Sherwood looks to have a strong group of returnees to turn to in the 2017-2018 season

DAN BROOD - Junior wing Braden Thorn (left) could be a key newcomer to the Sherwood boys basketball varsity team this season. SHERWOOD — The Sherwood High School boys basketball team is looking to move up in the 2017-2018 season.

And, with some key returnees, as well as a strong work ethic, the Bowmen very well could be on the path to doing just that.

"We have a lot of returners and our guys put in a ton of time in the off-season to improve," second-year Sherwood coach Rahim Tufts said. "I think we can finish in the top half of league. Our guys are competing at a high level in practice every day and our player leadership has been phenomenal. This is a wonderful group of young men and we are privileged to coach them."

The Bowmen look to have a strong group of players back from last year's squad that finished in seventh place in the Three Rivers League standings at 2-12, while going 5-19 on the season.

Among the returnees is senior guard Owen Grubbe (6-foot).

"Owen Grubbe is a dynamic player on both ends of the floor and has developed into our team leader," Tufts said. "He is tough, competes, makes plays."

Sophomore Jamison Guerra (5-10) also returns at point guard.

"Jamison Guerra is getting better every day after starting as a freshman last year," Tufts said. "He is a playmaker."

Senior Jace Sucher (6-3) is back in the post for the Bowmen.

"Jace Sucher plays like he's 6-8," Tufts said. "He's tough, hard-nosed on both ends."

Another returnee, senior wing Billy Hale (6-1), could be a key player for Sherwood this year.

"Billy Hale has improved a ton and been a rock for us," Tufts said. "He has a knack of getting into the paint."

Also returning for the Bowmen are senior wing Jordan Gregory (6-4) and senior wing Wyatt Zettlemoyer (6-1).

Among the newcomers to the Sherwood varsity roster is junior wing Braden Thorn (6-4).

"Braden Thorn has improved a ton and is a knock down shooter," Tufts said.

Other newcomers for the Bowmen include senior wing Nic Koronko (6-3), senior guard Tyler Thiebes (5-10), junior guard Tyler Hix (6-0), junior forward Charlie Bulfinch (6-4) and senior guard Carter Bahns (5-11).

"We are deep," Tufts said. "All of our guys can play and contribute. We aren't huge inside, but we have length on the perimeter."

As for the Three Rivers League this year, the Bowmen know they'll have to be ready to go in order to move up the standings like they want to.

"Our league is so good," Tufts said. "Talented and well coached at ever corner. It will be a fight every time we step onto the floor but we will be in the mix."

Sherwood is off to a strong start to the season, going 3-1 so far on the campaign. The Bowmen's only loss, so far, came on Friday, when they lost 68-55 to unbeaten, and No. 2-ranked, Southridge in a non-league game played at Southridge High School. The teams were tied, at 36-36, at halftime, before the Skyhawks were able to pull away in the second half.

Sherwood was scheduled to host Reynolds in a non-league game on Wednesday. Results of that game weren't available when the Times went to press.

The Bowmen will be back in action on Tuesday, when they host McMinnville in a non-league game starting at 7 p.m. at Sherwood High School.

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