Timberwolves picking up the defensive intensity | Girls basketball

Smooth transition for former Mariner coach
By David Robert Pan | Aug 17, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Jackson’s Alexa Martin attempts a shot between a pair of Meadowdale defenders during an Edmonds Summer Shootout game at Meadowdale High School.

The Jackson girls basketball team should have no problem putting up numbers on offense this year.

New head coach Corey Gibb estimates that the Timberwolves return 90 percent of their scoring from last season’s district playoff squad.

So it’s no surprise that Gibb focused his attention on defense during the Wolfpack’s summer schedule, which included two tournaments.

What he saw in the team’s nine games was encouraging.

“The defense improved tremendously throughout the summer,” said Gibb, who previously coached at nearby Mariner High School.

Gibb liked how the Timberwolves executed the trap and consequently were able to push the ball on offense.

“The intensity level on defense picked up,” he said. “We’ll be able to score. The intensity on defense is what people are really going to notice.”

Jackson went 5-4 at the Edmonds Summer Shootout and a tournament in Mount Vernon. The four losses were by a total of 13 points and the Wolfpack were in all of the games.

Though senior Olivia Skibiel was playing with her select team, the core of the Wolfpack – seniors Alexa Martin, Megan Mattison and Lauren Schillberg – played in the two tournaments.

“They did really well,” Gibb said. “I’m pleased with the transition and how they picked things up with terminology.”

Jackson also received a nice boost with return of senior Jaelen Williams, who missed the last two seasons due to an ACL injury.

“She contributed nicely to the summer,” Gibb said. “She’s had a rough couple of years. She’s back and was able to play with us, come to practice and play in tournaments.”

Jackson’s seniors definitely made the transition smooth for Gibb.

“They have so much experience,” he said. “It’s not like starting over. They picked up on what I like to do on offense and some of the defensive schemes.”

The summer was an ideal time for Gibb to communicate his expectations for the future. He noted the importance of what the players do outside of practices, such as conditioning and weight training, and how that plays into the high expectations Jackson will bring to the 2018-19 season.

The senior class of Skibiel, Martin, Mattison, Schillberg and Williams has logged a lot of varsity minutes in their time at Jackson.

The Timberwolves have advanced to districts the last three years. But that’s where their season ended.

“They want to get to state,” Gibb said. “That’s our goal.”

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