Central Lee boys will have depth

Season opens Tuesday at Mediapolis

DONNELLSON - Preseason jamborees can tell a lot to a high school basketball coach.
The one half of basketball a team plays can tell a lot, even if the result is meaningless.
Central Lee’s boys basketball team scored 28 points in its half against Sigourney in a jamboree at Mid-Prairie.
“Last year,” Hayes said, “we struggled to score six (points).”
It’s a sign, Hayes hopes, that the Hawks are in a good spot heading into Tuesday’s season opener against Mediapolis.
“We’re solid right now,” said Hayes, in his third year as head coach. “Offensively, we’ve got a lot of things in and we’re fine-tuning things with our personnel, because we’re so deep this year. It feels good to be ahead of schedule a little bit.”
The Hawks bring back most of their key players from last season, and that, Hayes said, has shown up on the practice court.
“This year, it feels completely different,” he said. “The guys are really comfortable, and they bring a lot of energy to practice. It seems like the last couple of years the coaching staff was carrying the energy. Now these guys understand that they need to bring the energy to practice. The guys get along together, and they’re supportive of each other.”
Hayes has a deep team — he plans on dressing as much as 13 players for varsity games — and he hopes that depth can make a difference.
“We’re able to get out and run more, and push the ball,” he said. “We’re going to play more man-to-man defense — our personnel is going to allow us to do that. And hopefully we can wear some teams down with our length and our depth.”
The Hawks’ three senior captains — Cory Jones, Aden Ross and Dante Merschman — combined for 46 starts last season.
“That senior leadership is fantastic,” Hayes said.
Junior Brayden Wyrick is back after leading Central Lee in scoring (347 points) and rebounds (167) last season.
“Brayden is just so good,” Hayes said. “He had a great season last year, and he’s building off that.”
Hayes has options at point guard. Ross led the team with 27 assists last season. Sophomore Owen Swan made seven starts last season and was second on the team with 17 assists. 
“Aden is still learning some of the things we’re putting in, but he’s really solid,” Hayes said. “He can push the ball up the floor fast. Owen can play the point or at the ‘2’, so he can do a lot of different things.”
Hayes hopes the Hawks’ height can make a difference in the SEI Superconference South Division.
“We’re athletic and we have a lot of depth,” Hayes said. “I like where we’re at.”
Central Lee, boys, basketball, preview, Pen City Current, sports, varsity, Hawks, high school, winter, Brayden Wyrick, Kritter Hayes,


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here