Despite some losses due to graduation, the Marion Warrior boys return a strong scoring threat and good depth that they hope will translate into wins this season.
Junior Jordan Hett, who averaged 13.5 points per game as a sophomore, is the top player coming back.
“He has improved his game in the off-season and has taken more of a leadership role,” said coach Jeff McMillan.
The Warriors also return their second-leading scorer and leading rebounder in junior Jacob Harper, whom McMillan said played frequently in the off-season and is being a vocal leader on the court.
Rounding out the top four are seniors Mikael Antoszyk and Scott Jones.
“Antoszyk has begun playing and practicing with a lot of energy and effort,” McMillan said. “He will be a perimeter threat for us with his shooting ability.”
McMillan said Jones finished last season as a good post defender and the team will look to him for some offensive production as well.
“We will have good depth,” McMillan said. “Practices have been competitive at each spot.
“I think we will be a good ball-possession team that gets good shots nearly each time down. I think we will be fairly quick and athletic, possibly allowing us to pressure and trap a bit more beyond half-court.”
On the flip side, he said, youth could be a weakness since Marion returns just two seniors.
“We will have to continue to work on our ability to play four full quarters, finish strong and expect to win,” McMillan said.
He said early in the season the Warriors are going to focus on implementing and developing their offensive and defensive systems. Later in the season, they will spend more time developing individual talent within the systems.
“It all goes back to having tunnel vision and doing all that we can to improve and prepare,” McMillan said. “Our focus is always on being the best we can be today and preparing to be the best we can be by the end of the season.”
The Warriors face a tough start to their season, facing Hutch Trinity, Berean and Hillsboro.
“We will get tested early,” McMillan said, “but I feel we have prepared ourselves to be in position to be competitive in those types of games.”
For right now, he said, he and the team are taking things a day at a time.
“I believe if you work and enjoy the process each day, you will look up at the end of the season and be pleased with where you are,” he said.
Marion is scheduled to begin its season with a home game Friday against Hutch Trinity.