By Jordan Burton (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
It’s no mystery what Brian McTague has cookin’ is his fifth season at Glendale.
The Falcons – returning four starters – have one of the most explosive offenses in Missouri and are coming off of a record-setting offensive season, led by standout senior guards Monty Johal and Jordan Walton.
The 6-foot-3 Johal owns Glendale’s single-game, single-season and career scoring records. As a junior he averaged 27.6 points and 5.8 rebounds, earning all-state honors. Johal is less than 300 points away from breaking Dorial Green-Beckham’s SPS scoring record.
UW-Milwaukee, Toledo and Jacksonville State have offered while several D-1s continue to show interest.
Walton would likely possess all of those records had Johal not gotten to them first. The 5-foot-11 point guard averaged 22.7 points and 4.3 assists, also earning all-state honors.
Johal and Walton give McTague the best backcourt ever assembled at Glendale with two guys that score it at a historic level but can also facilitate.
“It’s always a good thing to have your entire backcourt returning, let alone a 4 year starter,” said McTague. “Jordan makes us go because he’s so good at pushing the pace we want to play at. He’s always a threat to score and also to set up a shooter when guys help off on him.
“Monty is just an effortless scorer that makes hard plays look easy. A shot that’s considered bad for most kids isn’t a bad shot for him. It’s definitely a luxury to have a guy that can go get a basket in multiple ways.”
But, what makes Glendale so dynamic offensively, and the reason the Falcons scored at least 90 points on 12 different occasions last year is the quality and depth of talent around Johal and Walton.
Senior Jaxon Davis might be the best catch-and-shoot guy in the Ozark Conference. Davis put up 14.2 points in 2016-17, knocking down 101 3s (Glendale record) at a 44% clip.
Garrett Freeman is yet another guard capable of scoring (8.7 points) but has developed into a facilitator (4.3 assists) that also shoots 40% from 3.
McTague is extremely high on some returners and newcomers that will add depth and even more firepower to an already potent lineup.
Senior Dylan Metivier and Winston Quinn return after lettering last year. Naturally, they’re two more guards that can do a variety of things, including shoot it.
“Dylan and Winston will both have increased roles this year,” said McTague. “They got small minutes last year and made a big impact at times, but we should see a big jump in consistent production from both of them.”
Jadon Gilpin got varsity minutes last year as a freshman and could also see an uptick in production if the 6-foot-3 sophomore can continue to mature.
“He will have a chance to earn a bigger role with increased playing time if he can consistently do what we need him to on both ends.”
McTague also believes Jordan Kerr could add depth as a versatile defender.
On paper, this has the makings of being a historic season for Glendale.
The Falcons will be the preseason favorite to win the Ozark Conference and Class 5 – District 11. Glendale is also back in the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions for the first time since 2012.
There will be no shortage of expectations this season. Through it all, McTague is encouraging his team to make memories and soak it all in… but not lose sight of the fact the goal is to compete and ultimately win.
“We always talk about trying to use basketball to give the kids experiences that they wouldn’t otherwise have,” said McTague. “Those are the type of things they’ll remember long after they’ve forgotten the scores to every game they played in high school.
“If we have a choice of getting an easy win versus having the chance to play a big time team or player, we’ll always choose the latter. On the same token, we’re trying to win every game we play. Our kids aren’t scared of anybody and if we go down, we want to go down swinging.”