Sturgeon Bay’s varsity boys basketball team, which picked up its first win of the season Nov. 26 with a 55-47 victory over Coleman at the Packerland/M&O Conference Challenge Tournament, is looking to improve on its 8-18 record from last season with more wins than losses.
Rodney Owens is in his first year as the Clippers’ head coach, replacing longtime coach Jim Benesh, who died in February after battling cancer. Benesh was inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame this fall.
The team’s top athletes who graduated after last season include Chris Lodl, Preston Newton and Spencer Hubbard.
Sturgeon Bay returns its top scorer from last season, senior shooting guard Isaak Aune, and Owens’ list of top returning athletes also includes junior shooting guard Calvin Richard, junior center Gannon Evers and junior guard Garrett Ulberg.
Owens characterizes the strengths of this year’s team as “brotherhood, trust [and] one unit working together for one great train ride.” He said post play is a weakness, and he’s most concerned this season about “playing good, tough defense and rebounding the ball.”
Owens said he’s looking forward to “playing together as one unit, and five guys trusting each other on the court.”
His list of top opponents this season includes Packerland Conference schools Southern Door, Kewaunee, NEW Lutheran and Peshtigo.
The Pioneers, who were winless last season in Packerland play, are looking to improve on their 3-21 record with competitive play and being victorious in the conference.
The team is without Carter Bieri and Jack de Young, who both received honorable mention in the conference, as well as Frankie Ash, with all three having graduated after last season.
Sevastopol recorded its first win for 2022-23 on Monday with a 58-51 nonconference victory at Wausaukee.
Ron Frank is in his third season as the Pioneers’ head boys basketball coach. His list of top returning players includes three seniors: forward Logan Retzlaff and guards Nick Peterson and Cesar Sandoval.
Frank said team quickness is a strength, while the Pioneers lack height and are a young team this season. He said he’s looking forward to “coaching the young kids.”
Frank said he expects the top opponents on the schedule this season will include Southern Door and Kewaunee.