Busy off-season boosts outlook for Mariner | Boys basketball

Younger players are expected to log significant minutes
By David Pan | Nov 29, 2017
Photo by: David R Pan Mariner’s Duwayne Ewing dribbles the ball during practice.

The Mariner boys basketball team is looking to bounce back from a tough year with a mix of veterans and young talent.

But perhaps the biggest advantage the Marauders have going for them heading into 2017-18 is a full off-season under second year coach Tevin Dillon.

A year ago, Dillon was hired just before the start of the regular season and didn’t have any time in the summer or fall with the players. This year the Marauders were on the court most of the off-season.

“We had a good summer,” Dillon, who previously was the junior varsity coach. “This year I got some time to teach. We played in a few tournaments up north. We went to camp at Eastern Washington. We played in a fall league. We were busy from spring, summer and all the way through fall, which helps a lot because last year we didn’t do anything.”

Last year’s lack of off-season work translated in some struggles during the regular season, as Mariner finished at the bottom of the Wesco 4A standings.

“That’s been a big motivator for this whole off-season,” Dillon said. “We’ve got guys who work really hard. They don’t want to lose.”

The Marauders have returning experience with seniors Duwayne Ewing and Dwan Mallet, junior Edwin Bouah and sophomore Simon Fanuel. Ewing is expected to direct the offense as the point guard.

Dillon is relying on Ewing to help control the game for the Marauders on offense and on defense.

“The biggest thing for him is that he’s a defensive guy,” Dillon said. “I expect him to really control the defensive side of the ball.”

A pair of sophomores – Antonio MacArthur and Diego Septimo-Ruiz – are being counted on to play major roles this season.

“A lot of our minutes are going to come from our younger guys,” Dillon said. “I anticipation we’re going to have a large rotation.”

MacArthur brings versatility to the lineup.

“He plays in the paint. He can shoot the ball,” Dillon said. “He can play guard if we need him to.”

Even though he’s only a sophomore MacArthur was selected by Dillon to be one of the co-captains, in large part to all the hard work he did over the summer.

“I was real happy when he asked me if I wanted to be captain. Of course, I accepted,” MacArthur said.

MacArthur said all the games the team played in the summer and fall will benefit the Marauders, especially with their team chemistry.

Mariner will be one of the smaller teams in the league, though most of its guards are around 6-foot-2.

“We have tall guards. We don’t have any traditional bigs, which is OK because we’ve got speed,” Dillon said.

MacArthur doesn’t see the lack of height as a major issue. The Mariner sophomore plans to take advantage of his quickness.

“It’s going to be easier to get around the bigger guys,” MacArthur said. “Posting up is hard for me because I’m so small. The way I’m going to win that is technique. So I have to get around them faster. I just have to do everything faster.”

The Marauders also will try to use their athleticism on offense by getting up and down the court fast, Dillon said.

“Anybody on our team could attack the rim and everybody would if he wanted to and could,” MacArthur said. “We kind of like playing the inside out game, driving and kicking out. But at the same time we have people driving too. We just like to play fast. We’ll try to run people off the court if we can.”

Building team chemistry and rapport among the players is going to be important for Mariner’s success, MacArthur added.

“I think our communication is going to be the biggest thing,” he said. “We have our shooters. We have people who can drive. We have people who can post up. We have great defensive players too. … The key is just communication and just being there for each other and talking because we have all the talent.”

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