KITTITAS – If there’s one team in the state of Washington that’s gone through a complete makeover, it’s without a doubt the Kittitas High School boys basketball team.

Gone is the state’s all-time leading scorer Brock Ravet and teammates Caleb Harris, Bailey Gibson, Martin Arreola, and Christian Mata. Gone is former head coach Tim Ravet that guided the Coyotes to three consecutive state championships and a 78-2 mark in that span.

But what’s not gone? The drive to keep the program’s success alive.

“We still want a winning culture,” said first-year head coach Chet Weekes, who was a Kittitas grad himself in 2001. “It’s Kittitas basketball, we still have a tradition here.”

It will be tough shoes to fill after Kittitas became the third team in the state to three-peat as state champs in the 2B tournament. Northwest Christian had four consecutive titles from 2006 to 2009 and Brewster had three from 1975 to 1977, going 27-0 in each of those three seasons.

While Kittitas lost four starters, it does return senior Justin Hudson who Weekes couldn’t be more exuberant about to have lead this revamped team.

“It’s huge,” Weekes said. “Great leader, he’s played big games. A lot of leadership, guys are going to follow in his lead.”

Hudson, who’s primarily played the wing, will be the incumbent starting point guard for the Coyotes. He’s a player that can drive to the basket, dish it out, or hit the 3. And he plays pressing defense.

While he’s never been the go-to scorer in the past three seasons, this year will be different for Hudson. Kittitas will look for him to put plenty of points on the board.

“I mean probably a little bit,” Hudson said of taking on a bigger role this season. “I’m going to keep playing my game and get my teammates involved.”

While their playing time was paltry, Kittitas returns a few players who knows what a state championship feels like and are now primed for bigger roles.

These include seniors Dawson Byers and Beau Bryant, and 6-foot-4 junior Cody VanDorn.

Another senior who didn’t play last season is Jamison Walters who should see substantial minutes as well.

“I think they all have a little something to prove themselves,” Weekes said.

Kittitas also returns sophomore Blake Catlin but is beset with an injury from the football season, so how long he will be out is indefinite.

A couple of freshmen that could see playing time is Josh Rosbach and Conner Coles — both guards.

DEFENSIVE MINDSET

Weekes wants Kittitas to become a defensive-minded team first, applying man-to-man pressure. In doing so, Weekes hopes in return will give the Coyotes a lot of transition buckets.

“Some things are the same, some things are different,” he said. “We are also reevaluating every day at practice because everyone’s skill set is different.”

Kittitas opens its season at home versus Riverside Christian at 7:30 p.m. Then the Coyotes will get another matchup with St. George’s on Dec. 6.

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