Local boys fall to Snohomish in home opener

  • Written by Don Mann
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Staff Photo/Don Mann Woodinville’s Connor Zaback comes down with a rebound amidst a sandwich of Snohomish defenders.
It was a knock-down, drag-out, stumble-and-rumble-in-the-Bronx kind of a ballgame, and in the end Woodinville had a shot.

But it wasn’t really the shot they wanted, and it was blocked at the buzzer as the Falcons fell to Snohomish 53-50 in the home opener Thursday.

Woodinville never led in the contest.

Behind the hot hand of freshman gunslinger Tony Miller, the green team stormed back from a 12-point fourth quarter deficit to cut it to 51-50 with 23 ticks remaining.

But the Falcons, already over the limit, were forced to foul, and Pirate point guard Steele Morgan canned them both to make it a three-point game with 15 seconds left — one pressure shot to tie it for the home team and force possible overtime.

Jay Wyrick got it to Tommy Wick who got it to Miller who reluctantly got it to John Villasenor — not exactly what new coach Mark Folsom dialed up in the huddle.

“We wanted Tony coming off a double (screen) staggered from the corner,” Folsom said. “Snohomish did a great job switching defensively, not allowing us to get an open look.”

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Staff Photo/Don Mann Ninth-grader Tony Miller, here working the baseline, led all scorers with 16 points.
Miller, who still attends junior high, led all scorers with 16 points in his home debut — including a rare four-point play. Villasenor added 13. Woodinville scored 24 of its 50 points in the fourth quarter after nearly getting shut out in the third.

Miller’s bomb with 30 seconds remaining in the period ended the drought and that indignity.

Two nights earlier Snohomish got shellacked 62-18 (that’s not a misprint) at home versus Glacier Peak, but Thursday was a brand new can of peaches for the Pirates.

It was also a homecoming of sorts for homegrown Folsom, who played hoops here 20 years ago, and was working the floor for the first time as a head coach.

Afterwards he shrugged off his disappointment.

“Overall our kids are playing hard,” he said. “Implementing a new system and style of play is a process. Snohomish is a tough, physical in-your-face team. Coach Bone does a great job of getting his kids to execute at both ends of the floor. We need to put four quarters of basketball together with an aggressive mentality — finish easy baskets and take care of the ball. The games come down to who does the little things better: turnovers, rebounds, finishing easy buckets and shooting free throws. We shot 9-of-17 (53 percent) from the line. That won’t win close games at this level.”

Folsom on his freshman — the first Falcon frosh ever to play varsity basketball: “Tony’s a great young player and he’s adjusting well to the speed of the game. He’s long, smart and has a great feel for the game. We need him to continue to be aggressive offensively.”

Woodinville hosts Redmond on Friday night.

For Falcon boys’ hoops, it’s a brand new ballgame with a touch of the past

  • Written by Don Mann

Jake Miller
Jake Miller
Quinten Parker
Quinten Parker
John Villasenor
John Villasenor

Photos by Don Mann

For new Falcon boys’ basketball coach Mark Folsom, every day is homecoming.

Because Folsom, 38, has come full circle, having graduated from Woodinville in 1992, where he played varsity hoops, in the same gym, wearing the same green, under Steve Segadelli.

Twenty years later, after coaching stints at Boise State, Portland State, Seattle Pacific, Folsom’s now running drills, blowing a whistle and barking out plays for the Falcons, who have a brand new look after 10 years under Jamie Rowe.

Rowe moved on to Lake Washington this summer and Folsom — never before a head man — found his way back home.

“I always knew at some point in time that I wanted to come back here and be the head coach,” he said after a spirited Thanksgiving eve practice. “This year the opportunity presented itself and I jumped on it.”

Folsom knows he has his work cut out for him in the ultra-competitive KingCo 4A league — Woodinville went 5-15 last year and returns only three seniors with varsity experience —  but he’s armed with four experienced and enthusiastic assistants and has already seen progress.

“It’s a fresh look around here,” Folsom said. “We’ve got a nice mix of senior guys that’ve been around and know the lay of the land and a nice mix of young guys who are trying to make their mark.”

