After his first year as head coach of the Cardington boys’ basketball team concluded with a 3-20 record, Nick Withrow expects to see improvement behind seven letter-winners.
Junior Trey Brininger (9.7 points, 4.5 rebounds) finished as a second-team pick by both the KMAC and Central District, while senior Danny Vaught (7 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists) was also recognized by the league and district as an honorable mention recipient. Senior Cayman Spires (4.6 points, 1.8 assists) and junior Avery Harper (5.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists) also saw a good deal of playing time; while seniors Garrett Linkous and Josh Shook and junior Mason White also return for the Pirates.
Withrow will have to replace some veteran players, though, as Logan Doubikin, Dylan Goodman, Brandon Steckel and Jarred Wardlaw graduated and junior Zack Lester will miss the season with an injury. Looking to step into varsity roles are junior Sam McKee and sophomore Nate Hickman.
“Our goal is to compete and become a consistent, tough, physical basketball team this year,” said the coach. “I think we have the talent to surprise people this year.”
In order to compete in the KMAC this year, Withrow feels his squad will have to overcome some tough competition. He noted that both Northmor and Centerburg bring a lot back, including league Player of the Year candidates.
“Both will be matchup problems for teams because they have a lot of size with solid guard play to go right with it,” he said.
The coach added that East Knox and Highland also should be in contention.
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS