Roxana High hoopsters aim to keep winning ways alive and dribbling
There is a high standard of excellence for the Roxana boys basketball program.
Last season, the Shells went 20-11 for the program's third 20-win season in the last five years.
Only an overtime loss to Marquette in the regional final kept Roxana from win No. 21. That contest made it five straight seasons that Roxana has reached at least the regional title game.
So this year's Shells knew what was expected of them before they took the court for the 2016-17 season.
“Our players understand the effort required to be successful,” head coach Mark Briggs told the Metro East Sun. “All success will hinge on how well we execute on the boards and the defensive end of the floor. Our program has been extremely successful the last 10 years because we believe in each other's strengths.”
Two of last year's starters are back this year to keep the tradition going. Guard Zack Golenor averaged 13.7 points per game last season and is closing in on 1,000 points in his career at Roxana, Briggs said. Golenor was second on the team with 55 3-pointers made and hit on 34.2 percent of his attempts from behind the arc. He also made 77 percent of his free-throw attempts.
Forward Zack Haas is the other returning starter. He averaged 2.9 points last season while hitting 50 percent of his 2-pointer attempts.
Post player Cody McMillan was another key player back this season. McMillan averaged 5.8 points a game in 2015-16 and had a team-best 52.3 field-goal percentage.
In the mix for key roles on the squad are guards Trey Kelly, Miguel Ross and Dakota Stumpf, and forward Jacob Maguire.
Five of last season's letter winners and a key transfer will take the court for the Kahoks, who went 9-20 last season.
Senior transfer Kenrique Brown joins last season's letter winners: seniors Ronnie Midgett, Austin Knight, Chandler Buehne and Jaaron Williams, and junior Braeden Lemp.
According to the team's 2015-16 schedule on MaxPreps.com, the Kahoks had a 4-6 record in games decided by five or fewer points, with three of those losses coming in overtime. Collinsville was 1-3 in overtime games.
This year's Warriors roster has plenty of youth, with five sophomores and a freshman.
“We have one returning varsity player who saw significant playing time last season,”head coach Raffi Karibian told the Metro East Sun.
That player is Torrey Deal, who was part of the Warriors' 14-15 season in 2015-16.
“The 16-17 team is an athletic team who is working hard to improve throughout the season,” Karibian said. “With little varsity experience, the team will strive to play their best basketball in the postseason.”
Deal is one of five seniors on the team, along with Kendrick Williba, Jalyn Harper, Jacob Spears and Marquis Shaw.
Note: Not all schools responded to requests for information from the Metro East Sun by press time.
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400 S Central Ave
Roxana, IL 62084