Saturday, May 15, 2021
May 15, 2021

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Skyview Boys: Using 2017-18 season as blueprint, Storm will bank on veteran leadership

By , Columbian staff writer

Coach Matt Gruhler doesn’t need to look too far back in the rearview mirror to see a team with this much experience returning.

Two years ago was an experienced squad, coming off a sooner-than-anticipated playoff loss the previous season, that went onto bring home a state trophy at its first-ever 4A state tournament appearance in the Tacoma Dome.

Will this season follow suit?

“I’m hoping it’s the same thing,” the coach said.

Skyview went 16-7 last season with two losses coming in consecutive games at the bi-district tournament to end its season.

One player — Kyle Gruhler — saw big minutes in the Tacoma Dome in 2018 when the Storm placed fifth. He’s a veteran starter expected to shoulder a bigger offensive load as the team’s returning leading scorer. From a sharp-shooter sophomore year to a more low-post presence as a junior, the senior is expected to generate offense in new ways. He poured in 27 points in the team’s season opener against Evergreen.

“If we’re going to be good as we want to be,” Coach Gruhler said, “he’s going to have to put the ball on the floor.”

Jace Chatman and Squeeky Johnson joined Gruhler as the Storm’s returning starters as a core group that’s playing with a new level of confidence. If Sean Boss (knee) is cleared to return this season, the veteran adds depth at the guard position.

The key for Skyview, Coach Gruhler said, is “what we get from guys who weren’t starters last year and guys off the bench.”