All Snohomish boys basketball coach Len Bone is asking for as the WesCo North season winds down is a full squad.
Senior guard Blane Ortiz (15.6 ppg), who missed the first six games because of grades, missed a pivotal game Tuesday against Cascade too. Without the North’s seventh-leading scorer, the Panthers (9-7, 8-4) fell 62-60 to Cascade.
But Ortiz, who Bone said “needed to get some Math work done”, should be back for Snohomish’s next game (Tuesday at Everett). Junior guard Blake Simpson (sprained ankle), who had been starting recently, and senior reserve guard Chad Newell (who had a pair of teeth knocked loose in practice last week) are expected to return next week as well.
“We just need to get everyone back and we’ll be fine,” said Bone, who himself is under the weather.
The Panthers desperately need a complete roster because they are winless against the three teams (leader Lake Stevens, Stanwood and Cascade) ahead of them.
They are, however, undefeated against those chasing them for the fourth seed. That latter group includes Arlington (8-7, 5-6), which hosts the Panthers in the season finale Feb. 11.
Despite being 2 1/2 games behind Snohomish, Bone said that the Eagles shouldn’t be taken lightly. He points to the fact that Arlington has played its season series against both Lake Stevens and Stanwood, while Snohomish still faces each of those teams (albeit at home).
“Arlington is tough and they’re going to be right there,” Bone said.