Among the seniors are 6-foot-5 post Quinten Parker, who made big strides as a junior.

Parker possesses good feet for a big man, some solid moves down low and a soft touch.

Six-foot-three forward Jake Miller showed a capable inside-outside game, knocking down 26 of 80 three-pointers last year.

John Villasenor, 6-3, is an athletic leaper with good hands, an improved shot and brings a banger’s mentality from the football field — something the Falcons have not had a lot of, and something that never hurts.

Junior Tommy Wick, an outstanding jump-shooter who started as a sophomore, looks bigger and stronger and showed in practice some new skills at attacking the rack.

Beyond those four, there are some unproven commodities, but Folsom likes what he sees so far.

“We’ve got some sophomores that we feel will be big contributors for us,” he said, noting Zack Oates and Mitchell Jones. “And we also think Tony Miller, as a freshman, can contribute.”

Miller is the younger brother of Inglemoor junior Trey Miller and former Lady Falcon Diedre Miller, both gunslingers who can catch fire from long range, an apparent family trait.

“Our young kids have a good understanding of the game though the game’s a little faster for them right now,” Folsom said.

And what kind of style can we expect from these new-look Falcons?

“Our philosophy is that we want to control things on the defensive end,” he said. “That means we want to deny (the pass), deny and shut reversal, and apply ball pressure. We want to make the (other) guys with the ball uncomfortable and make them get rid of it … but not able to reverse it and keep the ball to one side of the floor … where we can dominate.

“Getting the kids to buy into that philosophy will lead to easy baskets on the other end.”

First impressions from the new coach in town?

“It’s only been about a week of practice so it’s still pretty fresh but the kids are working hard.

“One thing for sure is the seniors have shown us that this is their team. I get the sense they realize it’s their time to lead the young guys … into the unknown.”

He said it with a laugh, a confident laugh from someone clearly happy to be home again.

Woodinville hosts Snohomish in its home opener Thursday at 7:30.

New look Lady Falcons have depth and speed

  • Written by Don Mann

Kim Frost
Kim Frost
Amanda Skalabrin
Amanda Skalabrin
Mackenzie Campbell
Mackenzie Campbell

Photos by Don Mann

t’s hard to argue that in five years at the helm Scott Bullock has established the Woodinville girls’ basketball program as one of the top in state, as evidenced by an 85-36 record over that span, including fifth and sixth places finishes at the state tournament the last two years.

The Lady Falcons sport a glittering 64-14 record over the last three years, which includes at least 20 wins in each campaign.

But closer inspection reveals those came in the Ali Forde era, and the all-everything, human high school double-double is now making her presence felt as a freshman at the University of Idaho.

Bullock, a friend, laughed when it was suggested this was the year we’d find out what kind of coach he was.

“We’ve been real fortunate the last few years to have had some really talented players,” he said. “Someone like Ali Forde doesn’t come around often and before that we had Melissa Gilkey. Both are playing college ball (Gilkey at Washington University in St. Louis). So it’ll be a little more challenging this year but I think it’s gonna be fun. We have some talented girls who want to compete and we have some speed.”

Senior guard and captain Kim Frost fits both categories.

“I think Kim will have a really nice year,” Bullock said. “She’s a three-year starter who’s been to state a couple times and she’s taken the leadership role by the reins.”

The other captain, voted by teammates last week, is senior guard Seattle Farner, who returns to the program after sitting out her junior year. “Seattle is back after finding out how much she missed the game. She’s someone the girls look up to and like a lot, and she’s a really tough defender.”

Six-foot-one Amanda Skalabrin returns and will start at the post, where Forde reigned for three years.

“We’re not asking her to be Ali,” Bullock acknowledged. “We don’t expect her to be Ali. But Amanda has some real nice offensive skills, is a good shot blocker and can even shoot the three-ball. She should have a good year.”

Bullock said 6-foot-1 sophomore Keenae Tiersma will also find some time in the paint.

“Keenae is going to be a very good player. She’s long, very coordinated, has nice hands and a nice touch.”

Bullock then spoke about his two juniors who made huge contributions as sophomores on last year’s 23-4 squad, beginning with 5-8 Mackenzie Campbell, a do-it-all type on the verge of stardom.

