By Brennan Stebbins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
The Carl Junction boys basketball group earned three wins in its first 5 video games final season – after which simply three extra in its remaining 21.
The Bulldogs suffered by way of a nine-game dropping streak in February and completed the 12 months 6-20, this system’s sixth-straight dropping season.
New head coach Justin Pock hopes to show issues round after serving as an assistant coach at Carl Junction for 5 years. He beforehand spent 9 years at Cuba, together with six as head coach.
“Final 12 months was form of up and down however we tried to compete most video games,” Pock stated. “The COC is hard night time in, night time out.’
The Branson graduate stated he at all times needed to get again into head teaching, particularly in a convention he’s aware of just like the Central Ozark Convention. The COC has confirmed robust for a group searching for a turnaround, although, as Carl Junction has gained simply 4 video games in convention the final 4 seasons.
Because the Bulldogs look to take a step ahead this winter, they’ll rely closely on senior Alex Baker, who performs on the wing and was listed at 6-foot-3 final 12 months. He was the group’s main returning scorer getting into final season after averaging 8.1 factors and 6.5 rebounds per recreation as a sophomore. He’s additionally the one returning starter this 12 months.
“He’s a strong child,” Pock stated. “He’s a robust participant and he’s a very sensible participant. He’s a child I believe each program could be glad to have. We simply want his management.”
Others returning with varsity expertise are seniors Trentyn Lehman, Honest Williams and Blake Poorman.
Lehman, who was listed at 6-1 final season, is an “athletic, robust child that may actually get to the basket and may put up some factors,” Pock stated. He’ll play as a guard. He was an enormous scorer final season and infrequently one of many prime Bulldogs within the field rating. He scored in double figures at the least seven occasions, together with a 17-point effort in opposition to Jefferson Metropolis, and led the group in scoring at the least 4 video games. He scored 24 factors mixed within the group’s two district video games.
The 5-9 Williams will deal with level guard duties and assist get the ball up the ground and get the group into its offense. Poorman, listed at 6-7, runs “very well” and can present an inside presence.
Pock cited three newcomers who haven’t had any varsity expertise however did have good showings in the summertime. Junior 5-11 taking pictures guard Kyler Perry is one, together with 6-2 junior Josh Cory and 6-2 sophomore Ayden Bard. Cory will see motion as a ahead and Bard will play guard.
“I believe all of them play very well collectively,” Pock stated. “They share the ball very well. We don’t have any egocentric gamers. I believe we will all run. We are able to stand up and down the ground.”
The Bulldogs averaged 8.8 assists per recreation final season and 6.3 steals, however did enable 8.5 steals by their opponents. The group additionally averaged 26.5 rebounds per recreation however was out-rebounded by about two boards a recreation.
One of many group’s largest losses to commencement was Alex Dixon, one other participant who ceaselessly led the group in scoring. He poured in 20 factors in opposition to Webb Metropolis and mixed for 29 in two district video games. Teagan Armentrout, a 6-1 guard, was one other large loss to commencement after being a multi-year starter. And Isaac Hoberecht, a two-year starter at guard, could be a senior on the group however moved out of state. He was the group’s main scorer as a junior with at the least 9 video games in double figures. He scored 20-plus at the least 4 occasions, together with a 25-point outburst in opposition to Monett.
“We’re going to should reply the decision each night time,” Pock stated. “We’re going to should play properly not solely at residence but additionally going to some robust environments and have the ability to maintain our personal. We gained’t again down from anyone. We play a troublesome schedule and we’ve simply received to maintain combating by way of.”
4 of the group’s six wins final 12 months got here on the highway or on impartial courts. That features a 55-51 win in opposition to Cassville within the Class 4 District 12 match.
So far as the beginning 5, that continues to be to be seen. Pock stated he gained’t assure anyone a beginning spot simply but.
“We’ve had some guys which have put in some work up to now that would possibly give them a leg up on another person for these spots,” he stated. “Actually it’s going to be you come to apply every single day and earn these spots.”