Last season: 14-8, 5-2 GSSC, lost in first round of Class 2A Wheeler Sectional to Hanover Central
Inside the Bearcats
Leading returning scorer: Christian Sikoski, 6.3 ppg.
Leading returning rebounder: Christian Sikoski, 2 rpg.
Newcomer to watch: Nick Naspinski, Sr., F. On a team with so many question marks, this could apply to a lot of players, but if Naspinski makes similiar strides in basketball to what he did in football, look out. At 6-3 and nearly 210 pounds, he provides both size and strength, yet he moves well. It figures to take him and fellow gridder Mitch Stevenson a little while to round into basketball shape.
Plenty of new faces at Wheeler
The Bearcats enjoyed a tremendous run of success over the last decade and will lean on that tradition in hopes of continuing their winning ways under new coach Tom Johnson. Christian Sikoski, a streaky shooter with inside-outside ability, is the most proven commodity, and he did it last year without the expectation of being the go-to guy.
"A lot of people might think that with what we've lost, we're going to fall off, but it's going to be a different team than people expect," Sikoski said. "We might have a little rebuilding early, but we're going to be solid."
The group does know how to win, having done so at the JV level. Now it must raise its game to compete in the 7:30 tipoff slot.
"Fortunately, we've had almost all of them up with us since June, though that's different than being up here for real," Johnson said. "It's an ongoing process. It takes into the second year, getting through a year and an off-season before everybody really feels that their feet are planted firmly on the ground." !~ Jim Peters