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Bays takes the helm as MHS basketball coach

Scott Bays, the varsity assistant in boys basketball at Milwaukie High School for the past five seasons, has taken charge as head coach at the school. Bays replaces Kyle Bracy, who resigned to spend more time with family.

by: PHOTO BY: JOHN DENNY - Milwaukie head basketball coach Scott Bays visits with sophomores-to-be (from left) Vasiliy Voznyuk, Isaiah Gentry and Isaac Mbuyamba during a summer youth basketball camp at the high school.Bays, 45, is a 1987 graduate of Milwaukie High School, where he received all-state honors in basketball as a senior and first-team all-league recognition his junior and senior seasons. He was also goalkeeper in soccer, earning all-league recognition in that sport as well.

“Current Milwaukie High head soccer coach Roberto Aguilar says I still hold school records in goalkeeping,” Bays said.

Bays’ skills in basketball earned him an athletic scholarship to Warner University of Lake Wales, Florida. He graduated from Warner with a degree in business administration in 1992.

Bays, who makes his living in construction as an independent contractor, is current president of the Milwaukie Mustang Youth Basketball Association. He’s been involved in the youth program for the past five seasons and he coached Milwaukie’s eighth grade boys team during the past season.

Bays says he has spearheaded incorporating the strategies used by the high school team into the youth program over the past two or three years.

“We still focus on fundamentals [in youth basketball],” Bays said. “But it’s a tremendous help if they know what we’re doing at the high school before they get to high school, and we’ve been working on making that happen.”

Scott’s father, Gary Bays, was head coach at Portland’s Warner Pacific College for a number of years. In his youth, Scott worked his dad’s Coast-To-Coast Basketball Camp at George Fox University.

“We’ll be really young,” Bays says. “Tyler Spencer and Tre’Shann Stone will be the only returning starters. After that, we get really young, with little varsity experience. But I like the way the guys are coming together [in summer-league play].”

Bays said he’s got several talented athletes who played for a successful freshmen team last year who will be challenging for varsity action next winter.

“Our freshmen won league,” Bays said. “They only lost two games in league, to Liberty and to Parkrose.”

Despite the youth on next year’s varsity, Bays says he expects Milwaukie’s success at the varsity level to continue for the foreseeable future.

“I think we can still contend for the league title [next season],” Bays said.

He added, “The kids are always going to have a goal of contending for the league title. I think that every kid in the program has a goal of not only getting to the state tournament, but getting to the state final.”

The bar has been raised by Bracy’s teams since Milwaukie moved to the Class 5A Northwest Oregon Conference three seasons ago. They’ve been league champions or co-champions all three seasons; they placed fourth at the 5A State Tournament in 2011 and second at the 5A Tournament in 2012.

Bays says he’s been encouraged by the interest in youth basketball.

“We’ve had a good turnout for our kids camp,” he said. “We’ve had 70 kids, that’s 14 more than last year.”

And Bays has given his high school players plenty of opportunity to hone their skills this summer, providing them with open gyms and conditioning opportunities on the track and in the weight room, in addition to summer league play.

“What I enjoy most about coaching is watching kids grow,” said Bays. “Not only as basketball players, but as human beings. How they grow up up and go out into society; and what they do with their lives.”




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