SPORTS PREVIEW: Tiger Boys Basketball

The Tiger boys basketball team started the season off by filling quite a few open spots on their starting lineup, due to the graduation of Brady Bender, Hunter Wolf, Dakotah Mansfield, and Mason Petri.

By RACHEL BOCK
For The Herald

The Tiger boys basketball team started the season off by filling quite a few open spots on their starting lineup, due to the graduation of Brady Bender, Hunter Wolf, Dakotah Mansfield, and Mason Petri.

The Tigers are returning second year starters Cody Holt and Denit Sorenson, along with players new to the starting lineup with Justin Cantwell, Carter Stang, and Nick Rettinger. The Tigers are not young when it comes to grade level, but when it comes to experience, many of the players did not see a lot of varsity playing time until this season.

Playing the center position is 6-foot-8 senior Cody Holt who is starting the season off averaging roughly 23 points, and 15 rebounds per game. New England head coach Shawn Flaherty is looking for Holt to be the Tigers threat inside, and Holt has been working on being more aggressive in the post this season, along with working a lot harder on rebounding.

Flaherty is also looking at the senior for his leadership qualities he will bringing to the team this year.

“Cody is doing a pretty good job with leading, it’s just everybody has got to buy into what we are doing. If they do that and we all become on the same page and concentrate on some of the things that they need to get better at we will be fine,” Flaherty said.

Junior Denit Sorenson is the other returning starter for the Tigers this season. The 6-foot forward brings a lot to the team offensively and defensively and so far this season he has been averaging eight points and seven rebounds per game.

The other three open spots to the starting lineup are filled with junior 6-foot-2 guard Justin Cantwell, junior 5-foot-6 guard Nick Rettinger, and senior 6-foot-3 guard/forward Carter Stang.

“Carter Stang is a good three point shooter, and defensively and rebounding he is getting better. Nick does a good job for us defensively, and Justin Cantwell is our point guard, and you see some improvement all the time. Defensively and rebounding we are doing some good things. Execution on offense hasn’t been where we like to see it, but that is kind of early on,” Flaherty said.

The players that are contributing off the bench this season are freshman Gabe Sorenson, and Jaxson Hewson. Sophomore Zach Madler, Juniors Juan Vidal, John Wolf, Devin Wert, Jayson Koch, Marquis Erickson, Braden Rayhorn and senior Ivey Gilliland.

“Our practices have been pretty good, they just got to step up where you treat every game like the championship game. If you want to play in the championship game you have got to treat every game like a championship game, because if you do that you will be ready for it. We have got to come to play every night,” Flaherty said.

Coach Flaherty is wanting the kids to have fun, but wants to take one game at a time and work on the execution on offense and lowering the turnovers. He would like to see his team to be one of the top eight teams in the region and be competitive.

Coach Flaherty who was the head coach for the Tigers in the late 1980s is in his second season back as head coach with the Tigers, and is assisted by Bruce Bender, Clarence Binstock, and Kaine Hanson.

Coach Flaherty is excited about his coaching staff this season and feels that they all are meshing well together and working hard to have a successful season with their team. He also appreciates all that they do for him and the Tiger boys’ basketball team.

“They (the coaches) are doing a great job, and I appreciate their insight with basketball. They have been very active in practice and they give good insight to the kids. It is nice to hear someone else’s voice other than Coach Flaherty’s voice all the time,” Flaherty said.

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