Wynford men’s basketball hopes to return to winning ways

HOLMES TOWNSHIP — In its second year under coach Mike Smith, the Wynford men’s basketball team has its sights set on returning to the glory days.

Well, at least taking a step back in that direction.

Replacing the late Jaron Filliater will be difficult, along with key players James Schiefer and Avery Langenderfer. But there are plenty of talented players on the roster eager to prove themselves.

“This year our varsity roster has a lot more shots and we also feel like we have a lot better overall depth,” Smith said. “The length of our varsity roster is also really exciting and should help our defense. The kids are buying into the second year of our program.

“The transition in preseason has been significantly easier and faster. I hope that helps us to be much more successful this season.”

Junior Sam McMillan, at 6-foot-6, will be one of the focal points of the Royals’ offense this season. He averaged 10.6 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks last year en route to earning second-team Northern 10 and Northwest District honors along with a District 6 honorable mention.

“Sam is going to be an extremely impactful player for us this season,” Smith said. “He had an excellent second half of his sophomore season…he has worked very hard in the offseason to improve his body and all facets of his game. We look forward to seeing him take an even bigger leap this year to help us achieve a future most successful”. season.”

Classmates Grant McGuire (7.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.1 steals) and Ashton Warren, along with senior Cainen Allen (5.7 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists) and sophomore Weston Prenger (7.5 points) round out the typical starting five for the Royals, one packed with athleticism.

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“Grant will be a complete player for us this season,” Smith said. “He’s a big, strong guard who can guard 1-5 and is a fundamentally solid offensive player.

“Cainen will be our main leader; he’s in his third year of college experience this year. His defense on the ball has really improved and it’s something our team desperately needed, and his passing will be on display this year with multiple weapons to spread.” a.”

Prenger and Warren are the new players in prominent roles this season. Prenger showed glimpses of his potential in the Royals’ tournament game last season when he hit five 3-pointers and led the team with 15 points. Warren is coming off a slump in which he was the Royals’ fielding general, and Smith hopes the leadership translates to the court.

“Weston will assume a leadership role on the varsity team after leading our JV team in scoring last season,” Smith said. “As a sophomore, his basketball IQ is extremely advanced. Wes is just a natural scorer and we expect him to show that at the college level. He’s also improved significantly in his defensive awareness and effort and should help us tremendously defensively.” . end of the floor

“Ashton, our quarterback, should play a big role for us this season as well. He can also shoot 1-5 and has great length. He’s constantly improving his offensive game and confidence and should be an impactful player for us.” this season”. “

Coming off the bench will be sophomores Drew Johnson, Anthony Evans, KJ Kotalik and Dawson Pelter, along with juniors Sean Brindley and James Rindfuss, and senior Austin Bindner.

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“Drew will bring a great basketball IQ, great shooting ability, very good passing and above average defensive effort and awareness,” Smith said. “Our guys have been doing a great job so far, so we’re very excited to see this continue to see Wynford basketball return to its winning traditions.”

Wynford’s goals this season align perfectly with getting the program back to what it was not too long ago. From 1963 to 2017, the Royals had just five losing seasons and two .500 batting seasons. In the past five years, Wynford has had four losing seasons and zero tournament wins.

“One team goal that we have is to get double-digit wins on the season,” Smith said. “We have to make sure we have a business focus every single day, including practices. Good teams don’t waste time in drills, practices, in the weight room, in games, etc. Our message this season is that every moment matters.” Don’t waste a second.

“We also want to finish in the top three in the Northern 10 standings. To do this we will need to do our best every night, especially in the competitive N10 conference. No game is easy in this league. Everyone knows everyone in these small communities.

“Ultimately, our team would like to win a tournament game, something we haven’t done in a few years. Winning more regular-season games will improve our tournament position, and as a result, we hope to improve our chances of starting a tournament.” . in February.”

Wynford opened the season with a gutsy 70-66 win at Monroeville over the weekend before losing their home opener 63-54 to a very athletic Hopewell-Loudon. The Royals open league play on Saturday, hosting Upper Sandusky.

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Twitter: @Zachary_Holden

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