Heading into next week’s non-conference clash with Class 2A state runner-up Burlington-Edison, Shorecrest finds itself in our Top 10 for the first time in who knows how long.
The eighth-ranked Scots (5-1, 4-1) climbed into the poll after their gutsy effort Friday at Jackson. Despite the 69-60 loss to the now-No. 2 Timberwolves, Shorecrest proved that it will be a major player in the Wesco South race.
One of the biggest reasons why is sophomore sensation Emmanuel Chibuogwu Jr. (13 ppg), the team’s third leading scorer.
Like a lot of teams will find this season, Jackson had absolutely no answer when the 6-foot-6 forward went to the offensive glass. Chibuogwu and leading scorer Jordan Brown, a senior and all-league football selection, easily had a handful of offensive boards each by capitalizing on Shorecrest’s frontcourt advantage.
“It’s going to be a fun three years,” said Shorecrest coach Brian Fischer about Chibuogwu. “He works hard, he’s a great kid. He’s still on a high learning curve, but his potential is really high.”
In the Jackson game, the inside combo combined for 35 points — with Brown providing a team-high 19.
“He’s just an amazing athlete and a competitor,” Fischer said. “He just has a will to win.”
Winning is something this school used to do routinely.
Under Marv Morris, the Scots went to state four straight years (1992-1995). They placed three times, including a runner-up finish in 1992.
This is also the program which reached state all but one season from 1975-1985, placing as high as second in 1982.
But for now it’s baby steps, and just making it to state for the first time since Mike Nilson (Gonzaga) took that 1995 squad there would be huge.
“We’ve been building for this for a long time,” said Fischer, who was 35-62 (18-51 league) in four seasons entering this year. “We’ve been improving through seasons. It’s finally come together.”
As for the Burlington-Edison game, it’s at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Tigers are off to a 4-1 start with their lone blemish being by three points at No. 6 Mount Si.