Kittitas boys basketball starts preparing for postseason run
KITTITAS – The Kittitas High School boys basketball team is preparing for the postseason as if it was starting the year all over again.
Mainly because it has so much time off.
After finding out that the Eastern Washington Athletic Conference athletic directors decided to forgo the upcoming league tournament because of scheduling and weather issues, head coach Tim Ravet decided his team was going to get back to the fundamentals.
The Coyotes don’t play another game until the 2B District 5 Championship game at Eastmont High School on Feb. 18.
“It’s like the start of the season kind of look,” he said. “With the time off we can get back into practice shape rather than just game shape. We need to practice harder so we can play well for the 32 minutes of a game.”
The Coyotes might not get some of the live action simulation from playing other schools, but Ravet said he will create competition among his players.
“We have a lot of depth, so the competition is back in,” he said. “We are judging you in practice so you have to work against each other so it’ll be obvious who are the best seven, eight or whoever it is going to be.”
A perfect season
Kittitas had no problem running the gauntlet of its nearly three-month season as it won every game by an average of 32 points, including two 40-plus point victories against 1A Cle Elum-Roslyn and league rivals White Swan and Mabton.
While the core of last season’s star freshmen class, Brock Ravet, Bailey Gibson, Martin Arreola and Caleb Harris has shown it can score as the Coyotes average 76.4 points per game, players have said the difference has been the defensive tenacity the team has brought.
“Our defense is playing really well right now,” Harris said. “We are getting low when we are defending and closing the gap so guys aren’t getting past us.”
Kittitas’ closest game occurred back on Dec. 9 of last year when 1A Warden High School took the game into overtime before the Coyotes won 70-64.
“The reason why we are ranked No. 1 is because supposedly our league is one of the toughest,” Tim Ravet said. “The thing is that smaller schools don’t get the tougher games throughout the season, but you have to just deal with it.”
But the regular season is over and a new chapter has begun.
State tournament bound
No matter what happens next weekend when the Coyotes play in the district championships, they already punched their ticket to the 2B state championship tournament in Spokane.
Last year Kittitas had an opportunity for a state tournament bid, but was upended by Mabton on a last-second shot in the district consolation round.
“It makes a difference,” Harris said. “But no matter what I’m excited. I’ve never been a part of something like this.”
For Tim Ravet, the opportunity to play at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena has a special place in his heart.
“The last time Kittitas has gone to the state tournament was 1996 when I coached here the first time,” he said. “Before that, the previous state tournament appearance was when I played here. From my high school days to coaching to up until now it’s really kind of a dream come true to get back there.”
While a state tournament appearance would be nice, a state championship is now on everyone’s mind.
“A state championship would be mean a lot,” Harris said. “I love my teammates, and seeing that trophy in the display case while going to school would be awesome.”