Last season finish: 10-10, 2-0 NWC. Lost to Highland in Class 4A Sectional 1 semifinal.
Inside the Cougars
Leading returning scorer: Arnold Wilson, 13 ppg
Leading returning rebounder: N/A
Star power: Arnold Wilson, Sr., G. Capable of playing any position on the court, Wilson is the go-to scorer on a talented West Side roster.
Newcomer to watch: Christian Jacobs, So., F. Has good size at 6-foot-6. He continues to refine his game and will most likely lead the team in rebounds this year.
A new look and new rules
Longtime West Side and Michigan City assistant coach Murray Richards is now back home with the Cougars. Richards said he had to weed out some kids who didn't want to follow his rules. What he has left on the team are great student athletes. All of West Side's players sport a grade point average of 3.0 or above. Richards also had all his players running cross country during the fall to get in better shape. Training hard has brought the team closer than ever before. "It's amazing how quick they've caught on," Richards said. "I finish practice, and kids still won't go home. They work really hard." The Cougars open with Lake Central on Nov. 21 and will be challenged in many of their games. Last season, the Cougars dropped a 61-58 decision to Highland in their own sectional, leaving a bitter taste in their mouths. "Last year, we were good, but we didn't play as much team ball as we could have," senior guard Arnold Wilson said. "This year, we're more of a family now. We thought we were going to make it to the sectional championship off the bat. Losing that game let us know we can't take anybody for granted." Though Wilson is back as the go-to scorer, many other players are capable of carrying that torch this season. As many as five athletes can play any position on the court. — Matt Douthett