A new coach, new system and largely new cast of characters has created an air of uncertainty about the Montesano boys basketball outlook.
The Bulldogs return only one starter from a club that posted a 12-11 record last season. They are now under the direction of Doug Galloway, previously a successful head coach at Capital High School in West Olympia.
For the first time in several years, Monte’s transition to the basketball court hasn’t been delayed by a deep run into the state football playoffs. Between the club’s inexperience and the installation of a new system, however, the Bulldogs may still experience some growing pains.
“We should be a lot better by the end of the season than we are right now,” Galloway offered.
Montesano opens its season at home against South Bend on Monday.
Senior forward Kenny Roy figures to shoulder the bulk of the Dogs’ scoring burden, at least early in the campaign. The 6-foot-2 Roy, who attacks the basket well, was the club’s second-leading scorer last season.
Otherwise, Monte is lacking in varsity experience.
Five-eleven senior Kody Usher and 6-2 senior Evan Bialkowsky were the only other returnees to see even limited varsity action last season.
Logan Truax, a 5-7 sophomore, could start in the backcourt, with 6-3 sophomore Kaleb Chastain, 5-11 senior Kyler Landry and 6-foot junior Anthony Louthan battling for other starting positions.
A trio of sophomores — Jake Herzog, Alex Hopsecger and Cole Nelson — are also contending for varsity berths.
Cold shooting has been Montesano’s bugaboo in recent years. Galloway is non-committal over progress in that area, but believes his team should be capable on the defensive end.
“I really think, defensively, we’ll be able to shut people down,” he said. “If we can keep people under 50 points, we should have a chance.”
That doesn’t mean, however, that Galloway favors a patient offensive tempo.
“I like to get up and down the floor as much as possible,” he noted. “We like to switch defenses. If we can get out and run, we’ll get out and run.”
The Bulldog coach is also placing a strong emphasis on rebounding.
Pleading lack of familiarity with area Class 1A team, Galloway declined to project an Evergreen 1A League favorite.
Former Aberdeen High head coach Mike Stoddard has joined the Bulldog staff as the junior varsity coach. Brandon Klinger returns to guide the C Squad.