Young Knights preparing for major growing pains | Boys basketball
Last updated 12/5/2018 at Noon
It could be a little bit of bumpy ride for Kamiak’s boys basketball team at least for the first couple weeks of the regular season.
The Knights are facing a significant turnover with their roster, following the graduation of seven seniors, who helped lead the team to the 4A state tournament last winter.
All five starters, including first-team, all-league point guard Carson Tuttle, are gone. The other major change was the promotion of junior varsity coach Brandon Corsi, who takes over for former head coach Cory West.
“We’re just so young and the experience level of actually playing varsity basketball is pretty low,” Corsi said.
The Knights will be looking to senior point guard Dakota Bueing, junior guard Charlie Powers and 7-foot senior center Ryker Wuttke to help the younger players make the transition to varsity.
Kamiak wants to be known for its defense with Wuttke expected to be a force in the middle.
“We’re trying to be the best defensive team in Wesco,” Bueing said.
Though the Knights lost their season opener to Bothell 52-39, Corsi liked the way the team defended against the Cougars, who he expects to be among the upper echelon teams in Kingco.
“I thought we did a very good job, especially defensively,” Corsi said. “It’s a good way to start. Defense, that’s one of our mottos. We kind of want to lean on that most of the season. Hopefully, our offense will come along. It will. It just needs work and people’s roles need to be a little bit more defined and it will get rolling.”
Powers noted that Bueing and Wuttke both have solid defensive skills.
“Dakota is a great defender. He’s super good with getting his hand on the ball and staying in front of people,” Powers said. “Ryker is 7 foot and athletic. He can really make a difference.”
Corsi added that the Knights have players with high basketball IQ and he expects them to be able to get it done on the defensive end.
“We’ll be a tough team to score against,” Corsi predicted.
Kamiak’s offense is going to take some time to develop. Bueing is penciled in as the starting point guard, but Powers and sophomore Brendan Beier also are good ball handlers.
“He (Bueing) is our main kind of floor general, as I would like to call him,” Corsi said.
Though he only saw limited varsity action last season, Bueing learned a lot.
“It helped me to realize what varsity is really like,” he said.
The biggest question yet to be answered is who the Knights will look to for buckets night in and night out.
“We’re definitely at ground zero as far as our offense,” Corsi said. “As far as who’s putting the ball in the hole, we’re hoping to rely on our upperclassmen like Dakota and Charlie to do that.”
Bueing scored 13 points and Wuttke had 12 against Bothell. Powers put up 24 points and Bueing added 14 to lead Kamiak to a 52-46 nonconference victory over Marysville-Pilchuck.
Wuttke presents match-up problems for the opposition that Corsi hopes to exploit.
“We’d like to get him switched up with a smaller player and let him use his size,” Corsi said. “We also like getting him the ball down low. He’s as pretty good passer, a good distributor. So we’d like to cut off of him and let him make some plays as well.”
Wuttke anticipates different players stepping up each night.
“There’s really not a guy. We don’t really look to one person to do the scoring,” he said. “Everyone can put the ball in the hole.
That includes three sophomores Beier, Jaye Ohonme and Ben Ferrara who Corsi expect to put up points.
“We’re going to need some of the sophomore players to step up and help us put that ball in the hoop,” Corsi said. “They’re still working into their roles and gaining some experience. We are going to lean heavily on their minutes and whatever production they can give us in those minutes.”
With a roster that includes seniors, juniors and sophomores, who’ve not been together on the court as a starting unit, the Knights are continuing to work on developing team chemistry.
One of the goals during the rest of the nonconference schedule, Corsi said, is for the players to get to know and understand each other on and off the court and to develop their roles within the team.
“We’re hoping by that winter break time, we’ve got those roles defined,” Corsi said. “We’re giving people some chances and seeing who’s going to step up to the challenge.”