One thing neither Inman High School basketball team will lack coming into this season is upperclassmen.

One thing neither Inman High School basketball team will lack coming into this season is upperclassmen.
The Inman boys, under fourth year head coach Brett Froese, bring back six seniors and four juniors from last year’s state tournament team.
The Lady Teutons, meanwhile, have three starters back, with two seniors and four juniors making up the returning letterwinners.
It all has the makings of a good season for Inman high school basketball.
The strong point for Froese will be at the guard position, as he brings back 5-foot-11 Tyler Cottam and 6-foot-2 Justin Friesen, both seniors off of last year’s 18-6 squad that took second in the Heart of America League with a 7-2 record. Cottam averaged nine points and five boards for Inman last year, while Friesen could be counted on for 15 points and four rebounds last season.
The Teutons will have to shore up the post, as 6-foot junior Hank Thiessen played a few minutes for Inman, but the two most experienced members of the team at forward in Alex Ropp and Cody Seiler have graduated.
On paper, the Teutons have the tools for another state tournament run.
“It all depends on how well we blend together,” Froese said. “I think this team will have a lot more depth than last year’s team. Its just a matter of finding that right rotation and seeing how well the kids play together. I love our athleticism and our length. We must find a way to turn that into an advantage for us.”
The Lady Teutons, meanwhile, will have a new face at the helm, as Bill Maurer takes over as head coach after spending the last six years as an assistant for Jeff Friesen.
“I feel like I bring a new voice to the program while still maintaining the philosophy and values that were in place under coach Friesen,” Maurer said. “It is always difficult for a team to start over under a new coach, but I am trying to build on the system that coach Friesen had in place. This program had a lot of success under coach Friesen's guidance and our goal for this year is to improve every day and become a team that gives its best effort every time we step on the court.”
Inman went 6-15 last year under Friesen, but fought hard through the end of the season. Maurer will have a strong nucleus of returning players to work with in his first season as a head coach, including 5-7 senior Kaitlynn Goalden, who averaged 12.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last year.
“Kaitlynn has the potential to be one of the better players in the area,” Maurer said. “We are really working hard on developing a more balanced team, and Kaitlynn has been working hard to improve certain aspects of her game. Kaitlynn will always be a great scorer, but she is working hard to make sure that other players are more involved.”
Abby Ropp, a 5-9 junior, and 6-0 sophomore Naomi Williams both return as starters from last year’s team, with both bringing over seven points per game and around five rebounds to the table.
Added to those three will be around eight to nine other players that Mauer hopes can contribute to the varsity roster.
“I am very excited about the potential depth on our roster,” Maurer said. “Along with our returning starters, we have some talented players that have taken advantage of the opportunity to compete for time on our varsity team. Rachel Barlow, a senior post/wing, has done an excellent job of providing leadership and has assumed the role of motivational leader during practice. Kristen Knackstedt is a senior guard that has a lot of athletic ability and is becoming a solid defensive player. Krystal Miller and Nicole Neufeldt, both juniors guards, saw some varsity action last year and have worked hard over the summer to develop their skills.”
Inman takes the court for the first time this season Friday as they play host to Goessel. The girls will tip off at 6 p.m., with the boys game to follow.
The Teutons will also be participating Dec. 10, 12 and 13 in the Moundridge Classic. They face Moundridge on Dec. 10, followed by Hillsboro and Lyons, respectively.