Prep boys basketball: Mishicot hopes inexperience becomes non-issue

Prep boys basketball: Mishicot hopes inexperience becomes non-issue

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Prep boys basketball: Mishicot hopes inexperience becomes non-issue

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From top to bottom, this year’s Mishicot boys basketball team may have undergone the biggest makeover out of any Manitowoc County squad in the offseason.
From top to bottom, this year’s Mishicot boys basketball team may have undergone the biggest makeover out of any Manitowoc County squad in the offseason.

Aside from switching from Division 3 to Division 4, the Indians will return only three players from last year’s team. Eight seniors graduate in May, leaving the team — which went 5-18 and 4-14 in the Olympian Conference while falling in its regional opener to host Kewaunee 43-36 — without a point guard but with a plethora of inexperience to go around.
Aside from switching from Division 3 to Division 4, the Indians will return only three players from last year’s team. Eight seniors graduate in May, leaving the team — which went 5-18 and 4-14 in the Olympian Conference while falling in its regional opener to host Kewaunee 43-36 — without a point guard but with a plethora of inexperience to go around.

“Our biggest thing right now is that we have three returning players so we have a lot of inexperience at the varsity level that we are trying to fight,” third-year Mishicot coach Justin Bestor said. “Our biggest weakness right now is the inexperience and not having a true point guard to kind of run the offense and break presses. We are trying to figure that out as we move along.”
“Our biggest thing right now is that we have three returning players so we have a lot of inexperience at the varsity level that we are trying to fight,” third-year Mishicot coach Justin Bestor said. “Our biggest weakness right now is the inexperience and not having a true point guard to kind of run the offense and break presses. We are trying to figure that out as we move along.”

Mishicot ran its offense last season through starting point guard Trevor DePas, who since graduated. Bestor said that while DePas was not responsible for scoring many points for the Indians — he was third on the team with 7.2 points per game — his absence is already being felt and something the team is trying to adapt to. Additionally, the Indians are trying to overcome DePas no longer being a defensive asset, as he led the state last season in charges taken.
Mishicot ran its offense last season through starting point guard Trevor DePas, who since graduated. Bestor said that while DePas was not responsible for scoring many points for the Indians — he was third on the team with 7.2 points per game — his absence is already being felt and something the team is trying to adapt to. Additionally, the Indians are trying to overcome DePas no longer being a defensive asset, as he led the state last season in charges taken.

“Trevor ran the show. He did everything. He took care of ball real well, and while he didn’t score a bunch of points he was our floor leader,” Bestor said. “Not having him around will kind of hurt. … We lost no real standouts (to graduation), just eight really solid players. Losing all of those players at once, it hurts.”
“Trevor ran the show. He did everything. He took care of ball real well, and while he didn’t score a bunch of points he was our floor leader,” Bestor said. “Not having him around will kind of hurt. … We lost no real standouts (to graduation), just eight really solid players. Losing all of those players at once, it hurts.”

The Indians also have some lingering injuries that players sustained either during football or last year’s basketball season. Junior power forward Colten Haack, one of the three returning players and the Indians’ second-leading scorer last season at 9.8 points per game, is still recovering from an ACL injury he sustained in January.
The Indians also have some lingering injuries that players sustained either during football or last year’s basketball season. Junior power forward Colten Haack, one of the three returning players and the Indians’ second-leading scorer last season at 9.8 points per game, is still recovering from an ACL injury he sustained in January.

“I feel that when we are healthy we can be very competitive in a very tough conference, one of the toughest small-school conferences in the state,” Bestor said. “I think we can always steal a win from the top teams and should be able to take care of business against lower teams if we are healthy. But if we continue to struggle, and don’t find a true point guard and never get healthy, it could be a tough season.”
“I feel that when we are healthy we can be very competitive in a very tough conference, one of the toughest small-school conferences in the state,” Bestor said. “I think we can always steal a win from the top teams and should be able to take care of business against lower teams if we are healthy. But if we continue to struggle, and don’t find a true point guard and never get healthy, it could be a tough season.”

Aside from Haack, Bestor said he is expecting big things from senior shooting guard Derek Hlinak. Hlinak earned an All-OC honorable mention last season and led the Indians with 10.2 points per game. Chris Kornelly, the Indians’ third returning player and second senior, will miss the first six games of the season but will likely be inserted back in the starting lineup upon his return, Bestor said.
Aside from Haack, Bestor said he is expecting big things from senior shooting guard Derek Hlinak. Hlinak earned an All-OC honorable mention last season and led the Indians with 10.2 points per game. Chris Kornelly, the Indians’ third returning player and second senior, will miss the first six games of the season but will likely be inserted back in the starting lineup upon his return, Bestor said.

“Derek can be a second-, if not first-team, selection this season. He is a tremendous shooter and a very athletic player,” Bestor said. “As a freshman, Colten was an (All-OC) honorable mention, and now as a junior he could be all-conference if healthy. He has the skill set and he has only gotten stronger since he was a freshman. His knee just needs to hold up. … Chris won’t get lots of points, but he plays great defense and will get us rebounds. I’m excited to get him back on the floor for us.”
“Derek can be a second-, if not first-team, selection this season. He is a tremendous shooter and a very athletic player,” Bestor said. “As a freshman, Colten was an (All-OC) honorable mention, and now as a junior he could be all-conference if healthy. He has the skill set and he has only gotten stronger since he was a freshman. His knee just needs to hold up. … Chris won’t get lots of points, but he plays great defense and will get us rebounds. I’m excited to get him back on the floor for us.”

The goal seemingly on everyone’s minds, though, is getting a postseason win, something Mishicot has not accomplished since 2004, according to Bestor. The team — which has had four straight five-win seasons — is hoping that with switching divisions, Mishicot now being matched up against comparable teams could end the programs recent lack of postseason success. Mishicot dropped its first game 53-52 to visiting Menasha earlier this week, but will look to rebound the rest of the way.
The goal seemingly on everyone’s minds, though, is getting a postseason win, something Mishicot has not accomplished since 2004, according to Bestor. The team — which has had four straight five-win seasons — is hoping that with switching divisions, Mishicot now being matched up against comparable teams could end the programs recent lack of postseason success. Mishicot dropped its first game 53-52 to visiting Menasha earlier this week, but will look to rebound the rest of the way.

“The kids are excited about (switching divisions) and potentially playing opponents that are more comparable to us. They are excited about the possibility of winning a playoff game,” Bestor said. “What we may lack in talent we definitely make up for with our heart and hustle. We get after it and we will make it as tough as possible for the other team to do what they want to do. You can’t practice heart, you just have it, and we pride ourselves on having it.”
“The kids are excited about (switching divisions) and potentially playing opponents that are more comparable to us. They are excited about the possibility of winning a playoff game,” Bestor said. “What we may lack in talent we definitely make up for with our heart and hustle. We get after it and we will make it as tough as possible for the other team to do what they want to do. You can’t practice heart, you just have it, and we pride ourselves on having it.”

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