Nothing presents a more difficult matchup in high school basketball than height — and the Skyline boys basketball team has plenty of it in 2011-2012.
The Spartans return two 6-foot-7 starters in Lucas Shannon and Bryan Cikatz — both of whom are in their third varsity season.
In addition, 6-7 Isaiah Richmond, 6-5 Max Browne and 6-5 Addison McIrvin return, along with 6-8 Blake O’Brien, a transfer from Kamiak, and 6-6 Nick Kassuba, who transferred from Eastlake.
While the height will provide an advantage around the basket, head coach J. Jay Davis expects all these players to contribute away from the hoop.
“Within all that size is a high skill set we feel comfortable with playing inside or out on the perimeter,” he said.
The Spartans aren’t just tall — they are quick at the guard position.
Will Parker, in his fourth year on varsity, leads a group of talented ball handlers. The 5-foot-11 senior averaged 9.5 points, 4.4 assists and 2 steals per game last year.
“We feel Parker is one of the top point guards in Washington and one of the best competitors I’ve ever coached,” Davis said.
Sophomore Jonah Eastern is a similar build to Parker and brings a lot of the same elements to the floor.
“Both can really shoot it when in rhythm and both can get after it defensively,” Davis said.
Hunter Cikatz is a 6-3 sophomore guard also expected to make an impact on defense — something the Spartans continue to pride themselves on.
“We’ve been one of the top defensive teams in the state these past two seasons and recognize it’s our means to success,” Davis said. “I feel this team has the potential to be the best defensive team we’ve had during my tenure here at Skyline.”
The Spartans are coming off a 14-10 season that ended with a KingCo 4A tournament loss to Newport.
As for expectations this season — that’s not something Skyline is concerned with.
“We know who we are and what we are capable of and that will be our focus, not what others think or expect,” Davis said.