Community Sports

Peninsula basketball: Seahawks off to flying start under new coach

Posted on December 9th, 2022 By:

The Peninsula Seahawks boys basketball team began the 2022-23 season and a new era with back-to-back wins.

The Seahawks are led by first-year coach Sean Muilenburg, hired this summer to replace Matt Robles. Muilenburg, 47 and 6-feet-8, played at Redmond High School and Olympic College in Bremerton. He earned second team all-league honors in his final year at OC.

Meet coach Muilenburg

He has previously coached a youth AAU team and is looking forward to infusing his style of play into the Seahawks.

“My two main goals for this program are to change the basketball culture here and to start building our youth programs,” Muilenburg said. “We took some big steps in the late summer and fall to get the youth program in place. Nearly 100 kids are in the youth program now. The three youth directors and our youth coaches have done a great job, installing our programs foundation for future Seahawks.”

Peninsula boys basketball coach Sean Muilenburg gestures for a player to enter a game this week against Central Kitsap. Bryce Carithers

What about goals for this season?

“Whatever the outcomes, (win or lose)….we want our play to look the same, with our energy and effort,” he said. “We will look to utilize our speed and play up-tempo, and will rely on our defense to create opportunities. The biggest area of concern with this group will be rebounding. If we are able to do that we are going to surprise a lot of teams.”

Early season success

The Seahawks’ two wins came at Bainbridge on Nov. 29 by a score of 75-53 and against Central Kitsap on Dec. 7, 65-58.

Junior guard Isaiah Brown led the Seahawks against CK with 18 points, shooting 4-15 from the field and 10-12 from the line. He added seven rebounds and five steals.

Peninsula’s Isaiah Brown applies defensive pressure during a game against Central Kitsap this week. Bryce Carithers

Senior point guard Cole Bashaw had 14 points on 5-14 shooting, with only two turnovers. Gabe Sarno provided 13 points on 5-7 shooting and 10 rebounds. Athletic forward Luke Benoit turned in a solid effort on the defensive end and contributed eight points, eight rebounds and two assists.

Junior reserve Will Whitley-Ross helped the Seahawks close out the Cougars on Wednesday, hitting a driving layup and free throw when CK threatened late in the game.

Key players

Muilenburg provided the following insights as a quick snapshot of his team.

Cole Bashaw | 5-foot-9 senior point guard | 2 year returner

Muilenburg: “Great basketball IQ, facilitates the offense and shoots the ball well. Cole had a terrific summer but was not used a lot last year. He led the team on multiple occasions in scoring in the summer and fall.”

Luke Benoit demonstrates a good defensive stance against Central Kitsap this week. Bryce Carithers

Luke Benoit | 6-foot-2 senior power forward | two year returner

Muilenburg: Luke does a lot of things well, as seen in the Bainbridge game, very active player. Luke is working hard at being a consistent scorer.

Isaiah Brown | 6-foot-1 junior guard | two-year returner, returning honorable mention all league.

Muilenburg: Can score it, and has really developed athletically in the last six months. Isaiah is working hard at facilitating and making his teammates better this year while developing into an all-around guard.

Landon Bottcher | 6-foot-7 senior forward/center | one-year returner.

Muilenburg: Landon really emerged this summer as an effective presence, with his length on the defensive end and he fits our defensive philosophy well with his shot blocking ability.

Cole Muilenburg | 6-foot-6 junior guard-forward, two-year returner.

Coach Muilenburg: Likely out this season due to a tib/fib leg fracture, in a football game versus Timberline. Both he and Isaiah Brown had a great summer on the AAU circuit together. His loss is significant on both ends of the floor, his length and ability to guard multiple positions as well as his ability to rebound above the rim, will be greatly missed.

Gabe Sarno scores for Peninsula during a game against Central Kitsap this week. Bryce Carithers

Gabe Sarno | 6-foot-3 senior power forward | two-year returner

Muilenburg: Gabe is similar to Luke, he works extremely hard on the boards and underneath for us. Gabe leads with his energy and positive attitude.

Jones Stalker | 6-foot-1 senior shooting guard

Muilenburg: Jones can heat up and drill shots effectively. He really emerged from fall camp as a leader for us on both ends of the court.

Will Whitley-Ross | 6-foot-2 junior small forward

Muilenburg: is very active on both ends of the court and looking to emerge and be a consistent presence for us on the offensive end.

Muilenburg added that sophomore Isaac Schultz-Tate and juniors Reece Redal, Luke Lipsey, Gavin Sheets and Joaquin Jackson will be factors and are looking to take big steps this year.

Rounding out the varsity roster is injured senior Devin Lichau.

Muilenburg’s assistant coaches are Pete Pratz, Tashon Brown and Robert Chase.


  • Friday, Dec. 9: at Capital, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 14: at Yelm, 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 16: vs. North Thurston, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 21: at Sumner, 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 27 through Friday, Dec. 30: at Cactus Jam Tournament, Phoenix, Az.
  • Wednesday, Jan 4: at River Ridge, 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 6: vs. Timberline, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 11: vs. Gig Harbor, 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 13: at Central Kitsap, 7 p.m.
  • Monday, Jan. 16: vs. Graham-Kapowsin, 3 p.m., at Federal Way High
  • Wednesday, Jan. 18: vs. Capital, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 25: at North Thurston, 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 27: vs. River Ridge, 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 31: at Timberline, 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 2: at Gig Harbor, 7 p.m.

Peninsula’s Cole Bashaw saves a ball during a game against Central Kitsap this week. Bryce Carithers