Posted 12/05/12 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
After ending last season with an 11-13 record and a fourth place finish at the District 16 Tournament, Randy Cranston, Wolves’ head boys basketball coach is feeling excited and optimistic about the start of a new season.
And with 11 returning players on his varsity roster, as well as most of his starters back, Cranston has every reason to believe that this is going to be a good year for the Wolves.
“Excited and optimistic would be the words that come to mind when starting the 2012-13 boys basketball season,” states Cranston. “With 11 returning letter winners and more than a handful of players that started a game sometime last season, the goal is clear for what we want to accomplish this season.”
And the goal of the team this year is to earn a trip to the State Class B Tournament.
“We are going to have good size this year,” states Cranston. “And with our returning experience, I think that we have a good shot at making it to State.”
Cranston’s Wolves will be led by eight seniors including Tyler Bates, who was named to last year’s All District team. Other seniors on the squad are Brandon Stoker, Shane Jorgenson, Brice Brenno, Michael Schulz, Reid Brown, Cole Rolfsrud and Bo Cook.
“We have a good mix of inside players and perimeter players that will keep the opposing team from being able to take away the inside or outside game,” states Cranston. “But we need to get better defensively as we don’t have a true proven scorer at this time. As the season progresses, I feel our offense will get better along with our defensive intensity.”
Also returning to the varsity this season are juniors, Mitchell Liebel and Andrew Sampsel, and sophomore, Logan Fettig.
“At this time, I feel we have a solid eight to nine guys that are ready for varsity competition,” says Cranston. “And with those players, we will look to push the ball up the floor first for some easy offense and then get into our sets.”
The Wolves opened their 2012-2013 season on Tuesday when they traveled to Trinity Christian. This week, Watford City will take on Heart River in Belfield on Thursday and then open their home season on Saturday when Minot Ryan comes to town. Saturday’s action will start with the C-squad game at 3 p.m. followed by the junior varsity and varsity games.
“It should be an exciting year as I feel this region is wide open with multiple teams feeling they have a chance to get to the state tournament,” says Cranston.