Young Cougs post good early record

"Cougs' 7th grade boys basketballFirst-half league resultsLMS 30, Lake Stevens 22LMS 38, Cedarcrest 24LMS 38, Valley View 18LMS 47, North Middle 34Gateway 51, LMS 24The Cougar seventh-grade boys have a team shot on the ferry before taking on Gateway last week.Fresh off a holiday season that undoubtedly yielded more than a dozen pairs of new court shoes and at least a few Shaquille O'Neal-edition basketballs, Langley Middle School's seventh grade boys basketball players might be on their way to a championship.By the holiday break, the Cougs had already posted a 4-1 season record and placed themselves at the top of a middle school league that includes squads from North Everett, Marysville, Mill Creek and Snohomish. Led by coach Erik Jokinen, the Cougs have been using a mixture of size and speed to bang the boards hard in December. The formula worked against teams from Lake Stevens, Cedarcrest, Valley View and North Middle School.Making the wins all the more impressive is the fact that Langley Middle School is one of the smallest schools in the league. The team's only loss came against Gateway in a tough 51-24 contest last week.Coach Jokinen said his players' teamwork is the secret of their success.The unselfish commitment to total team play by many of the players who make the right pass or screen to help a fellow player has led to our success, Jokinen said.On offense, pass play has helped the Cougs set up plenty of field goals. In their first four games this season, the Cougs outscored the opponents by a combined score of 153-98. Leading the charge are big post player Josh Bavaro, power forward Jake Richards, and wings Duncan Adams, Joey Sousa, John Sarkis and Ryan Canton. Propping up the offense from the bench are Ian Ward, Loy Bowman, Oliver Shafaat and Wolfe Styke.The Cougs' ball-hungry defense has been every bit as good as the offense. Making many of the grabs, blocks and steals have been Canton and Richards, Aaron Lachaussee and Max Burr. Also adding kick to the defense are Evan Johnson, Kypher Koska, Jim Richards, Josh Parrick and Adam Chiarizio. Tops on defense have been the team's big man, Wolfe Styke, as well as Richards, Bavaro and Chiarizio.The Cougs begin the second half of the season Jan. 4 when they play on their home court at LMS against Centennial Middle School. "

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