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Posted on Dec 4, 2014

Jacks open season against Tigers

The Quincy boys basketball team lost all its leading scorers from last season, but that does not faze head coach Wade Petersen. He enters his 14th year as the Jacks head coach and has seen players come and go, and he has seen players step up each year.
But this season he expects a collaborative effort from his 12 players. At this point there is not a clear starting five, but many players are in the mix to see plenty of playing time.
“It will just be a typical team effort, with lots of different people to contribute offensively,” said Petersen.
Quincy opens the regular season and its Central Washington Athletic Conference campaign at home against Ephrata on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The girls game will start at 5:45 p.m.
The team hit the road on Tuesday for a jamboree in Ellensburg. Petersen is hoping the team will iron out a few kinks before the rivalry game against the Tigers.
“We need to get better at running our sets, running our plays,” he said. “It is one of the staples of our system.”
He also said he looks for his players to use their brains as much as their athletic abilities.
“We have to utilize our brains,” Petersen said.
The starting point guard for this game will be 5-foot, 11-inch Mike Diaz. The senior was a shooting guard last season and averaged 3.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. This is the first time he has played the point.
“Mike’s a great defender, has a great attitude and is one of our hardest workers,” said Petersen. “He’s a leader.”
He also will share some of the point guard duties with senior Enrique Rivera (5-11), junior Abraham Calvillo (5-7) and junior Gunnar Petersen (5-11). The trio also will be in the mix as the shooting guard with junior Rafa Guzman (5-7).
According to Petersen, Guzman is one to watch. He is making the leap from C-squad to varsity this season, but could make an impact with his ability to score.
“He is super small, really quick and can really shoot it,” he said. “But it’s a big leap from C-squad to varsity. He just lacks experience.”
The front-runners for the two forward positions are junior Philip Tobin (6-2) and junior Johan Farias (5-9), while senior Ricky Saldana (5-11) will also see some playing time.
“Phil can play both inside and out and shoots 3s,” said Petersen. “He is very talented.”
At post will be the team’s top returning scorer, senior Kevin Flores (5-11), who averaged 5.6 points. He will see time with junior Mark Horning (6-0), who is shaping up to be the team’s leading rebounder.
“Horning plays real physical,” said Petersen. “He plays a lot bigger than his height. He is not scared to bang around.
“We expect him to pull down 10 rebounds per game.”
The Jacks will also have senior Eric Navarro (6-0) and junior Ryan Winkler (6-3), who will be looking to help out at the post position. While the Jacks have several players back from last season, every position needs to be earned.
“I want it to be competitive,” said Petersen. “I want good chemistry, but I want them fighting for spots.
“I just want the team to be successful.”

– By Kurtis J. Wood,

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