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Youth movement in full effect on boys court

Hunter Hippel, Online Editor

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The boys basketball team is getting ready to tip-off their season, but this year is bringing new challenges to the table.

Equipped with a new coach and young roster, the team is looking to rebound from a mediocre 12-13 record last season.  That will demand extra contributions and expectations to be shattered this year.

The varsity roster only has five seniors this year, leaving it up to underclassmen to assume minutes that are left over from last year.

“We’re really going to be counting on them to step up this season,” senior Garrett Corcoran said.  “We have confidence in them.”

Junior Manny Jingco and sophomore Nate Shikenjanski will form the youthful backcourt.  However, these guys have experience.  Both played on Varsity last year (Jingo started).

“Practicing with the Varsity guys gave me a lot more experience, because the game is so much faster and they it a lot more seriously,” Shikenjanski said.  He cited Jingo as someone he learned a lot from.

Shikenjanski is ready to take the next step.

My freshman year taught me how to work even harder each day, and I’ll come into varsity knowing that I’ve got to get better every day.”

— Nate Shikenjanski

“My freshman year taught me how to work even harder each day, and I’ll come into varsity knowing that I’ve got to get better every day,” Shikenjanski said.  Maybe the inexperience isn’t something to be so concerned about.

However, at every level of basketball, inexperience usually takes it toll.  The players understand this.

“Losing five seniors in the varsity lineup is always hard, but we can really prove some people wrong,” Shikenjanski said.

There is optimism, but the even the best know its going to be a challenge.

“With our inexperience we want to be growing throughout the year,” Coach Brady Hannigan said.  “We want them [the players] to learn to compete in November and December and be playing our best basketball in February and March.”

That’s a fair mindset, or at least a realistic one.  The Ponies might struggle early, but could pull off a late run and find themselves in the playoffs.  That sounds like the goal according to Coach Hannigan.

Hannigan said his transition to Stillwater has been “great” and that “the players we have coming out for basketball are ones of high character.”

Following in the steps of Randy Jordan is big task, and its great to see that the players are responding well.

“We have had many players who have worked extremely hard this summer and fall to prepare for the season,” Hannigan said.

Hannigan is in the process of installing a new system with the Ponies.

“We want to implement a fast paced transition team here at Stillwater,” said Hannigan.  “But our number one goal is to instill a mindset that prioritizes being a great defensive team.”

Hannigan is going to allow good shooters to shoot, but those open shots have to come from somewhere.  Playing good defense and forcing turnovers gets you that, by getting steals and having the fast guys fly up the court and being ready to shoot if needed.  Thats the definition of transition basketball, and Hannigan’s system fits it perfectly.

Despite this year’s challenges, the team has confidence.

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About the Contributors
Hunter Hippel, Online Editor in Chief

Hunter Hippel is a senior and an Online Editor-in-Chief.  He also owns and operates his own sports blog, hippelsportshub.wordpress.com.  He has a great...

Noah Ness, Read and Watch Team

Noah Ness enjoys playing lacrosse, football, and hanging out with friends in his free time. He has two labrador retrievers and is a leading scorer on the...

Bella Anderson, Social Media Editor

Bella Anderson is a junior as Stillwater Area High School. She is a frequent traveler, crossfit enthusiast, and enjoys spending time with her friends....

7 Comments

7 Responses to “Youth movement in full effect on boys court”

  1. Mason Urban on December 21st, 2016 11:16 pm

    I really like your in depth quotes and analysis of the situation. Really good article

  2. Ryan Shepard on December 22nd, 2016 12:05 pm

    The title is extremely grabbing and brought me instantly to this article. The picture is even more detailed showing the students playing basketball.

  3. Emmanuel Kamara on December 31st, 2016 2:41 pm

    Great job Hippel you did great with the article, the heading is really great and there is a lot in inside information about this article awesome job buddy.

  4. Noah Ness on January 17th, 2017 8:13 pm

    The article does a really good job summing up last season and leads the reader into the beginning of this season smoothly. Also, the quotes fit into the article easily and allowed for smooth transitions.

  5. Megan Karnuth on January 17th, 2017 8:41 pm

    Hunter, I really like how honest you were in this article. You talked about how last season wasn’t so great, leading into explaining what the team will have to do better this year. The quotes from interviews that you used also gave a really good insight into the struggles and hopes of this season for the team. Great job!

  6. Max Korth on January 18th, 2017 8:23 am

    Very informative article, gave lots of information about the team and gave a lot of solid quotes.

  7. Nicholas Gag on January 18th, 2017 9:01 am

    I like the information in this article but you are at your best with statistics. If you could find a way to add in last years statistics, (if you can find them) that would add a lot to this story.

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Youth movement in full effect on boys court