By Jordan Burton (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Yr One for Damon Seiger at Ava couldn’t have gone a lot better.
The Bears put collectively a 24-6 report and claimed a district championship for the primary time in a decade, advancing to the Class 3 quarterfinals earlier than being eradicated by eventual Class 3 runner-up and perennial energy Charleston. Whereas it didn’t finish the way in which Ava wished, the run served for instance of what might be for an rising program.
“It was a fantastic journey as our group rallied round our guys and confirmed them the help they so deserved,” stated Seiger. “I felt as if basketball was significant once more in Ava as you say it had been some time since we had had a season with as a lot success as we did. We had been merely outmatched that individual day. I do imagine our guys bought an actual style of what the postseason is all about and the way thrilling it may be. We’ve lots of holes to fill however assume our guys are prepared and up for the problem once more.”
Seiger should discover a technique to change a fantastic senior class that accounted for 3 starters and 6 complete lettermen, however he may have the posh of returning the SCA Participant of the Yr in 6-foot-3 junior Andrew Dalton.
As a sophomore he averaged 19.2 factors, 8.4 rebounds and a couple of.5 assists. Dalton is considered one of many prime 2022 prospects in Missouri.
“Andrew is the final word competitor that can do what it takes to achieve success,” stated Seiger. “Being the son of a former coach he has had the drive and information to place him forward of lots of others. He makes these round higher and his talent set permits him to play all 5 positions on the ground when wanted.”
Additionally return is senior guard Quinton Donley and junior guard Blayne Mendel. Each will tackle elevated roles, particularly with the lack of senior Zach Mendel as a result of a soccer harm. Each Donley and Mendel are shifty guards that can look to make an affect on each ends of the ground.
“Quinton has actually come into his personal this summer time and devoted himself to being greater than only a shooter for this upcoming yr,” stated Seiger. “We anticipate large issues out of him as he has elevated energy and might assault extra off the dribble in addition to shot the three at a 40 p.c clip final season.
“Blayne is an excellent facilitator that can take extra of a scoring position with this yr’s workforce. He had a fantastic summer time of exercises and we anticipate large issues out of him as our main ball handler.”
The newcomers that can fill out the rotation is a veteran group by way of age, however should regulate to new roles on the varsity stage.
Seniors Bryse Dodson, Mason Cole, Dylan Sawyer and Payton Evans, in addition to juniors Ethan Donley, Corey Heinlein, will see vital minutes this yr.
Dodson is an undersized publish whose grit makes him an asset within the paint. Evans and Donley each confirmed the power to attain the ball on the JV stage and the duo of Cole and Heinlein are two of essentially the most athletic gamers in this system. Seiger additionally believes Sawyer may be one other lead guard that has the power to make photographs.
The roster definitely had some turnover however the expectations didn’t. Seiger and the Bears absolutely anticipate to compete for SCA and district championships for years to return.
“Night time in and evening out you had higher present up able to play within the SCA,” stated Seiger. “This yr will likely be no totally different, as we would be the hunted and everybody will likely be seeking to knock us off. Street video games at Thayer, Willow, Liberty, and Grove will show a problem for us all through convention play. Simply because the case with any yr our total well being and talent to play nicely in January and February will likely be key. I like our group of men this yr however have some new faces that should show themselves early. It’s an thrilling time to be part of Ava Bear Basketball.”
Ava will open the 2020-21 season at house in opposition to Seymour on Nov. 24.