The Gig Harbor boys basketball team is off to a 2-0 start, recording a 49-45 win over South Kitsap and a 60-58 road win over Lakewood High School of Arlington.
“We’re playing pretty physical, rebounding and getting the ball inside,” said starting forward Chad Stevens. “We’re attacking the basket.”
The team has a new look this season, with many players who didn’t play last season deciding to turn out for the team this year. The biggest addition seems to be 6-foot-7 center Patrick Fredrickson, a University of Minnesota commit for baseball. Fredrickson scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Tides against Lakewood and has been a big part of Gig Harbor’s early success.
Stevens, also a baseball player, and also not a member of last year’s team, said he wanted to make his senior year special and play both sports.
“We wanted to have some fun with it,” he said. “We all grew up playing basketball. It’s something to end our senior year with.”
They’ll also get a chance to play their crosstown rivals this season — twice. Gig Harbor and Peninsula are now both in the Class 3A South Sound Conference, and the Tides will be looking to avenge last year’s 50-31 loss at the hands of the JaQuori McLaughlin-led Peninsula Seahawks.
“Those two games will be awesome,” Stevens said. “We’re really excited for it. This year, we don’t have Bellarmine (in league) anymore. So there will be a lot of focus on the Peninsula game. We’re excited for it.”
Gig Harbor coach Billy Landram has been preaching physicality and rebounding, which makes sense for this year’s edition of the Tides, which features three players over 6-foot-6.
“We have a big team,” Stevens said. “We’re trying to hit the glass hard, play a little scrappy.”
Stevens said the team has its sights set on the 3A state tournament, and given its early success, the players are feeling confident about its chances to get to the Tacoma Dome.
“I think this team can go as far as we want as long as we keep improving every day, play to our strengths,” Stevens said.
Gig Harbor will face Central Kitsap at home on Friday (Dec. 9) and will host Shelton on Dec. 14. Both games tip off at 7 p.m. Gig Harbor travels to Peninsula on Friday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. for the big rivalry game against the Seahawks.