All photos by Ed Tanaka
The Ballard High School Boys Basketball Team gets ready to play a game.

Boys Basketball: A sad loss, but season not a bust

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Seth Berger dunks, dunks, and dunks some more.

By Christopher Duclos

All good things must come to an end.

The Boys varsity squad met their end when they were knocked out of the KingCo playoffs Tuesday, Feb. 12 with a result of 61-55, Newport.

Emotions ran high as the seniors walked off the court for the last time.

“Although their last game ended with a loss, I remember sitting next to Johnny Verduin's dad, fighting off tears watching all the boys walking off the floor for the final time. But then thinking of all the fun times of the season and my tears were of joy.”

“As far as the season goes for the 2012-2013 Ballard High varsity boys basketball team, it was a proud season for us parents,” Coach Owens said. “The boys advanced to the 4A Kingco playoffs, won the Les Schwab Christmas classic, and most importantly the boys took care of business off the court. They were role models for Ballard high school.”

Other than winning on and off the court, the season had its unforgettable moments. Like when BHS played host to the Austrailian Penrith Panthers for an international exhibition.

The team and all of Beaver Nation were hoping to have a spot at the Tacoma Dome for the state playoffs. However, just because they fell short of that goal does not mean the season was a disappointment.

Before the season began on Sept. 14, 2012, forward Senior Seth Berger signed his letter of intent to play at the University of Massachusetts. But while Seth’s news stood out, the Beavers did not tag themselves with the identity of “Seth Berger and friends.” While Berger did lead the team in scoring, his teammates Johnny Verduin, Stuart MacGeorge (or MacG) and Raymond Owens stepped up and contributed on the score sheet. It was a common sight to see Verduin and Berger show up on the stats sheet together, both amassing double digits in the scoring column.

Seth Berger was named 1st team All League and Johnny Verduin was named 2nd team All League.

“2012-2013 was a great season for Ballard High School Boys Basketball,” Head Coach Billy Rodgers said. “This has been a very special year because of the great leadership provided by our seniors. The kids were a fun group to coach and they improved throughout the season. Making our 5th straight playoff appearance is a big accomplishment, especially with the high quality of play in our league. This year we played the No. 1 team in state three times and the No. 2 team in state once. I can’t say enough about the hard work and dedication of our players and coaches. These guys really worked hard and it showed. When I came to Ballard eight years ago, I knew it would take some time to build a great program. This senior class played a big role in that success.”

The Beavers ended the season with a 9-6 (15-9 overall) record in conference play. The Kingco 4A conference is home to western Washington powerhouse programs such as Bothell and Garfield -- both teams handing Ballard losses on the season.

Coach Owns offered his thoughts on the 2012-2013 season. “I’m very honored to witness such a show by these student athletes. The season had more ups than downs as far as wins and losses goes. The team’s defense seemed to always keep them in games. Offensively, when the boys’ shots were falling, they could beat anyone in the state. Overall, the guys seemed to always be cheering for each other to do well.”

“I will really miss our seniors (Seth Berger, Thomas Christensen, Kemal Deger, Will Leonard, Stuart MacGeorge, Raymond Owens, Carl Pearson, Nate Rauda, Johnny Verduin). As a Coach you think about these relationships and how special they are. This was a great group of young men … really proud of them,” Coach Rodgers said.

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