Kamiakin boys' basketball not ready to rebuild - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kamiakin boys' basketball not ready to rebuild

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Last year the Kamiakin boys' basketball team finished third in the state. This year, it is a completely new look Braves team. Kamiakin's run to the state playoffs was the second highest in school history. But gone is Case Rada, who was the Big Nine MVP, and three other starters.

"It's difficult because you're losing a lot of experience and you're losing a lot of guys who played a lot of minutes for a lot of time. But we feel really good about the guys we have in our program. We feel like they're ready to step in and start kid of their own legacy," said Brian Meneely, Kamiakin head coach.

With a new look team, the Braves are looking to continue last year's success. They spent all off-season working on building up the team chemistry.

"We've done it all summer. We've been to tournaments, we've been through the trials and tribulations. But it's different then Friday and Saturday nights," said Justin Pedley, Kamiakin's only returning starter from last season.

Despite losing five seniors and four starters off of last year's team, the Braves say this is not a rebuilding year, and that another run at states is in the cards.

"We're bigger, taller and can pound it down low more. We miss a little bit of the perimeter game but that's ok. I think we can still make a really deep run this year," said Joe Hunt, Kamiakin senior wing.

The Braves first test comes Saturday night against Chiawana, that handed Kamiakin its only regular season loss last year. A win could prove the Braves will be serious contenders in March.