Every time Wilson High School sophomore guard David Jenkins makes a lazy pass, forces a bad shot or takes a possession off on defense, he knows he’s going to get an earful.
Before coach Dave Alwert even opens his mouth from the bench, Jenkins is going to get the 10th degree on the court from teammates and fellow sophomores Alphonso Anderson and Montre Brown.
Jenkins is just fine hearing it from his buddies, with whom he has played basketball since they were in first grade.
“We always tell each other the truth — even if it’s not positive,” said the 6-foot-1 guard, who averaged eight points per game last year as a freshman. “Because we know the negatives are going to get us better.”
For a team that finished tied for fourth last season in a stacked Narrows 3A League, narrowly missing the playoffs despite a late-season winning streak, accountability and discipline on the court are traits these starting sophomores have emphasized this year.
“(It’s about) slowing ourselves down in our minds and playing smarter,” Brown said.
That’s about the only missing piece as Jenkins, Anderson and Brown are athletic, mature and unselfish.
“They’re bulldogs,” Alwert said of the three. “They can’t stand to lose.”
They all have different skills, which help make the Rams a more complete team. Jenkins is the scorer (20 points in the Rams’ season-opening win over Olympic), the 6-6 Anderson is the brawn (first-team all-Narrows 3A last season after averaging 12 points per game), and the 6-1 Brown is the defensive stopper (“probably the best athlete I’ve ever coached,” Alwert said).
They play together not only at Wilson, but they are teammates on the same AAU squad — Rotary Select.
“(Playing AAU together was) our opportunity to get better for high-school ball,” Jenkins said. “It just gives us the confidence for high school ... more minutes, more
shots, more defensive reps.”
The trio will give Wilson a dangerous offense — and they don’t care who scores the points.
“Together, everyone achieves more,” Jenkins said.
Before the sophomores can start making postseason plans, they know they have to do the work. That means applying themselves when it comes to defense and rebounding.
“We have that killer instinct to win every game,” said Anderson, who lists among his personal goals averaging a double-double and being voted the league’s player of the year.
But the sophomores realize it is a process to build a winning program.
“They’re great kids. The sky’s the limit,” Alwert said. “We want to be a team that makes it to the (Tacoma) Dome every year.”
CLASS 3A BOYS BASKETBALL PREVIEW
- 1. Wilson: Bursting with talent; time to bust out?
- 2. Lincoln: Abes trade in high-flying flair for hard hats.
- 3. Timberline: When Dorsey decides to dominate, he will.
- 4. Foss: Don’t sleep on Dez-less Falcons; still dangerous.
- 5. Enumclaw: Packs best 1-2 punch (Peterson-Rademacher) in SPSL 3A.
1. Enumclaw (16-10)
2. Peninsula (4-16)
3. Auburn Mountainview (13-10)
4. Lakes (15-9)
5. Decatur (12-10)
6. Bonney Lake (1-19)
* 2012-13 records
G JaQuori McLaughlin, 6-2, So., Peninsula
- Smooth, smart point guard is league’s best player; Oregon State commit.
C Tristan Miguel, 6-9, So., Auburn Mountainview
- Still raw, but developing at fast rate; should protect rim for young Lions.
G Bryce Peterson, 6-4, Sr., Enumclaw
- Ultracompetitive athlete has unquenchable will to score, succeed for Hornets.
C/F Drake Rademacher, 6-8, Sr., Enumclaw
- Displays guard’s mentality with post player’s frame — and does it all.
G Cedric Williams, 6-1, Sr., Lakes
- Only Lancers returner who saw regular minutes last year; clutch shooter.
Circle the Calendar: Jan. 31, Peninsula at Enumclaw, 7 p.m.
1. Wilson (12-9)
2. Lincoln (23-4)
3. Timberline (16-11)
4. Foss (18-7)
5. Mount Tahoma (13-8)
6. North Thurston (3-17)
7. Shelton (3-17)
* 2012-13 records
F Alphonso Anderson, 6-6, So., Wilson
- Considered city’s next great player, just scratching surface of elite talent.
G Armond Davis, 6-5, Sr., Foss
- Transfer from Lincoln should fill more prominent scoring role with Falcons.
F Donaven Dorsey, 6-6, Sr., Timberline
- League MVP favorite and UW signee in conversation for state’s best player.
G David Jenkins, 6-1, So., Wilson
- Talented enough for lead role, he also does little things to benefit Rams.
C Justice Martion, 6-6, Sr., Lincoln
- Arguably best post player in the league, he is hurricane of unbridled energy.
Circle the Calendar: Jan. 31, Lincoln at Wilson, 7 p.m.
CLASS 3A GIRLS BASKETBALL PREVIEW
- 1. Wilson: Next-up cast has no established star — yet.
- 2. Enumclaw: Hornets buzz with feisty guards who rebound.
- 3. Timberline: Until their young post players develop, the Blazers will run.
- 4. Bonney Lake: Will need to find scoring, will always defend.
- 5. Lincoln: New coach, new energy — new city slicker?
1. Enumclaw (19-7)
2. Bonney Lake (15-11)
3. Auburn Mountainview (12-13)
4. Lakes (14-10)
5. Peninsula (10-10)
6. Decatur (0-19)
* 2012-13 records
G/F Kimmy Aubert, 5-7, Sr., Enumclaw
- Hornets waiting for her to take next step to all-SPSL 3A status in 2013-14.
G Olivia Crawford, 5-6, Jr., Lakes
- Lancers might not have much, but they do have talented point guard.
G Samantha Depiano, 5-5, Sr., Auburn Mountainview
- Leave her open, she will bury you from outside or go right by you and score.
G Sam Engebretsen, 5-7, So., Enumclaw
- Heady, savvy and plays like a coach’s daughter; emerging combo guard.
C Kayla Seger, 5-10, Jr., Bonney Lake
- With Mekenzie Voellger graduated, Seger inherits team’s top defender, rebounder roles.
Circle the Calendar: Feb. 7, Bonney Lake at Enumclaw, 7 p.m.
1. Wilson (23-3)
2. Timberline (10-11)
3. Lincoln (11-9)
4. North Thurston (9-10)
5. Mount Tahoma (9-12)
6. Foss (3-17)
7. Shelton (1-19)
* 2012-13 records
C Tamia Braggs, 6-1, So., Lincoln
- Long-armed explosive athlete who can dominate the post in so many ways.
F Kiara Knox, 5-9, So., Wilson
- In paint, opponents might learn a few “Hard Knox” lessons in hustle plays.
G Josie Matz, 5-10, Fr., Wilson
- When she learns to become assertive, could be Rams’ next great playmaker.
F Violet Morrow, 5-10, Jr., Wilson
- A year after serving as role-playing rebounder, she will play everywhere.
F/C Callan Russell, 5-11, Jr., Timberline
- Arguably league’s best inside-outside threat, she is key in Blazers’ run.
Circle the Calendar: Jan. 24, Wilson at Timberline, 7 p.m.