The Olympia Boys basketball team hosted the Olympia Jamboree Saturday, November 30, 2019. The Olympia Jamboree brought together five teams to compete in 10-minute mini-scrimmage games in preparation for the boys WIAA season, which begins this week. The Jamboree had representatives from 4A/3A and 2A WIAA districts as North Thurston and AG West Black Hills joined Olympia along with teams from Cascade Christian and Auburn Mountainview High Schools.
For Olympia Head Coach John Kiley, the Jamboree was a great way to prepare his team for the upcoming 4A SPSL (South Puget Sound League) season. The Bears return six starters from last year’s team including 6’10” junior Jackson Grant who recently committed to the University of Washington. “Jackson makes things unique for the team and he has improved a ton,” stated Kiley. The Bears also bring a trio of experienced strong guards in seniors Kai Johnson, Ethan Gahm and junior Zack Swanson. For Kiley and the Bears, this year may be one of the Bear’s greatest opportunities to make a run far into districts and the state tournament.
In 3A SSC (South Sound Conference) boys basketball, 2018-19 district co-champs Capital and Timberline hope to continue their winning ways. North Thurston and Yelm also compete in SSC play in Thurston County and hope to improve over the year. Capital Coach Brian Vandiver, looks forward to starting 3A Play. “Overall the 3A SSC will be wider open in play than it has the past few years,” Vandiver explained.
Tumwater will battle again with AG Black Hills for 2A Evergreen Conference (EVCO) play to round out a recap on Thurston County area boys 4A/3A and 2A teams.
Black Hills coach Jeff Gallagher hopes to build off last year’s success in 2A EVCO play. The Wolves finished first in league play in 2018-19. “We are working very hard and have a lot of experience and depth and it should be a fun year for us,” Gallagher explained. The Wolves return all league seniors Zach Crumley and Avery Armin.
Tumwater will threaten Black Hills for the league title with a strong veteran team led by coach Josh Wilson. “Our league is a little bit of a mystery to me this year but I have a feeling the usual teams will come out on top,” remarked coach Wilson. “Black Hills should be good, WF West and Aberdeen are well coached and play hard but overall it’s hard to say without seeing them play yet this year. I know every year each team is hungry and whoever puts in the work will be league champs.”
6’7 senior Damon Gaither, Ethan Dillon, Peyton Peterson and shooting guard Gunnar Fields hope to bring senior leadership and consistency to a hungry T-Bird program.
Boys WIAA high school basketball begins during the first week of December. Find schedule information on local teams at the WPAN (Washington Prep Athletic Network) or listen/watch action on the Eli Sports Network.