LINDSBORG -- The Smoky Valley High School boy’s basketball team is experienced, talented, and hungry for a deeper run in the Class 4A-DII State Tournament.
Five seniors are expected to be in the starting rotation, and it all starts with Nick Reinert. A unanimous All-Central Kansas League first team selection, Reinert averaged 16.2 points and 4.5 assists per game last season.
Reinert is joined on the perimeter by a versatile guard/forward in Brett Heitschmidt. At 6-foot-2, Heitschmidt is comfortable scoring inside or out, enabling him to 11.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game last year.
Zach Able will likely step into a starting role as a guard opposite of Reinert. Able was a strong player off the bench last season, averaging just over two points a game.
Down low, Jacob Adams is a force on offense and defense for opposing post players. The 6-foot-4 center averaged nine points and 5.3 rebounds per game. At 6-foot-3, Ben Weldy is a capable post player, but he also connected on 32 percent of his 3-pointers last year, making him a difficult player to match up with.
Head coach Doug Schneider also has a variety of juniors on his bench that should be ready to contribute when need be. If the Vikings can stay healthy, not only should they contend for the CKL, but a third straight trip to the state tournament as well.
“This team has been one that has thrived on its shooting,” Schneider said. “This team has the ability to score points in bundles as evidenced by six games over 60 points last season and two over 70. The defense also came on last year holding opponents in the 40’s on nine occasions and less than 40 on two occasions.”
While the Vikings do have height, physicality is still an area that needs improvement.
“It will be important to find ways to force opponents into difficult shots as well as forcing steals in the open floor,” Schneider said. “This team also needs to play stronger and not allow strong defensive teams to dictate the game.”
Smoky Valley begins its season on Dec. 1 at Abilene.
Contact Gallagher Martin by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GMartinSentinel