girls game and 6 p.m. boys game at the University of Portland's Chiles Center.
Elizabeth Brenner, Jesuit (Portland); Ellen Cook, South Eugene; Allison Greene, Southridge (Beaverton); Emily Ben-Jumbo, Tualatin; Kelsey Kaelin, Tigard; Elise Nelson, Thurston (Springfield); Brittany Niebergall, LaSalle (Milwaukie); Jen Reese, Clackamas; Alicai Scafidi, Barlow (Gresham); Jude Schimmel, Franklin (Portland). Coaches — Bill Priester, Ken Bell.
Shelby Cheslek, Pullman; Kat Cooper, Auburn Riverside; Sarah Hartwell, Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma); Erika Johnson, Holy Names (Seattle); Jordon Loera, Moses Lake; Kari Luttinen, Seattle Prep; Shaniqua Nilles, West Valley (Spokane); Tia Presley, Gonzaga Prep (Spokane); Talia Walton, Federal Way; Aminah Williams, Kennedy Catholic (Burien). Coach — Duane Hodges.
Jorden Akewenuki, Jesuit (Portland); Andrew Andrews, Benson Tech (Portland); Andy Avgi, Woodburn; David Carr, Central Catholic (Portland); Dominique Ditlefsen, Sunset (Beaverton); Miles Gatewood, Westview (Beaverton); Seth Gearhardt, Wilsonville; Jack Grodahl, Jesuit (Portland); Gavin Hoffmann, Lincoln (Portland); Austin Kuemper, Westview (Beaverton). Coaches — Jim Fryback, Mark Tichenor.
Christian Behrens, Tahoma (Maple Valley); Gary Bell, Kentridge; Alex Weber-Brader, Olympia; Kevin Henderson, Auburn; DaVonte Lacy, Curtis (University Place); Tana Pritchard, Clover Park (Lakewood); Jordan Russell, Lincoln (Tacoma); Nate Sikma, Bellevue; Riley Stockton, Ferris (Spokane). Coach — Nalin Sood, Bill Bakamus.