Updated Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 12:04 AM
As high-school basketball gets under way this week, the message at Garfield is simple: Correct last season's small mistakes, and the Bulldogs have a big future.
In fact, many KingCo 4A coaches think Garfield will win the league, not talented Bothell.
"We had some minor errors at state that cost us our goal," said forward Tucker Haymond, who led Garfield to a 20-7 record and sixth place last season. "We know what it takes to get there. But now we have to do what it takes to win when we get there."
Haymond, a 6-foot-5 senior, averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds last season. His Bulldogs open the season Friday at Beamer of Federal Way.
"Tucker has an incredible desire," Garfield coach Ed Haskins said. "And this year, even more than last, he believes in the guys around him. It's not Tucker and Garfield basketball. It's just Garfield basketball."
Haymond is joined by returning starters Tre'Vaunte Williams, a 6-5 senior forward who averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Demario Hall, a 5-10 senior guard who averaged eight points and six assists.
Haskins called Hall "the general" of last year's team. Williams provides Garfield with a weapon inside.
"I have yet to see anybody guard him from the free-throw line down," Haskins said.
Garfield isn't the biggest team in KingCo, but the Bulldogs are quick and versatile. Torrence Baker, a 6-3 forward, chipped in off the bench last season and will have an expanded role. So will Kai Greene, a 5-11 junior, and Jashaun Agosto, a 5-7 freshman.
"It's kind of rare to have a lot of guys who can do a lot of things on the court," Haskins said. "But then, when it gets time to get stuff done, we know the guys we want with the ball."
The offense will funnel through Haymond, Williams and Hall, the returning starters.
"Right now, we're further along than last year," Haymond said. "With so many guys already on the team, we just added guys that fit into spots we needed. We haven't gone backwards."
Jayson Jenks: 206-464-8277 or firstname.lastname@example.org