It’s normal for a team to watch film to prepare for an upcoming opponent. Shorecrest took that common approach ahead of its win over Stanwood in the 3A District 1 title game last week.
It’s not normal, though, for a team to watch five-year-old film. That’s what the Scots did when they viewed footage from a seventh-grade game that featured several current Shorecrest players facing off against many players now on the Stanwood roster.
Of course, that exercise did little to prepare Shorecrest for the then-undefeated Spartans, but it highlights the underlying reason of its success this season.
“They’ve been playing together for a long time,” coach Brian Fischer said. “There’s no jealousy on our team or anything like that. They root for each other if I sub someone else and they’re doing well in their position. They’re just happy we’re playing well.”
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The Scots, who will face O’Dea at Mountlake Terrace High School at 8 p.m. Friday in the regional round of the postseason, guaranteed their first berth in the round of 16 since 1995 with a 55-51 victory over Marysville-Pilchuck in the district semifinals two weeks ago. Fischer believes it was only a matter of time before the team reached the regional round.
The program has been one game away three times under Fischer. As the ninth-year coach laughs, the team was one 18-foot jump hook away from the round of 16 two years ago when Zach Pederson’s shot gave Glacier Peak a one-point victory over the Scots.
Despite being close to getting over the hump the past few years, the outlook appeared bleak in mid-January. Shorecrest started the season by losing five straight conference contests, a streak that was punctuated by a 17-point loss to Stanwood on Jan. 14.
The rough start to the season took a quick turn and the Scots have since pulled off 11 consecutive wins. Shorecrest has successfully avenged each of its conference losses and catapulted itself into the regional round with momentum to spare.
“We talked about it at the beginning of the season, before we ever played a game, we wanted to treat wins and losses the same way,” Fischer said. “Should we win, let’s not get too high about it, let’s get back to work and get better. If we lose, let’s not hold our heads, let’s get back to work.”
It’s easier to talk about maintaining a level head than actually keeping one throughout a season that has seen extreme ups and downs. Fischer attributes the ability to do so to the maturity of a roster that features eight seniors who have played together for years.
“I’ve seen them growing up and I’ve been watching them play basketball since the fifth grade, some of them before,” Fischer said. “It’s just really cool to develop those relationships with those guys and then down the road get to have success with them and coach them.”