The Valley Center High School boys basketball players are hoping for an improved season this year after finishing 3-18 under first-year coach John Wetig.
Wetig described the Hornets as a fairly young team, but he said they would enter the season with more experience and time under his system.
“With a year of experience and a successful offseason to build on, the outlook is positive,” he added. “There was plenty of underclassman development as many gained valuable playing time at the varsity level last season.”
Returning starters include 6-foot senior forward Garrett Reeves, 5-8 senior point guard Braden Tormey and 5-11 junior shooting guard Zach Brown. Brown averaged 12.1 points per game last year while Tormey averaged eight points per game.
Underclassmen who picked up valuable minutes last season are 6-2 small forward Caleb Claussen and 5-10 guard Jason Barbour. Junior shooting guard Jacob Brittain, who had 20 three-pointers last year, also will aid the team. Four sophomores are newcomers to the squad: Blake Crager, Andrew Haden, Austin Kruckenberg and Alec Wetig.
“I am extremely happy with the number of players we had come in this summer to work on their game individually and as a team,” said John Wetig, whose career record is 59-74. “The players are excited about the upcoming season as well as our community.”
The coach acknowledged that size was still a factor for the Hornets, but he said they would try to offset that with a style that’s more aggressive on the defensive end.
“They will also counter that size disadvantage with their speed as they will look to score quickly and often in the full-court transition game,” he continued.
Valley Center had the second-best three-point percentage in the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League’s Division II last year. Brown led the team in steals while Tormey led in assists.
Valley Center will open the season with a Dec. 3 game against Clearwater as part of the Cheney tournament. Other teams in the Cardinal Classic are Hutchinson Trinity, Wichita Collegiate, Chaparral and Cheney.