The Centre boys’ basketball squad intends to improve on a 9-12 season last year with the help of plenty of experience returning to the court.
“We are going to be fairly small but experienced this year,” said coach Jim Wyatt, who returns for his fourth year.
“We will have to rely on playing good, solid defense as well as being fundamentally sound on offense.”
The Cougars return eight players, all upperclassmen, from last year’s squad, including starters Justin Deines, James Wyatt and Grant Srajer.
Additional letter-winners who are expected to contribute this year are guards Ty Simons and Kodey Johnson, and forwards Kyle Methvin, Corey Brunzell and Chad Mueller.
Six newcomers, split almost evenly between the post and perimeter positions, are likely to see varsity minutes this season.
They are seniors Houston Svoboda and Jerami Slayden, as well as Dakota Stimpson, Conner Montgomery, Tanner Peterson and Bence Pataky.
“Most teams we play will be a great deal bigger than us, so we will have to block out well in order to limit the number of shots opponents get,” Wyatt said.
The Cougars hope to compete with Little River, Solomon, Goessel and Peabody-Burns for the top spot in the Wheat State League.
“The league is pretty balanced,” Wyatt said. “Depending on how well we prepare and work together, that will determine our position in the league standings as well as how far we go into postseason.”
The Cougars will kick off their season at the Herington Tournament Dec. 4. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:45 p.m.