When I asked Glacier Peak coach Brian Hunter what it will take for his team to reach the level it was playing at last during last season’s run to a fourth-place finish in the Class 3A state tournament his answer was simple, “time.”
While the Grizzlies return some key pieces from that team it is going to take time for this group to grow together. Hunter likes what he has seen so far, but he also knows what his team is capable of accomplishing going forward.
“We really want to play well in about a month and a half,” said Hunter after beating Renton, 64-46 Tuesday. “I think we’re getting better, we’re getting closer. I’m feeling good about the direction that we’re heading. we’re getting there.”
Against the Indians, I was impressed with the way Glacier Peak moved the ball. Jack Bonner and Tanner Southard executed some well-timed backdoor cuts. Now, they didn’t always finish the layups, but they got the open shots.
“I felt good about the fact that we were moving the ball,” Hunter said. “We were getting the shots we wanted.”
It’s a sign of the talent and room for improvement. There is a reason I ranked the Grizzlies No. 4 in the preseason and they’ve shown it in flashes.
One of the big keys for Glacier Peak this year is the continued development of 6-11 big man Payton Pervier. The senior, who will play for Northwest Nazarene next season, has shown tremendous growth this season.
He has good hands and he’s moving better around the basket. Any time a team has a player capable of finishing with 17 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots, as he did against Renton, it will have a chance to be successful.
“He’s moving much better,” Hunter said. “He’s understanding he doesn’t need to just stand there and wait for the ball to get to him. The more he moves, the better off he is. We’re really happy with the fact that he’s understanding that the more he moves and works before he gets the ball, the easier and better off he’s going to be.”