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Welcome to SBLive’s weekly boys basketball notebook, where I explore news, features and notes from the high school hoops season around the state of Washington. Stay up to date on our boys power rankings by classification, weekly boys coaches poll and more coverage of winter high school sports.

KENT, Wash. — In the eyes of Glacier Peak coach Brian Hunter, there may be no better way to command the respect of the locker room than one of the proclivities of his senior captain Bobby Siebers.

Taking charges.

In his third season at Glacier Peak (4A) since transferring from North Kitsap, Siebers has led the team in charges each of the last three years, including this season, even going as far to take them in practice. It’s one of the ways he’s commanded a locker room with less varsity experience than recent years.

“When that guy’s willing to put his body out there, take some hits, not just shoot or score,” Hunter said. “That says it all right there.”

The Grizzlies (8-1) replaced most of its rotation from the condensed spring season, including standout guard Tucker Molina, and starts a freshman in the backcourt. What this rendition of Glacier Peak lacks in size — Siebers, a big 6-foot-4 guard, is the team’s tallest player — it makes up for in outside shooting.

RELATED:Once teammates, Carr sisters now coaching against each other in 3A NPSL (Girls basketball notebook)

But cohesion has been its key to success in the first half the season, which has placed added responsibility on the shoulders of Siebers, a big-bodied 6-foot-4 dead-eye shooter who also leads the team in rebounds.

Siebers breaks down leadership, enhanced role, King Classic win over Sumner.

“He’s been a really good, inclusive top guy,” Hunter said of Siebers, who set the program single-game scoring record with 36 points on Jan. 5. “He knows he needs those guys. He can’t do it (alone).”

As a sophomore, Siebers flourished as a sixth man on a senior-heavy team who was good enough to start at many programs. During that season, which ended with a fourth place stay finish, Siebers was a starter-quality sixth man on a tight-knit group that loved playing together and Hunter says always wanted to be around one another off the court. 

Team chemistry came easy.

Siebers and fellow senior Torey Watkins were both a part of that run, and have been instrumental in this group’s ability to gel, Hunter said — a dynamic exemplified by Siebers’ nurturing of freshman guard Joe Lee, who he treats like an upperclassman.

He knew coach Brian Hunter had never named a freshman to varsity, and wanted to make sure he planned on making an exception for Lee, the younger brother of Caleb Lee, a standout senior on the 2020 team that took fourth in state. So Siebers approached Glacier Peak head coach Brian Hunter during the offseason to offer a gentle nudge. Hunter was way ahead of him, but moved to see his captain advocate for an up-and-comer.

"Bobby's so good about not taking himself too seriously," Hunter said. "If he makes a mistake in practice, he owns it."

As the Grizzlies navigate a top-heavy 4A Wesco and face Jackson Friday, No. 10 in SBLive’s 4A power rankings, he’s been a voice in Lee’s ear as he navigates starting as a freshman on an expected playoff-contending 4A team. Lee had 22 points in a top-10 win over Federal Way on Jan. 6.

“They play really well together,” Hunter said. “They like each other … and Bobby’s good. When he touches the ball, good things happen.”

Auburn (3A) guard out … again

(Photo by Vince Miller)

(Photo by Vince Miller)

Once again, the status of Auburn standout guard Maleek Arington has boomeranged.

After a return to the court Saturday after a decision to play through a grade-2 PCL tear and small meniscus tear in his right knee, Arington is now back on the sideline following a second opinion. 

“(Doctors) took a new scan, looked at original scan and said ‘it’s healing, but I don’t think you should play on it,’ ” Hansen said.

Arington, who is averaging 13.5 points, 5.5 assists and three steals per game, will now miss two weeks for the No. 2 Trojans, a 3A state contender, and re-evaluate at the end of January, according to Auburn coach Ryan Hansen.

The injury occurred during the Trojans’ Dec. 21 game against Garfield, their lone loss of the season. In the days after, Arington tried to practice through it, but endured enough pain and discomfort to take a step back and get it looked at.

