Sherwood boys look to keep moving up
SHERWOOD — For the past couple of seasons, the Sherwood High School boys basketball team has been building and building.
And the Bowmen have no plans on slowing down this season.
Sherwood, which came just one game away from reaching the Class 6A state tournament a year ago, is very optimistic going into the 2019-20 campaign.
"We are poised and ready to build on the success of the last couple years for the Bowmen," said Sherwood coach Rahim Tufts, last year's Pacific Conference Coach of the Year. "We have high expectations for the 2019-2020 season."
And, it appears, rightfully so.
The Bowmen have some very strong returnees from last year's squad that won the Pacific Conference championship at 11-1, while going 21-6 on the season and advancing to the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs, where it fell to Grant.
Among the returnees is senior point guard Jamison Guerra (5-foot-11), who is starting his fourth year on the Bowmen varsity roster. Last year, as a junior, Guerra was named the Pacific Conference Player of the Year, and he also was a second-team Class 6A All-State selection. Guerra has already signed to play college basketball at the Oregon Institute of Technology, located in Klamath Falls.
"Jamison will end his career as one of the leading scorers in school history and, without a doubt, the leader in assists," Tufts said. "He does it all, from rebounding to leading to scoring."
Sherwood also returns senior post Blake Jensen (6-6), who was a second-team All-Pacific Conference pick last year. Jensen has also signed to play college basketball at OIT.
"Blake will have a monster year on both ends," Tufts said. "He has a knack for blocking shots and disrupting the other team's sets."
The Bowmen also bring back junior guard Asher Krauel (6-2). Last year, Krauel was named the Pacific Conference Defensive Player of the Year, while also being an all-conference honorable-mention pick.
"Asher is nails on defense," Tufts said. "All three players started last season and bring leadership, scoring, defense and rebounding."
Among the key newcomers to the Bowmen varsity are junior guard Caden Davis (6-1), junior guard Clay Peden (6-1), sophomore wing Baydon Kullowatz (6-4) and senior guard Nate Merrill (5-10).
"Caden Davis is a knock-down shooter from anywhere on the floor, as is Merrill," Tufts said. "Clay and Baydon do a little bit of everything. They are both great passers and can really defend."
Other players on the Sherwood varsity roster include senior guard Dallin Marker (6-2), sophomore wing Bjorn Bergstrom (6-1), sophomore guard Owen Caudle (6-0), junior post Zack Ariza (6-5) and senior wing Joe Conrow (6-3).
"Point guard play, post play and shooting," Tufts said of the team's strengths going into the season. "We will score a lot of points. The question mark will be our rebounding."
As for the Pacific Conference this season, Sherwood should have some tough competition as it looks to win its second-straight conference championship.
"Forest Grove will have a very good team, especially with (senior) Guy Littlefield running the show as the point guard," Tufts said. "Century has some key returners and will be very competitive. We will be in the mix to win a league title."
Sherwood will open its season on Friday, when it hosts Beaverton in a non-league game set to start at 7 p.m. On Tuesday, the Bowmen will be home to face David Douglas in a non-league contest starting at 7 p.m.
Sherwood will also be playing in a pair of big-time tournaments, the Capital City Classic, to be held at Willamette University in Salem, and the Les Schwab Eight, to be held at Liberty High School, as part of its non-league schedule.
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