“Mackenzie had a breakout year last year and worked really hard in the offseason,” he said. “I like to compare her to Gilkey in the sense that she’s a fiery competitor who wants to win. She’s just a battler. When she comes to practice there’s no messing around, it’s all about going to work and getting the job done.”

Bullock believes 5-9 Erin Hamilton is also ready to take the next step. “I honestly think Erin is one of the best pure shooters who’s come from this high school,” he said. “Really nice fluid shooting motion, really nice touch. The big thing with Erin is confidence. I think she’s a great shooter but she needs to believe she’s a great shooter.”

Bullock will get instant offense off the bench from returners Midori McElwee and Cassidy Berday.

“Midori can light it up — she had five threes against Bothell — and Cassidy can score in a hurry, too.”

Madison Ramirez, Tynan Gable, Sabin Keo and freshman Emily Spencer look to play meaningful minutes as Bullock, without the half-court horses he’s had in the recent past, will likely go back to employing the press, at least a little.

“We’ve got a lot of girls that can play, a lot of girls that are fast, and that lends itself to playing up-tempo. So, yeah, we’ll press a little more than we did the last couple years.”

The Lady Falcons open up at home Wednesday against Tahoma.

Cougs, Falcs and Vikes team up for football honors

  • Written by Don Mann

Caleb  Hamilton WHS
File Photo. Caleb Hamilton
Danny wilson BHS
File Photo. Danny Wilson, Bothell High School
Rashon Watson
File Photo. Rashon Watson, Bothell High School

Fourteen Bothell Cougars were selected to the All KingCo 4A Crest Division first team, it was announced by league football coaches last week.

Seven Woodinville Falcons were given top honors, and the Inglemoor Vikings boasted two.

Overall, Bothell finished 6-5, Woodinville went 6-3 and Inglemoor struggled at 3-8.

The other school in the Crest Division is Redmond.

Woodinville’s Caleb Hamilton was voted first team quarterback. Inglemoor’s Hans Fortune made second team.

Bothell’s Danny Wilson and Darrin Laufasa were selected first team running backs. Inglemoor’s Jake Jones and Woodinville’s Alek Kacmarcik made second team.

Bothell’s Jared Berry and Inglemoor’s Erik Strathy were first team wide receivers. Inglemoor’s Dillon Gongliewski and Woodinville’s Drew Acciimus made second team.

Woodinville’s Colter Clinch was selected first team at tight end. Bothell’s Aaron Wilks made second team.

Four Cougars — Chase Madsen, Dylan Lindsey, Nick Ombrellaro and Tyler Roberts — earned first team status on offensive line, joined by Woodinville’s Sean Willie.

Three Vikings — Josh Koukal, Syrus Le and Troy Moens — were joined on second team by Bothell’s Nick Hosler and Woodinville’s Colin Messner.

Falcon kicker Conner Zaback earned first team honors, as did Cougar return man Kizhan Proctor.

On the defensive side, Clinch, Wilks and Inglemoor’s Titus Makasini were first team linemen. Bothell’s Tristan Bartsch, Miles Lockett and Jeremy Reuf were joined on second team by Falcon Lee Wunderlich.

At linebacker, Laufasa earned first team status along with teammate Camden McLeod and Falcons Trey Fornelius and Parker Moore. Second teamers were Cougars Brandon Davidson and Drew Williams along with Falcon Cole Bonvallet.

Bothell’s Rashon Watson and Wilson were first team corners. Woodinville’s Ian Biddle made second team.

First team safeties were Kacmarcik and Cougar Derek Pederson. Viking Nick Russell made second team.

Bothell coach Tom Bainter was selected the division’s coach of the year.

Three Lady Falcons sign ‘early letters of intent’ to universities

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

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Courtesy Photo

An “Early Sign Letter of Intent Celebration” was held last week at Woodinville High School for three Falcon softball players who signed their NCAA Division 1 Letters of Intent. From left to right are Emily Jackson (Northern Illinois University), Madi Schreyer (Stanford University) and Alex Boyd (Oregon State University).