Experience and chemistry are the hallmark words used to describe the Peabody-Burns High School Warrior basketball team this season.
Many of the athletes on the team have played together since grade school and three of the five starters return from the starting lineup last year.
The Warriors opened at home Friday against Chase County and then moved to action in the Marion Classic tournament.
Three full-time starters from last season return to the core group of the PBHS squad. Seniors Jacob Simmonds, Brian O’Neal, and Aaron Topham will bring experience. Two other seniors, Sean Jones and Martin Hofkamp, have varsity experience with shared starting duties from the previous season.
Simmonds scored 13.4 points per game last season and lead the team with eight rebounds per contest. Topham had 12 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per contest. Both Simmonds and Topham shoot from the 3-point arc with a combined 25 percent success rate. O’Neal scored 3.6 points per game and had 3.6 rebounds. Jones scored five points per contest and had 3.3 rebounds per game.
Another senior, Isaac Burnett, will also affect the varsity squad this season. Juniors Derek Price and Storm Pickens also have varsity experience and will give valuable minutes to the team.
PBHS finished 14-7 last season overall with a 7-4 league record. They compete in the always-tough Heart of America league and expect challenges from most teams including Bennington, Sedgwick, Hutch Trinity, and Berean Academy.
The Warriors are coached for the second year by Brian Simmonds and assisted by Caleb Good.
“We will be looking for several players to step up and give us some depth at this level,” coach Simmonds said. “We should have a better mix of guard and post play.”