Little practice time doesn't deter boys basketball at St. Helens
Another prep sport is taking center stage in St. Helens.
Jake Ramiskey is getting his St. Helens High School varsity boys basketball squad ready for a shortened one-month season that will include 14 games.
"Usually, it's going to be three games a week," Ramiskey said. "I think there's, like, five back-to-back games. It's a condensed season and it's going to go by very fast."
The team is winless at press time, the season having kicked off Tuesday night, May 18, at Hillsboro. The Lions then traveled to Hood River May 20 and hosted Putnam the next night.
It's a young team, according to Ramiskey.
"We only have one senior," he said. "The freshmen, they swing. They play JV and varsity. We're very, very young."
Ramiskey continued, "The freshmen are still getting acclimated to the pace of varsity basketball, and it's been a little bit of a challenge for them."
It can be frustrating to get a season underway with little time to prepare.
"With the condensed season and how we have very little time to prepare for anything, it's kind of just learning on the fly, trying to adjust and figure things out in games, because we don't get many practices in between games," Ramiskey said, noting than in a normal season, the team has 16 practices before they even play a game.
There are some standouts on the team this year, despite its overall lack of experience.
"We have a junior guard, Trevor Fitzgerald, who is our leader," Ramiskey said. "He sets the example in practice. He holds other people accountable in practice. He doesn't let things slide."
Fitzgerald isn't the only returnee from the 2019-20 season.
"We have a junior post player, Neil Wolfe, who has a lot of varsity experience," Ramiskey said. "He started as (a) sophomore last year for us. He's another guy that we rely on to set the tone and be our big guy in the middle."
Ramiskey continued, "We have a sophomore guard named Tyler Tolles, who swung last year for us and now is a starter for us this year. He has fit in very well. He's another guy that we look at as a leader of our team. He is our point guard and gets guys in the right spot. He does the little things for us."
And according to Ramiskey, sophomore Korbyn Lee has shown he can play with anybody.
Despite the shortened season and little practice time, Ramiskey is confident looking to the future.
"I'm excited for our future," he said. "There's a lot of potential with this group of guys. It's just we're so young. We only have two people that return this year with any varsity experience. Young guys are understanding in the first two games just how fast things go and how fast the game comes at you."
Ramiskey added, "They're all very competitive kids. They work extremely hard — we're at the high school from 5 til about 8 o'clock every night that we practice."
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