Prep boys basketball preview: Royals coach optimistic despite young team

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2016-17 Season – 4-8 in 2A/3A Wesco League 6-15 overall
9th place in 2A/3A Wesco League
Head Coach: Bobby Hinnenkamp
Key Losses: Ryan Rapanan, Eli Edwards, Christian Vazquez, Bryce Milne, Yoseph Habtemariam, Andrew Warren, Alton Hammond
Key Returners: Alex Macias, Jerry Boston, Anthony Joo, Jayden Acosta-Newsome, Josh Siscar

The upcoming 2A/3A Wesco boys basketball season finds the Lynnwood Boys team searching for an identity. Losing six seniors to graduation, including four starters, has left head coach Bobby Himmenkamp with a group of young, fresh faces looking to represent the Royals on the Hardwood. Aside from Senior Alex Macias, a starter since his sophomore season, the question of who steps in to replace the talent and leadership that graduated is still a work in progress.

“Some of those questions we’re still trying to figure out,” said Coach Hinnenkamp. “To be honest, we’re still trying to establish who our leaders will be. We only have three seniors up on varsity this year, so we’re really young. I think whenever you get new guys coming up, there’s that excitement because they’re ready to go and work hard. But then at the same time, you don’t have that experience. So you’re missing some things. I think some guys are going to create their own identity and make a name for themselves.”

He highlighted Macias as his lone returning starter, but went on to speak about some of his younger players. “In terms of everyone else, Jerry Boston has a lot of upside. I’m excited to see him. He’s a guy that we’re going to look to. We have him and Anthony Joo, who’s probably going to be running our point.”

He went on to talk about two players that could have some physical impact on games for the Royals in Sophomore Josh Siscar and Junior Jayden Acosta-Newsome.

Many of these players saw significant minutes on the JV squad last season. A team that experienced some success, having won 13 games, and losing three more by 3 points or less. The test becomes how will that translate to the varsity level in this league.

“There’s a lot of pieces there to be competitive. I’m optimistic that it will come together, it’s just how soon will it come together.”

Hinnenkamp was encouraged for the future of the program with the summer participation and fall workouts. They had an eye-opening 73 kids total for tryouts. “It’s great to see the interest and excitement,” he said.

Looking forward to the expectations and the product that will translate to the floor once play begins this season, Hinnenkamp said, “We’re a little bit longer than I thought we’d be. This year, we’re going to have a few more guys that are a little bit bigger. We’re not monsters by any means, but for Lynnwood, we’ve been primarily a guard oriented team the past few years, so we’ll have more size. Then a couple of the guys, Jerry (Boston) has stepped up, Anthony Joo has stepped up, Josh Siscar, we’ve had a few of those guys who aren’t necessarily surprises, but are doing what you’ve hoped they could do.”

Hinnenkamp has big goals for the season.

“The hope is, that we can ideally compete for one of the Wesco 3A playoff spots,” he said. “I think if we can get to playoffs, then in my mind, anything can happen. That’s the ultimate goal. Big picture? Just be competitive. I talk to these kids every day about being consistent every single day in practice. Never taking that moment for granted. We’re going to have fun, but we’re also going to go hard. Do that every day, and I think good things will eventually happen. Hopefully, we’ll be playing our best basketball come January and February.”

The Royals get the 2017-18 season started at home Tuesday night, Nov. 28 when they host the Highline Pirates at Lynnwood High School. The game starts at 7:15 p.m.

–Story and photos by Scott Williams

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