SPORTS PREVIEW: Wildfire Boys Basketball

Be noble minded.

That’s the motto that Wildfire head coach Nate Zachmann is bringing to his team this year.

2016-2017 Wildfire Boys Basketball. (Courtesy Photo)

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor
cbenz@countrymedia.net

Be noble minded.

That’s the motto that Wildfire head coach Nate Zachmann is bringing to his team this year.

So what is being noble minded?

For Zachmann and his team, that means moving past the little problems.

“I think really good teams, really great teams, don’t lose many back-to-back [games],” he said. “You don’t let little petty problems bother you.”

Zachmann said early season practices went great, and were very intense. The players had sort of a ‘one-up-the-next-guy’ friendly competition to better each other during practices.

“They understand that in order for us to compete in the top tier of the region, that they need to push each other in practice,” he said. “And that just makes them all the much better.”

The Wildfire will feature three seniors, and one new freshman. The team lost three players to graduation and because of some transfers and injuries, will only carry 14 on the team. Last year their roster was 25.

So how do you compete and play well with such little depth?

Zachmann says it’s all about conditioning. He said some guys will play a lot of minutes, and they need to be prepared, which is one of his jobs, he said.

“Making sure that I prepare them physically is important,” Zachmann said.

The coach has been pushing defense in practices, and it has taken up nearly all of their time on the court early in the season.

“Basically 80 percent of our preseason practices was all defense,” Zachmann said.

He said they will be utilizing their athleticism to guard every inch of the court, they will need to put pressure on the ball and win the turnover battles each contest.

Zachmann will lean on his three seniors for leadership on the court, and that the three upperclassmen all bring something to the table.

“Those three seniors [Brady Wegh, Sean Hertz, and Dylan Ambers] just compliment each other really well,” he said.

Cody Perkins and Hunter Crist, who have been role players in previous seasons, should get a chance to contribute significant minutes this season. Those two, and Josh Wallace and Tanner Zenter, should combine to bring a big defensive game to the Wildfire.

This season Zachmann will try to get his team to keep looking forward, and make sure they bounce back from a loss.

“I think really good teams, really great teams, don’t lose many back-to-back [games],” he said.

Remaining Schedule

Jan. 6
Heart River

Jan. 7
@Flasher

Jan. 10
@Killdeer

Jan. 17
Washburn

Jan. 24
Hazen

Jan. 31
@Beach

Feb. 3
@New England

Feb. 7
Dickinson Trinity

Feb. 9
Grant County

Feb. 16
@Hettinger/Scranton

March 6-9
Region 7 Basketball Tournament

March 16-18
Class B State Basketball Tournament

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