Sherwood — Bowmen Head Coach Rahim Tufts struck gold in his third year at the helm in Sherwood, as the Bowmen marched their way to a 21-6 record, including an 11-1 mark in Pacific Conference play. The result? Sherwood’s best season and deepest playoff run since 2014 when the Bowmen reached the state consolation championship under former coach Tony Merrill. With the new found success comes challenges, as the Bowmen are shedding eight seniors from last year, but return some experience including 6’6″ and 6’5″ big men Blake Jensen and Zack Ariza. Coach Tufts touched on the new look Bowmen entering this season, discussing the transition, differences, and other things entering the year.
With seniors departed and the new year underway, Coach Tufts talked about the differences between this year and last, along with other things that Sherwood fans can expect to see in 2019-20.
“Coming in, we aren’t going to be as long across the board. We graduated Braden Thorn, who is now at Linfield, Tyler Hix was a long wing, and Charlie Bulfinch was another 6-5, 6-6 guy so the length isn’t there but we’ve got a really high IQ basketball team. We’ve also got three starters back in Blake Jensen, Jamison Guerra, and Asher Krauel. Those guys are a solid foundation and the others are filling in spots and doing a great job understanding our concepts and working together.”
Although players might be gone, program expectations are now the highest they’ve been in the Rahim Tufts era. I asked Coach Tufts what the keys are to replicating last years success and about any differences strategically entering this season.
“Building the culture and comradery together is huge. Last years team was tight knit and got along so well, but we’ve got a bunch of new guys entering the mix that can all play. They can all shoot it, they can all defend, but just creating that family atmosphere and playing for each other not with each other. We’re running our same system and our JV is running the same system, so guys are really familiar with what we’re trying to do on both sides of the ball.”
No team preview or discussion is ever complete without talking about strengths and weaknesses, and as Coach Tufts points out, Sherwood has strengths and weaknesses that can be played to and worked on.
“Rebounding is a huge key. There were places where we did a nice job of it this afternoon and there were times where we were really sloppy with it. I think we’re sharing it really well, we’re an unselfish team and we can really shoot it. We’re going to shoot a lot of threes and when we get hot we’re going to be hard to beat.”
Sherwood opens the regular season on Friday, December 6th against Beaverton at home.