January 17, 2012
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Deshawn Stephens, guard, believes a league title would be “easy buckets” for RPHS; it would be first boys basketball league title for the Kingsmen since 2003.
Last year the season ended abruptly, when the Kingsmen were upset by Wilson High School in the first round of the 5A play-ins. Now the Kingsmen have regrouped and are ready to take the North West Oregon Conference.
“This year’s team has better potential” than last year’s team Austin Smith, post, said. “We’re a fuller team, and we have better chemistry …now it’s just about staying healthy and competing at the level we are capable of.”
Last year, staying healthy was a bit of a challenge for the Kingsmen, who had two players miss the majority of the season with pneumonia. Despite the illnesses, the Kingsmen still managed to win half of their games.
“Last year Mason [Dunning] was the go to guy until he got sick,” Stephens said. “Austin [Smith] and Jacob [Garrison] were ready to step-up when we needed them.”
The Kingsmen will match-up against highly ranked schools including 13 ranked Lakeridge (6A), ninth ranked Canby (6A), fourth ranked Summit (5A), and first ranked Wilsonville (5A) who they will see twice in league play.
With the senior leadership and varsity experience the Kingsmen have this year, they believe a deep play-off run is definitely in the cards.
“We have the potential to go as far as we want,” Smith said. “We just need to keep our eyes on the prize.”