The Panthers have one very big reason to have high hopes. Though Bone has just one starter returning, that one is a beast. 6-7 junior Jon Brockman averaged 20 points with 11 rebounds a year ago.
His older brother Paul was also due back but a torn ASCL during a fall league game ended the 6-4 shooters senior year before it ever got started.
But Bone has another ace in 6-2 senior Darrel Martin (4ppg). One rival coach was so impressed with Martin during the summer that he commented that Snohomish might have the three best players in the league, that being said before the elder Brockman's injury.
Bone is also expecting 6-1 senior Cris Lorenzon to step up.
"We have about 10 guys who are all going to be important," Bone said. "Darrel Martin and Cris Lorenzon are the oldest and most experienced. It will be interesting to see who earns the playing time because it is up for grabs."
Bone spoke to the Panther's strong suit? "Jon Brockman's size and ability is our main strength. We are weak on experience."
"We had a rough summer in regards to having everyone there at the same time. At no time were the guys I would call our pre-season top seven ever in the gym together. Football, baseball, and soccer kept many of them busy this past summer."
As for how Bone sees the Western Conference taking shape; "I think Shorewood, Mariner and Mt. Vernon are the favorites. Oak Harbor and Cascade will be pretty good but that's not a big surprise."
Bone listed Bethel, Redmond, Franklin, and Mt. Tahoma as teams capable of making a run at the state title but was quick to add, "I don't know much about the east side."
"This season is going to be very interesting and exciting in the WesCo. I personally think that several teams have a good chance to get to the District play-offs. Many teams lack experience and will improve a great deal as the year goes on."
Nobody has a horse to hitch their wagon to like Bone has in Brockman. If the supporting cast steps up, look for the Panthers to once again be playing on Saturday come state tourney time.