High hopes for Mariner after summer of success | Boys basketball

Marauders should be among the contenders this season
By David Pan | Jul 23, 2019
Photo by: David R Pan Mariner senior Roman Savchuk goes up for a shot during a Maverick Shootout game at Meadowdale High School.

T

he Mariner boys basketball team probably wishes the 2019-20 season started next week rather than in four months.

The Marauders won 26 out of 29 games they played in tournaments throughout the spring and summer. Mariner posted victories over some of the top teams in the area, including Garfield, Franklin, Glacier Peak, King’s and Mountlake Terrace.

Even though Mariner graduated five seniors from last season, including starting point guard Edwin Bouah, the team returns most of its scoring with Simon Fanual, Diego Septimo-Ruiz, Tony MacArthur and Henry Avra.

Coach Tevin Dillon, who will be entering his fifth season, might have a problem that most coaches would welcome – an overabundance of talent.

“It’s going to be a challenge for me to find a good rotation,” he said. “A lot of guys can play. A lot of guys can produce. A lot of guys can be successful on the court. I haven’t had a team that has had this much talent.”

That’s saying a lot, considering that last season’s appearance in the state regional tournament was the school’s first since 2009, which just happened to be Dillon’s senior year at Mariner High School.

Fanuel and MacArthur both showed their teammates and Dillon they are ready to assume more responsibilities on the court.

“They came out and had a huge summer. I expect big things from them,” Dillon said. “I think they’re going to be a big part of our success.”

Both Fanuel and MacArthur have added to their skill sets.

“These guys put in a lot of work,” Dillon said.

Dillon also anticipates that Avra will continue to be a key part of the Marauder offensive attack.

Senior Roman Savchuk, better known as a standout wide receiver on the football team, appears poised for a potential breakout on the hardwood. Savchuk earned first-team, all-league football honors last year but played mostly junior varsity basketball during his junior season. He’s upped his basketball skills and is expected to be in the varsity rotation

“He came out this summer and was a totally different basketball player,” Dillon said. “He was dunking the ball.”

Freshman Jailen Johnson spent a lot of time playing the point guard position, along with junior Jalen Giles. Dillon said that Johnson was one of the best eighth-grade players he’s ever seen.

Despite his youth, Johnson was able to match up well against older, more experienced players.

“He’s done a great job. He has a lot to learn,” Dillon said. “He plays tough defense.”

Dakota Joseph, another newcomer, is expected to be a major offensive contributor.

“He has a lot of raw talent and a lot of athleticism,” Dillon said.

The success Mariner experienced last season, especially during the playoffs, definitely provides a big boost to the returning players. Any doubts about their ability to compete with the elite teams in the area are gone.

“We know where we can be. We know where our potential is,” Dillon said.

What’s impressed Dillon the most besides the skills his players are bringing to the court is their attitude.

“This is a group of unselfish kids. They work hard,” he said. “This is a coach’s dream to coach these kids. It’s going to be a fun year. I totally believe the sky’s the limit.”

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