By Chris Parker
Diamond boys basketball has a new head coach this season in Bryan Adams who is looking to get the program back to competing for conference and district titles after back-to-back seasons of single-digit wins.
“We are going to have to build some consistency and pride on the defensive end of the court this year,” Adams said. “We have to go to practice every day with energy and the attitude that you will not out-work us. Offensively we need to limit turnovers and find the right shot each time. If we can focus on these things we can compete with anybody on our schedule, and hopefully make a run at the top of our conference.”
Ben Moreland averaged 11.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game to lead the Wildcats as a junior last year. He will be a team leader as a senior.
“Ben is a long and athletic player with great footwork and soft touch, which makes him a threat in the paint. He also has some guard skills that can provide a match-up problem for other posts,” Moreland said. “Ben should have a great senior season. He will continue to lead his teammates by example. I expect him to be a more vocal leader on the court for us this year.”
Luke Lawson was the team’s second-leading scorer at 8.7 points per game as a sophomore last year.
“Luke is one of our most dedicated workers on the team. He is always in the gym trying to get better daily,” Adams said. “One part of his game that has improved over the off-season is his down-hill attacking. He is really good at driving the basketball to get to the rim and finishing high over the defense. He is the kind of player that will be hard to take off the court this year as a junior.”
Austin Grube is a senior returning starter at guard. Hunter Shallenburger will be a returning starter as a sophomore point guard. Jake Frazier is also returning for his senior season. Shallenburger averaged 5.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in his freshman season.
Senior Hayden McDonald is a 6-foot-4 senior post player that transferred in from Texas midway through the season last year. Blake Savage returns for his senior season after taking a year off from basketball last year.
“Our biggest strength will be our athleticism this year. I think we have enough talented guys to be a scary match-up,” Adams said. “We will really have to work on improving on the intensity level of our practices daily. If we can focus on getting better every day we will have a chance to be successful.”
Diamond opens the season on Nov. 22 at Exeter.