Kittitas boys basketball team builds on successful 2016 season
KITTITAS — Kittitas head basketball coach Tim Ravet takes last season as simply a learning experience.
The Coyotes took a team full of freshmen and ended with 17 wins before losing a heartbreaker to Mabton in the districts.
“Every practice when we walk out we talk about Mabton and how about those final plays ended our season,” Ravet said. “You have to take it one play at a time and do things the right way.”
Kittitas was led by a group of underclassmen including all-Central Washington 2B point guard Brock Ravet, Bailey Gibson and Caleb Harris.
Now his group of freshmen, that took his program from three wins in 2015 to almost six times that many last year, are sophomores and have already began to see a difference.
“They not only are stronger by being in the weight room, but they are becoming leaders,” Ravet said. “They are communicating to know where everyone is at on the floor.”
Last year’s phenomenal freshman
The Coyotes will once again be led by Brock Ravet, who led the state with 32 points per game.
In 20 regular season games he eclipsed 40 points six times including scoring a season-high 46 points against Entiat High School.
But while Brock Ravet has proved he can shoot the ball, especially from the 3-point range, he said he wants to concentrate on defense.
“Our defense wasn’t the best last year so we switched to man,” he said.
Brock Ravet said the Coyotes have started using the man-to-man defense because it will help rebounding and limit outside shots.
Along with Brock Ravet on the perimeter, Kittitas features a few upperclassmen that include senior Bryan Arnold and junior Connor Brown.
Brown is one of the taller players on this year’s team, standing at 6-feet-4-inches and his coach said he is just one of the many scoring options on this team.
“I felt like we had a good mix of freshmen, juniors and seniors but then all of the sudden in the last seven or eight games everyone started putting a box-and-1 or triangle-and-2 defense on us to stop Brock,” Tim Ravet said. “Now Connor has gotten better inside and Bailey has really worked on his game. We are deeper with a better fundamental basketball savvy.”
The Kittitas new freshmen class includes point guard Justin Hudson and power forward Cole Lenihan.
“Everything is going to be new to them and they might get some stage shock but they have the skill and the team have been welcoming to bring them in,” Tim Ravet said.
Hudson has played AAU basketball but he thinks the biggest challenge is going to dealing with the size of high school players.
“They are a lot bigger, but I don’t feel intimidated,” Hudson said. “I’ve been playing for a long time.”
Kittitas unofficially started its season last Saturday when it played four exhibition games at Eisenhower’s Jamboree, but will host its first game tonight when it faces Almira-Coulee-Hartline High School.
Last year the Warriors finished the season 26-1 and lost in the 1B State Championship game to Neah Bay.
Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.