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By David Pan 

Successful summer for Grizzlies | Girls basketball


Last updated 8/17/2018 at Noon

The Glacier Peak girls basketball team might be young in terms of age, but talent-wise the Grizzlies showed they can match up with just about any team in the state.

In what some observers regarded as a possible 4A state championship preview, Glacier Peak defeated Kentridge 51-42 in the Edmonds Summer Shootout title game.

The Chargers return six seniors from a squad that placed fourth at last year’s state tournament.

Grizzlies coach Brian Hill wasn’t surprised by his team’s success this summer. A week earlier, Glacier Peak lost to the Chargers in the semifinals at the Snohomish Tournament. Grizzlies coach Brian Hill liked how his team responded in the rematch.

“We had lost to them the week before and we beat them the following week,” he said. “We learned a lot from that loss. That was a good win for us.”

Two years ago, Kentridge defeated the Grizzlies in the state title contest.

Hill said the Grizzlies’ success this summer is due in part to the players’ attitude.

“They’re really hungry and competitive,” Hill said. “They don’t like to lose. I think it’s like they don’t know any better. … They face Kentridge and it’s go out and play hard.”

The Grizzlies wrapped up the summer at team camp at Gonzaga University where they faced some stiff competition.

“All of the team was fantastic, so it was a great way for us to finish off the summer,” Hill said.

With a roster that likley will feature four sophomores and a couple of juniors, Glacier Peak will look to seniors Haley Grambo, Sydney Guffey and Alexyss Newman for leadership.

All three responded.

“Alexyss Newman when she played with us was great,” Hill said. “Haley Grambo did a great job handling the point guard duties. Sydney Guffey was a big presence.”

Hill also appreciated the hard work by junior Tiara Hollimon, who is moving up from the junior varsity squad.

Sophomore Aaliyah Collins led the Grizzlies in scoring, averaging around 12 points in a sensational freshman season.

While her game continues to evolve, what’s impressed Hill is how she handles herself on the court.

“She’s starting to get more confident,” he said. “There were times she kind of lacked confidence. She’s one of our go-to players.”

In addition to Collins, Hill also is looking for offense from sophomores Madison Rubino and Maya Erling.

The graduation of Makayla Guerra, Nicole Jensen and Abbie Juozapaitis means other players will be stepping into new and in some cases expanded roles.

The goal this summer was for Hill and his staff to see what the Grizzlies look like without those three players.

“It’s figuring out what the new roles are going to be,” Hill said.

With different personnel, Glacier Peak’s offense and defense likely are going to undergo some changes.

“It’s not always the same,” Hill said.

What isn’t going to change is the Grizzlies’ fondness for the up-tempo game.

“We’ll be young and we’ll be fast,” Hill said. “Everybody on our team likes to run. Pressure defense is one of the things we focus on.”


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