Auburn High School basketball team ready for state tournament

The team recently won its first district championship in 35 years.

Auburn High School’s boys basketball team won their third league championship in a row. Now their eyes are set on state, coach Ryan Hansen said.

Overall it’s been a great season for the team. They’re ranked fourth in the state, they have 23 wins and only one loss, and several Auburn players made it onto the all-league teams. Not to mention their coach was named North Puget Sound League 3A coach of the year.

“It’s nice to be recognized for the hard work and season we had. We went without any losses, and then to have a good record of 23 and 1 just shows all of the hard work these kids put in, not only this year but over the course of the last several years,” Hansen said. “It all kind of led up to this.”

In addition to winning the league championship this year, the team also won the district championship, Hansen said. This is the first time Auburn’s boys basketball team has won districts since 1987, Hansen said.

Hansen attributes the team’s success this season to the players and all of their hard work.

“It’s just a group of kids that have worked really hard, even before high school, putting in work to be great basketball players,” Hansen said. “Beyond basketball, they’re competitive, they want to win, and they’re good kids and good students.”

Like all teams, Auburn struggled to work around all of the COVID-19 testing and safety protocol, and even missed a few games because of COVID-19, but that didn’t stop them from winning.

“We’re excited for what’s to come over the next week and a half,” Hansen said. “We’ve been building toward this. We know it’s not going to be easy. There’s a lot of good teams that stand in the way, so we’re just taking it one game at a time and preparing ourselves the best we can.”

The players are looking forward to making a run at the state championship and representing Auburn High School and the Auburn community, Hansen said.

Kaden Hansen, a senior on the team, said he’s looking forward to getting another shot at state. Auburn was eliminated in the first round of the state tournament during his sophomore year, so they see this year’s championship run as a shot at redemption, Kaden said.

The state tournament began March 2 (at press time) at the Tacoma Dome.