The Marion High School boys’ basketball team features experienced depth as the Warriors prepare for the 2012-13 season.
“Things have been going really well early on,” head coach Jeff McMillin said. “We have a lot of guys that have been in the system a while and doing a good job picking up where we left off.”
The team has eight juniors and seniors 6 feet or taller, with seven of those players being 6-2 or 6-3.
Seniors Jordan Hett, 6-0, and Jacob Harper, 6-3, are returning starters and Heart of America League first-team all-league selections. Hett was also selected to the 3A all-state second team, and Harper was selected to the all-state honorable mention team last season. Harper averaged 16.5 points per game, and Hett averaged 16.
“We just need these guys to give us consistent effort and leadership,” McMillin said. “Their best is pretty good, so if they give us that, we should be able to be competitive.”
They are joined by fellow returning starter junior Taylor Heidebrecht, who averaged 3.5 points and 1.5 assists per game.
The Warriors lost Mikael Antoszyk and Scott Jones to graduation. Antoszyk averaged 5.5 points per game, and Jones averaged 4.5 points and 5 rebounds.
McMillin expects several upperclassmen to have expanded roles this season, including seniors Wiley Lundy, 6-3; Ethan Hett, 6-2; and Austin Pederson, 6-2; and juniors James Jones, 6-3; Zach Robson, 6-2; and Grif Case, 6-2.
With so many experienced players returning to the team, McMillin isn’t certain what the starting lineup will look like, and it may not be set even when the season begins.
The teams strengths are effort, athleticism, and scoring ability, McMillin said. He said the keys to success this year will be improving the team’s defense and making rebounding an aggressive team effort.
“I will consider this season a success if we continue to improve as the season goes along and are playing our best basketball at the end of the season,” he said.
McMillin gave an example of improvement from last season. The team had trouble with rebounding at the beginning of the year, so the coaches made it a priority over the course of the season, and it showed in improvement as the season continued.
McMillin said he hopes the players enjoy the season, and that is a kind of success of its own, but he also wants the team to do its fair share of winning.
“I would think that we should be competitive in all the games that we play in.”
Terry Edwards is the assistant coach.
The Warriors begin their season Nov. 30 at Southeast of Saline.