Shooting for the playoffs
The Greenwave basketball team kicks off the season with a non-conference home game against Wooster tomorrow, starting their push to the playoffs.
Coach Brad Barton is excited for the team he put together for his fourth year as head varsity coach. He said tryouts went well and he has many players returning from last year’s team. There are several returning seniors and juniors as well as experienced freshmen and sophomores.
“I wouldn’t have brought younger kids up if they weren’t good basketball players,” Barton said. “This group of kids right here is probably the best basketball players we have in town.”
The coach said seniors Nick Smith and Dalton Kaady are strong players and expected to be good leaders for their younger team mates. Both players have competed under Barton for the last three years.
Freshmen Thomas Steele and Elijah Jackson are also expected to be great additions to the team. Barton said they were “real quality freshmen” and added much skill to the program.
Most of the players also play other sports and are coming to the team with athleticism, competitive skills and a team mentality already tempered. While there are differences between sports, Barton said the players have been hustling and picking everything up quickly.
“Most of the kids we have on our program are all multi-sport athletes,” he said. “There were only like three or four kids that didn’t come off the football team, and then a lot of these guys play baseball.”
Moving into the season, information about other teams is limited; however, Barton said the league hasn’t changed much since last year. He expected Elko to be good competition, noting they are always a strong team with a quality program; Lowry is also expected to be good — of their 13 players, 10 are seniors and juniors this year.
There were some surprises, though, with South Tahoe and Fernley doing very well last year, and being able to bring most of their teams back.
“We have a tough league that we play in and we’re a young basketball team,” Barton said. “We know we’re building a program this year and looking to our future. We’re going to compete still, but we know we … have to work every day to get better.”
Last year, the Greenwave went into playoffs in fifth seed, where they lost in a game against Fernley. The team has made it to playoffs every year, though, and the coach said they are shooting to get there again.
The Greenwave’s first home game is tomorrow, against the Wooster Colts at noon. Next week they have their first tournament starting on Dec. 1.