Ash Grove, Mo. (For OzarksSportsZone.com) -- The Ash Grove Pirates return from last year’s 11-15 season with a relatively inexperienced team, having lost most of its varsity teammates to graduation.
Junior point guard Cody Allhands (5’10”) is the Pirates’ only returning starter. He earned first team All-Mid-Lakes Conference last year and averaged 12 points and 4.5 assists per game.
“He does a good job and will have a bigger role this year,” said second-year Pirates coach Jeremy Nicholson.
The Pirates’ junior-heavy team will also rely on the varsity experience of Garrett Cline (6’4”, jr.) and senior Alex O’Brien (6’0”).
“Cline is a good inside-out player—post and perimeter. He will be real physical on the defensive end,” said Nicholson.
Nicholson expects solid court play from junior Zach Dinwiddie and freshman Ben Weinreis (6’1”).
“Weinreis is long and athletic—young but experienced,” said Nicholson.
Brett Isenhower (6’3”, sr.) and junior Jesse Moore (6’3”) add height to the Pirates lineup. Newcomers Tanner Dollens (jr.) and Trey Dollens (jr.)—twins—bring fresh talent to the team.
The Pirates tied for third with Marionville in conference competition last season.
Nicholson is working to build on the Pirates’ skills.
“We want to out-rebound opponents and have fewer turnovers than opponents. We are going full speed to be ready for Crane next week,” said Nicholson.
The Pirates open their season November 20 at Crane, followed by two more away games at Lockwood (Dec. 4) and Clever (Dec. 7). Pirates fans will wait until December 11 to cheer their team at home, against Mt. Vernon.