Beau Heimdahl views the Lake Washington High boys basketball team as a puzzle. The Kangs have all the pieces in their hands and they just need to wedge them together. The senior guard is excited to see what the squad can accomplish as the puzzle takes shape this season.
On offense, there’s a load of solid shooters and a pair of big guys to man the inside paint area. Defensively, they have energy galore and are aiming to outmuscle opponents for rebounds.
“I’m excited about the potential for this group and I think they can make some noise in KingCo this year,” said coach Ryan Staudacher, whose squad finished third in 3A KingCo with an 8-7 record last year. The team, which sported a 12-10 overall record, lost to Eastside Catholic in the first round of the Sea King District playoffs.
“I’ve been really impressed with our guys’ energy at practice,” the coach added. “It’s a really positive group, it’s a fun group to coach. They’ve just been showing up every day and working hard and trying to get better — they push each other, they push themselves.”
Heimdahl said the Kangs are a close group and have fun, but, “We get angry at each other in the best way, trying to make each other better every single day.”
Leading the way this season will be seniors Heimdahl (6-foot-3), Dalton Liesse (6-foot-1 guard), Andrew Vincent (6-foot-3 wing), AJ Filan (6-foot guard) and Karl Drammeh (6-foot-8 center). The other Kang tower is junior Marcus Christerson (6-foot-7 center) and Staudaucher said the two big men’s battles in practice have been fun to watch.
Drammeh is a transfer from Garfield and fits in well with the Kang system, and the players have welcomed him onto the team with open arms, the coach said. Drammeh will fill in for Griffin Barker, who transferred to Eastside Catholic.
“This is a great place to be. I’m really happy I’m here,” said Drammeh, who likes the team’s chemistry and added that he’ll bring rebounding, athleticism and communication skills to the squad.
Heimdahl is looking forward to playing his fourth year on varsity.
“This is definitely a big year for me. I gotta do what the team needs, definitely rebounding. We’ve just got a couple big guys on the team, but I still need to rebound and I need to get up the floor,” he said.
Liesse is launching his third year on varsity and enjoys the Kangs’ camaraderie on and off the court.
He discussed some of the puzzle pieces that his fellow guard Heimdahl led off with.
“Just get everyone involved and knock down our shots when we’re open,” Liesse began… “And step it up in the closing minute. Be leaders on the team.”