By David Pan/Lynnwood Today editor
No introductions were necessary when the Meadowdale boys basketball team started practicing in mid-November.
The Mavericks have the luxury that few teams have: all of their key players are back. Last year’s team did not have any seniors, so everyone that ended up on varsity is a familiar face to coach Andy Streit.
“It’s really nice because we thought of last year as a two-year process, knowing that we didn’t have any seniors,” Streit said. “We still have a long ways to go to grow as a group. We just want to come together as a team as much as possible. The scoreboard can be what it is.”
Meadowdale won only one league game and only four games overall due in large part to the youth of the team and a season-ending ACL injury to a key player.
That player, senior guard Barrett Carlow, is back healthy and is ready to help lead the team.
“It was nine months of rehab,” Carlow said. “I’m 100 percent.”
Streit is glad to have Carlow back.
“He’s looking great,” Streit said. “You see all these ACL injuries on TV and they seem to not be back for a couple of years. … He’s picking up all the offense and stuff that he missed last year.”
Carlow, the point guard, has plenty of options on offense with 6-foot-8 center Jacob Perkins and 6-2 guard/center Charlie White as two prime options.
“I’m looking to get other people open and make smart plays,” Carlow said.
Perkins was named the team’s most improved player at the end of last season and he’s continued to evolve as a player.
“Jacob’s big for us, literally and figuratively,” Streit said. “He’s put in a ton of work.”
Perkins has shown more maturity, leadership and athleticism.
“He’s just worked on all levels,” Streit said.
Perkins’ presence in the middle will open up the offense for everyone, according to Carlow.
“We’ll use him in the post to create plays,” he said. “We’ll be working off of him.”
White could be considered somewhat of a jack of all trades.
“He does whatever we need him to,” Streit said. “He’s in the top three of all the statistical categories for us. He rebounds. He plays defense. He can play inside or outside. He’s one of our best defenders.”
Streit really hasn’t settled on a starting lineup and that’s partly because many of the players are close in ability.
“We are a pretty deep team,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of separation. For us, we are going to try and use that as a positive. It’s going to be whoever is hot that night, whoever is having a good night. Hopefully we’ll run a few bodies at people.
“We don’t have a ton of stars. We do have a lot of depth.”
And the Mavericks have players who are battled-tested. Even though last year was viewed as a rebuilding season, going 4-16 overall wasn’t fun for anyone.
“We had a lot of adversity because we’re all competitors,” Streit said. “But just like we talk about with life that when you go through real tough adversity, that’s really the only time you grow and I’ve seen us grow. Whether or not it results in more league wins, we are better because of last year and I expect that to show in every game.”