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Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

Boys basketball bounces back

Juliana Pequignot (she/her)
Point guard Elijah Swearingen throws up a shot against Skyline on Jan. 5. He had four rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block.

At the time of writing, the boys basketball team is currently on track to make it to this year’s playoffs, which starts on Feb. 1. The team is currently ranked seventh in KingCo with a 6-12 record. Compared to the past two seasons’ combined record of two wins and 37 losses, this is a drastic improvement, which the team attributes to an increased sense of cohesiveness and maturity. 

Junior captain and point guard Aman Sterling (he/him) credits the team’s improvement to a stronger bond both on and off the court. 

“I just think our team connects better. We complement each other more on the floor than we have in the past. We’ve bonded really well as a team,” Sterling said. “We have team dinners every week, and I think that’s helped build our team chemistry.”

Junior captain and post Reuhen Bhalod (he/him) said that in addition to a deeper bond, this year head coach Greg Lowell (he/him) has pushed the team harder in training and practices. 

“He’s a lot harder on us this year, and he wants us to do better. He’s more strict and he has more expectations because he thinks our team is really good talent-wise,” Bhalod said. 

Sterling echoed a similar sentiment, saying that this year Lowell’s pushed the team farther than ever to achieve their goals, which has caused them to improve substantially. 

Viking point guard Aman Sterling drives against Skyline. He had 10 points, despite the Viking’s 45-62 loss. (Juliana Pequignot (she/her))

“He’s definitely given us a lot more to work on. He even has a whiteboard in the team room that has the goals posted that he wants to achieve,” Sterling said. 

Lowell said that in addition to the team’s goals — to make playoffs and to improve defensively — a notable factor in the team’s improvement is their heightened maturity. He also said that the team’s effort in the off-season yielded significant results this season. 

“We’ve worked hard. We did a lot in the offseason, and they’re just a year older. Majority of our team is juniors, and they were sophomores a year ago. And we play summer tournaments and summer leagues, and we have the open gym in July,” Lowell said. 

Bhalod said that it’s not just Lowell, but the entire coaching staff who created a supportive environment for the team. He said that while they can seem harsh, they positively challenge each player to play their best. 

“They tell you what you did wrong, obviously. And that’s important. And they’re also really positive towards you. They get on you just enough to help you, but not discourage you,” Bhalod said. 

This year, the team is scoring around 10 points more per game compared to the 2022-23 season. Sterling attributes this to the team’s improved offense.

“I think we’re a pretty good rebounding team. I think we move the ball pretty well. We have multiple ways we can score; we can score inside and we can score outside the perimeter,” Sterling said. 

Additionally, the team’s winning percentage this year is 33% compared to last year’s 10%. Senior guard Elijah Swearingen (he/him) said the involvement of the boosters program has helped the team grow. 

“This year, we’re doing a lot more stuff to get involved, so team dinners and just before the season started, we did the carwash fundraiser. It’s stuff like that and changes in the program, I think, that helps the team come together,” Swearingen said. 

However, according to Swearingen, one of the team’s pitfalls is their tendency to psych themselves out after making mistakes. He said that this is a difficult issue to fix because it’s entirely mental. 

“It’s kind of hard because you can’t really change that immediately. It’s kind of more that everybody has to change their mindset,” Swearingen said. “They have to forget about what happened in the past and move forward.”

Lowell encourages Inglemoor students with an interest in basketball to try out for the team, emphasizing the positive environment the program produces. 

“You’re gonna learn some things about having to work hard and improve and be part of a team, and then get to play in one of the better leagues in the state,” Lowell said. “I would say the team aspect of it is important, and so is the discipline that it takes to work at your sport every day, whether it’s basketball or any other sport here.”

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About the Contributors
Emelia Mason (she/her)
Emelia Mason (she/her), Sports Editor
Junior Emelia Mason is starting her third year on the Nordic News staff as the sports editor for the 2023-2024 school year. She looks forward to furthering her reporting skills by writing engaging articles that are enjoyed by the community. Outside of Nordic she’s involved in numerous school organizations and enjoys music, reading and hanging out with her friends.   
Juliana Pequignot (she/her)
Junior Juliana Pequignot is beginning her first year as a reporter for Nordic News in the 2023-2024 school year. During Juliana’s first year, she hopes to develop her writing skills while learning more about journalism. Outside of Nordic, Juliana plays basketball and is involved in various clubs. She also enjoys traveling as well as spending time with family and friends.

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