Community Sports

Sports Beat | Gig Harbor boys basketball testing themselves during summer league

Posted on June 14th, 2024 By:

The Gig Harbor boys basketball team doubled up Capital, 68-34, on June 12 during summer league action.

The Tides are playing in the Curtis summer league, generally one of the top summer circuits in the Puget Sound area.

The Tides are coming off another 20-win season (20-7) for head coach Billy Landram. Their 2023-24 season ended in March with a 61-57 loss to Lincoln, one game short of Gig Harbor’s third straight state tournament appearance. Instead Lincoln advanced all the way to Class 3A state quarterfinals.

Against Capital, 6-foot-4 senior guard Cole Browne was in attack mode early, hitting back-to-back-to-back 3-point shots and scoring 14 of the Tides’ first 20 points. Browne finished with a game-high 25 points.

Forward Michael Masini, a 6-foot-8 junior, had 15 points while repeatedly leaping higher than the Cougars to snag 15 rebounds for Gig Harbor.

A test against Curtis

Later on that evening the Tides took on Curtis, the Class 4A state champions in 2022 and 23, and guard Keaundre Morris. Morris already has offers from UCLA, Washington and Houston. Morris and Browne engaged in a back-and-forth battle, exchanging electric moves and long-range bombs in an exciting second half as Browne scored 24 points for the Tides.

But the Vikings pulled away late in the fourth quarter to win, 73-66. Curtis was clearly the fresher team — they didn’t play a game earlier that evening — but the Tides showed they have a team that could return to the Tacoma Dome for the Class 3A tournament next winter.

Masini, a talented rising junior, was strapped with foul trouble against Curtis but still produced another double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Michael Masini of Gig Harbor grabs a rebound during a game last season. Photo by Bryce Carithers

Rounding out the squad

Other members of Billy Landram’s squad include:

6-foot-7 power forward Colin Nelson, an adequate low post scorer who could really help on the boards.

Quentin Bockhorn, a knock-down shooter with improving defensive skills.

Ty Buchanan, a quick, reliable ball handler at the point guard position.

Jack Brown, a long-range shooter who will stretch the defense.

Peninsula transfer Troy Arnold, who will push for a starting point guard spot.

DJ Darling, an athletic defensive stopper who can also get to the rim and finish in traffic.

Combine those players with Browne and Masini and a few others and the Tides should challenge for a South Sound Conference North Division title in their first year in a newly formed league.

Lekson steps away as PHS girls basketball coach

Hannah Lekson resigned as girls basketball coach at Peninsula High after two seasons and two state tournament appearances at her alma mater.

Peninsula athletic director Ross Filkins promoted longtime assistant Nelson Garbutt to head coach.

Lekson looked like a natural on the sidelines, guiding the Seahawks to a South Sound Conference title and two straight state appearances. Her Seahawks finished fourth in the conference in 2023-24 with a 14-10 record. A 49-39 loss to Ridgeline of Spokane in the opening round of state ended their season.

Lekson, who played at the University of Puget Sound, decided to take some time off from coaching because of some big life changes with her work.

“I would not be able to give 100% to the program and the girls deserve a coach that can give it their all,” Lekson said.

Garbutt was Lekson’s assistant coach and worked under former coach Mike Schick before that. “Nelson absolutely loves the game, loves Peninsula and is 100% invested in the girls and the program. I know he’s going to do great things,” Lekson said.

Nelson Garbutt, the new Peninsula girls basketball coach, during his time as an assistant to Hannah Lekson. Photo by Bryce Carithers

Garbutt’s program will feature do-it-all senior guard Grace Richardson in the 2024-25 season. She combines a offensive and defensive skillset that few players in her league can match.

In other coaching changes:

Robyn Saathoff is the new girls soccer coach at Gig Harbor. Saathoff replaces Katie Bennett, who guided the Tides to back-to-back state tournament appearances before resigning after last season.

Gig Harbor baseball coach Shane Hanon decided to step down after two seasons on the job. Tides athletic director Blair Suek has not yet named a replacement.

Peninsula is looking for coaches for both its water polo programs. Girls coach Troy Wiltbank and boys coach Carter Gilmore both stepped down to spend more time with their families.

Fishing season

As the weather improves, many locals are getting outdoors and enjoying the spring fishing season. Doug Foust, manager of the Gig Harbor Fly Shop provided a general fishing report.

“The local lakes are the hot ticket right now and have been producing some nice quality fish,” Foust said.

Lake Crescent is producing catches of rainbow trout caught with worms, salmon eggs and trout bait; and largemouth bass that have responded to top-water crank baits and subsurface crayfish patterns. Foust feels Horseshoe Lake near Burley is a safe bet to tighten the lines with large rainbows and Long Lake in Port Orchard is also productive for trout, crappie and bass near the lilly pads on the south side of the lake.

Sea run coastal cutthroat trout

On the Puget Sound, a nice spring collection of sea-run and resident cutthroat trout — known as “cutts” to the locals — have been very fun for anglers to catch in kayaks, canoes and small boats. Sea-run cutts feed on crustaceans and small fish in the open ocean and can grow up to 1 inch a month. By the time they return to the fresh water to spawn, these fish can be up to 18 inches long and are a bright silver, much like a small steelhead.

Popular spots for the cutts are in faster moving, shallow waters with plenty of rocks like at Sunrise Beach, Kopachuck, the Purdy Spit, near the YMCA Camp Colman beachfront, Olalla Bay and Cutts Island. They are plentiful in spring and fall but tend to be larger in early fall. They are currently responding to small sand lance patterns and olive over white clousers or red throated bait fish.

Doug Foust of the Gig Harbor Fly Shop suggests an olive-over-white clouser pattern to catch cutthroat trout.

The local terrain is perfect for cutts. The largest sea-run cutthroat trout in state history was caught in Carr Inlet in 1943. It weighed a whopping 5 pounds, 14.24 ounces and was 24 3/4 inches long. Foust suggests flies with a pattern, but you can also catch trout on artificial lures such as buzz bombs, rooster tails and a variety of spoons.


Local reports of chinook — known as king salmon — have been improving with several anglers hooking up at Point Defiance, the tip of Fox Island, Point Evans near Wollochet Bay, right outside the mouth of the harbor and under the Narrows Bridge. Many anglers use salmon roe or jig (bait to the bottom, pull up and release to the bottom, repeat) with Point Wilson darts or have trolled with herring and flashers to entice the kings to bite.

A king salmon

Bright lures that are pink, orange or chartreuse are popular strike producers. Remember that often Kings are crafty and sometimes light biters, so if you feel something or your fly or bait stops, set the hook and hold on as an intriguing battle could be forthcoming.

The chinook season opened in area 11 June 1. The area is already subject to an emergency catch quota, which limits the time to fish to Wednesday through Saturday. The state of Washington monitors the catch rate closely and is allowing a minimum size of 22 inches, with a daily limit of two fish with no more than one hatchery fish kept per day.

The state could decide to end the season prematurely depending on catch rates so many locals have suggested to get out on the water soon with a current fishing license as many of the prized possessions of the Puget Sound, the King salmon, are now hungry and biting.