Wolves ready to step up and work hard
TUALATIN — The Tualatin High School basketball team may not be the tallest team around.
But, that's OK with the Timberwolves.
They're ready to make up for that lack of height with a strong work ethic, some solid defense and what looks to be a potent scoring attack.
"We don't have much size, but our players will work hard for one another," Tualatin coach Rick Osborn said. "I expect that we will be a very tough opponent for other teams to play."
The Wolves, as they get ready to jump into Three Rivers League play, do look to have a strong group of players back from last year's team, which finished in third place in the TRL standings at 9-5, while going 16-8 on the season.
Among the returnees is senior guard Alexis Angeles (6-foot-1). Last year, Angeles was named the Three Rivers League Player of the Year. He's already gotten off to a flying start to the 2017-2018 season, scoring 37 points for the Wolves in an early-season non-league win over Sunset.
Tualatin has another returning starter in senior guard Lucas Noland (6-0).
"Alexis Angeles and Lucas Noland are our team captains," Osborn said. "As a point guard, Alexis is in charge of our offense. As our best defender, Lucas is in charge of the defense."
Also returning from last year's varsity are senior post Chris Freese (6-2), senior guard Nathan Platter (6-2), senior post Matthew Kachlick (6-4), junior guard Jack Rose (6-2), junior guard Caden Dickson (5-9) and junior guard Derek Leneve (5-10).
Among the newcomers for the Timberwolves this season are sophomore guard John Miller (6-1), junior post Bridger Steppe (6-2), junior guard Jason Wisler (6-0) and sophomore guard Sam Noland (6-0).
"One of our biggest strengths is a year under our belts of playing int he offensive system that we installed last year," Osborn said. "Players are becoming more familiar with the options within the offense. I also expect that we will play very hard defensively and not give a lot of easy points to our opponents."
And, as a smaller team, the Wolves will be ready to work hard.
"Our lack of size will be a real obstacle," Osborn said.
As for the Three Rivers League this year, Tualatin is ready to battle with the best.
"I believe our league is one of the tougher ones in the state," Osborn said. "We hope to be one of the teams in the upper portion of our league."
Tualatin is off to a strong start to the season. As last week's South Albany Tournament, the Wolves topped Woodburn 99-56 on Dec. 20. They bested Thurston 83-55 last Thursday and, on Friday, they edged Benson 71-69.
With the three victories, Tualatin upped its early-season record to 8-0.
The Wolves were scheduled to play at McNary in a non-league game on Wednesday. Results of that game weren't available when the Times went to press. On Saturday, Tualatin will host Willamette in a non-league game starting at 7 p.m.
The Wolves will open Three Rivers League play Wednesday, when they travel to Lakeridge for a 7 p.m. contest.