All in all, he missed just two games before deciding to play through it. Hansen said he played pain-free on Saturday.

In the meantime, he’s undergoing physical therapy with the same doctor who gave the second opinion. It’s not known whether he will need surgery, Hansen said, but in the case that he does, that would likely happen after the season. 

Hansen hopes to have him back by the second week of February — the start of district playoffs — at the latest.

“He’s doing everything he can to put himself in a position where he can come back,” Hansen said.

Chief Leschi (2B) out to back up hot start

(Photo by Scott Halasz)

(Photo by Scott Halasz)

A 2-6 record in the shortened spring season may have caused some to look away from Cheif Leschi, but for head coach Scott Halasz, it was the best thing that could have happened. 

“We knew this group was coming for years,” Halasz said. “Our freshmen last year, I started all of them.” 

The Warriors (11-0, 6-0), No. 6 in SBLive’s latest 2B power rankings, are out to their best start in more than a decade entering a pivotal week of Pacific 2B League play. They have a chance to grab a stronghold atop the league with games Thursday against Raymond (7-3, 4-3) and Saturday against No. 9 Ilwaco (11-1, 8-0).

It won its first seven games, capped by a 53-50 win over Central 2B contender Adna (11-3, 4-1), then underwent a 14-day COVID shutdown. The Warriors are 4-0 since returning.

Junior forwards Justin James (left) and Fred Lewis (right). (Photo by Scott Halasz)

Junior forwards Justin James (left) and Fred Lewis (right). (Photo by Scott Halasz)

“We played Forks with no practice, straight off of quarantine,” Halasz said. “We’ve started to get momentum and get back to ourselves.”

It last reached the 2B state playoffs in 2017, when it lost to Toledo in the first round. Several key returners transferred in the immediate wake of that season and Halasz has been rebuilding ever since. 

They don’t have a player taller than 6-foot-2. Instead, they stretch the floor, deploy suffocating man-to-man defense and every player on the floor can shoot at a given time — led by junior forwards Fred Lewis and Justin James.

Part of what makes the Warriors tough to prepare for are its depth and how spread out its contributions are. Six players are averaging eight or more points per game.

“People didn’t see it coming, but once we started, boom, we started laying it on people,” Halasz said.

DeSales (1B) sandwiches two wins between stinker

Eric Wood has never experienced a more bizarre week coaching basketball than DeSales’ recent three-game stretch. 

DeSales (12-2) beat No. 4 Sunnyside Christian at the buzzer on Friday, lost by 15 at one-win Garfield-Palouse on Saturday, then handed 2B Columbia Burbank, a top-10 team in the state, its first loss of season, 61-58, on Tuesday.

The Irish picked up two signature wins — far and away their two best of the season — in between what he calls the “strangest game I’ve ever been a part of.”

After the high of junior guard Joe Baffney’s electric game-winning 3, then overlooking Garfield-Palouse in a game DeSales shot 17 percent from the field not 24 hours later, Wood told his team it controlled how it was going to respond facing an undefeated 2A foe in Columbia (Burbank).

“It was just an anomaly,” the second-year head coach said. “I don’t think we could have shot any worse.”

After a productive film session on Monday, the team vied to shake the "embarrassment" of its Saturday loss.

Junior Jack Lesko rebounded with 25 points and took three charges and senior Frankie Worden grabbed 20 rebounds to beat Columbia in a back-and-forth finish, Wood called the Coyotes the most talented team he's seen in a several years.

“I think the boys were a little bit relieved they got back to what we’ve been doing," Wood said. "We’re like ‘OK, we’re still us, we’re still here, don’t have to do anything drastic.’ ”

Past boys basketball notebooks

Quincy Jackrabbits enjoying a sharp program turnaround (Jan. 6)

‘It changed my life.’ How yoga helps Brooklyn Hicks, Jonas La Tour thrive (Jan. 13)