The Maize South High School boys basketball team will play in a new league division and a new state classification this year, but that’s not the only change the Mavericks expect.
Coach Kip Schultz said the squad hopes to win 10 games this year after finishing 5-16 last season. It was the highest win total for the young school’s team. Maize South earned a pair of victories in each of its first two seasons.
An experienced nucleus will lead the Mavericks on the court this winter. That includes juniors Brett Barney, Austin Bally and Kellen Filby. Barney was named to the all-league second team last year in the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League’s Division IV. Senior Wes Phillips, an all-league honorable-mention pick last season, will not return to the team.
Other Maverick players expected to contribute are sophomores Logan Mormando and Jack Domnick.
Maize South will move from Division IV to Division II. Other teams in Division II are Andover, Arkansas City, Andover Central, Goddard, Goddard Eisenhower and Valley Center. According to the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association preseason rankings, Goddard Eisenhower is the No. 7 team in Class 5A.
The Mavericks will play in 5A after jumping from 4A. They concluded last season with a loss to Buhler in 4A sub-state play.
Maize South will open its season with a Friday, Nov. 30, game at Andover. The Mavericks’ home debut will be Friday, Dec. 7, when Goddard will visit.
The boys will return to Sterling for their midseason tournament in January. Last year they placed sixth at the tournament, where they picked up their second win of the season. The KBCA preseason rankings list Sterling, the Class 2A defending state champion, as the No. 1 team in 2A this year.