PERRYDALE — If all goes well for them, the Perrydale Pirates boys basketball team hopes to be in a familiar late February position – the Class 1A playoffs.

And, if things go better than just well, they hope to be back in Baker City, site of the state tournament.

Perrydale coach Brian Gomes, in his sixth season, believes the Pirates have a good chance of the former and a shot at the latter.

“The kids have high expectations,” he said.

But, he cautioned, “I hope they don’t overlook the reality of how hard it is to get to Baker City.”

Gomes sees a familiar rival, Crosshill Christian, battling Perrydale for supremacy in the nine-team Casco League. Crosshill has had the best league record the past four years (46-5 combined), and since Perrydale went 13-1 to finish first in 2016-17.

Other teams in the Casco can’t be taken for granted, but “I’d be really disappointed if anybody else in league beats either of us,” Gomes said.

It’s confident talk for a team that was only 7-6 last season — but there were extenuating circumstances for that record. All sorts of circumstances, actually, in what was a COVID-19-driven, out-of-winter season with an unusual and short schedule. Perrydale was missing some players, too.

This season, the Pirates figure to have five seniors and two juniors among their key components.

The rotation should include at least these guys: 5-5 senior Finn Janesofsky and 5-11 junior Wyatt Burg at point guard, 6-1 senior McGuire Perkins at shooting guard, 6-1 senior Brandon Graber at small forward, 5-10 sophomore Connor Graber at shooting guard/small forward, 6-1 senior Kaej Haynes at power forward and 6-4 junior Kamren Poulson in the post.

Seventeen players turned out the first week of practice, and some will be primarily on the junior varsity.

The Perrydale varsity plays its first games this week, both at home. Alsea visits on Thursday night, and Waldport will be in town on Tuesday.

The Pirates’ league season starts with the third game overall. Willamette Valley Christian goes on the road to meet Perrydale on Dec. 9.

Domes said he is optimistic that this year’s Pirates have many of the tools needed to fit his desired system.

Which is, “just win,” he said with a chuckle.

But in addition, “I’m 51 and a pretty fundamentals person, not necessarily a run-and-gun, go-down-and-just-shoot-the-ball guy. I believe in taking care of the basketball and taking good shots. And I’m pretty big on defense. I guess I’m old-school that way.”

Look for balanced scoring.

Offensively, “I don’t have a guy who’s going to knock down 20 points a game, or maybe even 15,” Domes said. “But I could see four guys in double figures, or maybe one guy will get 20 one night and seven the next. We don’t really showcase anybody. We move the ball and take the first good look we get. That way, we can’t be keyed on by our opponent’s defense.”

And hopefully it will be good defense, mostly man-to-man half-court defense, that sets the Pirates apart, Domes added. The Pirates won’t press a lot, and they’ll have to play good defense as a team.

“Other than last season, I’ve always had the best or at least the second-best (individual) defender in the league,” he said.

In early practices this year, though, the coach said he hadn’t seen a dominant, lockdown stopper, although one still could emerge. If one doesn’t, it will be defense by committee.

The team has good size up front, notably with Poulson and Haynes both about 240 pounds. Haynes is starting for the fourth year. Brandon Graber, who could join him as a key defender, is entering his third season as a starter.

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