After a disappointing season with an 8-14 record, the Cowanesque Valley Indians boys basketball team will look to bounce back this upcoming year.
The Indians lost three out of four of their top scorers this past season, and graduated a total of five seniors, but will look to the younger players to help carry the load in 2020.
The Indians have a lot of players coming into this season with game experience, and will look to use that as a staple for building the team this season.
Senior forward Seth Huyler was the third leading scorer and top rebounder last season and will be looked to for not only an added workload on the offensive end, but also be looked to for leadership on a younger team.
Another returning player for the Indians expected to make a significant impact is Owen Fitzwater. Fitzwater averaged six points and four rebounds a game last season, and will need to continue to be a bigger part of the offense.
“Owen Fitzwater is pretty scrappy,” coach Bradley Heck commented on his senior, “he’s a good athlete and just a scrappy player.”
The Indians also have a player in Daniel Freeman, who took off last year but is considered to be a top tier athlete on the team. They will also rely on the solid number of returning shooters, like Joel Heck, to help jump start their offense.
In the 2018-2019 season, efficiency was one of the biggest issues for the Indians. They took more than 300 three-point shots throughout the course of the year, and shot a low percentage.
“We lived and died by the three” Heck commented, ”and I would say we died more than we lived.”
Coach Heck is looking for a new approach, and to play from the inside out instead of letting it fly from deep.
“This year we’re going to pound the ball inside,” Heck said, “We can get three pointers anytime we want, they’re available at any point. We need to be inside out, so that’s been my main focus this year and last year we had a lot of guys with three-point mindset, and it really hasn’t been a hard transition because a lot of these guys are pretty aggressive players.”
Some of the up-and-coming players to keep an eye out for this season for the Indians are a pair of sophomores who coach Heck believes will be major contributors. Tucker St. Peter and Mcguire Painter are two athletic young players who the Indians will try and utilize as the season goes on.
They also added Ben Cooper, a player with no organized basketball experience, but coach Heck has extremely high hopes for.
“He is a fantastic athlete,” coach Heck said, ”He’s probably going to help us out quite a bit. I just have to teach him some discipline, trying to keep him in the game.”
With a lot of change for the Indians this season, they will look to take their new offensive approach and roster to improve and compete at a much higher level in 2020.