Colors: Red, Blue, Gray
Conference: East Husker
Head Coach: Jeff Bachman (1st season)
2016-2017 record: 3-20 (lost to Walthill in Sub-Districts)
Returning Starters: 3
The Clarkson/Leigh Boys Basketball Team returns 3 starters from last year’s 3-20 squad. 1st year Head Coach Jeff Bachman.
“Anthony Bruhn was last year’s team leading scorer. He averaged just over 10 a game. The small forward about 6’0, 6’1, is a very good driver to the hoop and a very good defensive player. He’s very long limbed so he’s kind of a half winger on the ball. He’s going to be one of our captains. And another returning starter was Haden Held. He was the team’s starting point guard last year. He averaged about 5, 5.5 a game. So he’ll be doing most of the ball handling work for us. He’s a very good set shooter. And then the other returning starter was Garrett Schroeder, who was a shooting guard. He averaged just under 7 points a game last year.”
Others expected to contribute are include Jacob Gall (6’0, SR PF), Lance Paprocki (5’4, FR PG), and Tommy McEvoy (6’1, FR PF), who is out until at least mid-to-late January with an injury.
Bachman says the kids have been great to work with. “I am very excited for the challenges of this upcoming season. We have a great group of kids to work with, who are fun to be around and work very hard. We will find success as we learn to defend at a high level and execute in all aspects of the game.”
Clarkson/Leigh hopes to be better this season. Bachman says this team prides itself on defense.
“One of our biggest focuses is going to be here is we’re going to be a great defensive team. That’s one of the things we focused on in practice. We’re going to try and play a physical style man-to-man defense. We want to be the best box out and rebounding team in the state, and that’s something that we truly worked at to get good at.”
The Patriots gave up 50 or more points 17 times last season.
Clarkson/Leigh opens up the season on December 1st at home against Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family. Bachman says his team figures to learn a lot about themselves facing a tough opponent like the Bulldogs.
“They got some big kids. They got some real athletic kids. Ashton Dohmen is a very good basketball player. So we’re going to have a good challenge that first night here. It’s going to be a good measuring stick for us right out of the gate to see where we’re at. See if we’re somebody who we can be towards the top of the conference here, or if we’re a middle level team.”
Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family won 66-26 last year.
Colors: Red, Blue, Gray
Conference: East Husker
Head Coach: Matt Murren (5th season) (30-62 record)
2016-2017 record: 9-13 (lost to Pender in Sub-Districts)
Returning Starters: 4
A lot of hype and excitement surrounds the Clarkson/Leigh Girls Basketball Program this year. Head Coach Matt Murren says that’s due to almost all of last year’s team coming back.
“Good thing is we only lost one senior off last year’s squad. And we’ve pretty much returned everybody else. So we’re looking here we’ve got 4 starters back. A couple of kids off the bench that were in our rotation. So we’ve got quite a few kids back, which is very exciting. A lot of them have starting experience, varsity experience.”
Returners include 5’4 Junior Point Guard Kaegan Held, 5’9 Sophomore Guard Ashlynn Novotny, Junior Guard Halee Steffensmeier, Juniors Beth Wiese (5’8 F), Sara McEvoy (5’6 F), Paige Moore (5’8 F), and Sophomore Kim Stodola (5’7 F) off the bench.
Murren adds his squad will look to be better on offense. “The Patriots have an opportunity to be a very successful team this season as they return 7 players in their rotation. Most of the rotation has started or played significant minutes since their freshman season so varsity experience for this group is a positive. Will look to apply full court pressure that will lead to a transition offense creating points. Guard play with Held, Novotny, and Steffensmeier will allow the Patriots to have options to push the ball. Although lacking height, Moore, Wiese, Stodola, and McEvoy are all capable of scoring around from post positions. Shooting has been an emphasis for the Patriots, who look to continue to improve in that area.”
Clarkson/Leigh figures to be among the top teams in the East Husker Conference this year given the amount of talent they return. Murren says he’s excited to see how his team fares in conference play.
“We hope as a coaching staff and we see ourselves as being one of those teams that could compete. We’d like to try to make some noise in the East Husker Conference, and see what we can do when it comes tourney time there towards the end of January, beginning of February, and see what could happen then.”
Murren says beating Twin River and Stanton last year, and making State in Volleyball, has built their confidence.
Clarkson/Leigh figures to be tested in Friday, December 1st’s opener against Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family. Murren says the game is a big opportunity for his program, who plays a lot of games early.
“We have that busy beginning of December. We play 9 games there in 19 days so it’s a very busy time. And we have Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family to start. And it’s going to be a game where our kids can gain some confidence if we can come out and do some good things. They’ve got some height with the (Allanah) Beller girl, they’ve got some speed with the (Brittney) Veik girl. And it’s one of those games where we hope that we will be ready to rock and roll. And the kids will be excited. The home opener is always a lot of fun. And if we can start ourselves on the right foot right away it will be great for us to get on that path. And we hope we’re able to do that.”
The Patriots fell 48-34 to the Bulldogs last season.