Hoop and Slam

The boys’ basketball team prepares for the upcoming season.

Matthew Owens, Sports Editor

Going into the 2016-2017 season, the team looks to battle back from its 9-13 record from the previous year. A big problem last season was their defense, as they gave up more than 60 points in 10 games.

“Defensively we have to be a lot better than what we were last year,” head coach Mike Rose said. “Another thing we are going to have to rely on this year is our ability to score from the perimeter. We have some guys who can shoot well. If that piece of the puzzle can fall in place, I think we can be in pretty good shape.”

This season the team has an abundance of leadership with nine seniors.

“This is their last year of playing for a school, so they will leave it all out there between the sidelines,” senior Alex Oleson said. “Having a senior majority hopefully will cause our whole team to play like that.”

Last season, three of the NW starters went on to play college basketball (Dylan Dirks, Austin Sanders and Ferdinand Handy) and the team will have to replace their contributions. During the 2015-2016 season, the JV team won 17 games, indicating that there are players who are ready to step up.

“It is tough to fill those spots, but we have a group of guys who have played together quite a bit,” Rose said. “We are not going to replace any of those three individually but were are going to have to collectively play well together as a team.”

On this year’s team is returning one starter, senior Noah Kendall, but Christian Ghilardi and Alex Oleson also saw significant varsity playing time last season.

“This year we have a lot of role players that are really good at certain aspects of the game,” Oleson said. “Whether it’s shooting from the perimeter, defense or getting to the rim, I think if everyone does their job and well, we can compete with almost any team in the conference.”

This season the team has shown its ability to be unselfish and take the time to look for the open man to take the shot.

“We all play for each other,” Christian Ghilardi said. “No one cares who scores the most as long as we win.”

“We are very unselfish, we don’t care who is doing the scoring, we move the ball fairly well offensively,” Rose said. “We have shown the ability to make the extra pass to get a guy a better look to score. We don’t care who is getting the bucket.”

The first game is against SM West at West Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.