Ryan Toombs takes over as head coach of the Halfway boys this season after the Cardinals won eight games last season.
Halfway loses Nate Porter and his 10.8 points per game along with Justin Rovenstine and his 3.0 points per game to graduation.
The top two scorers do return for Halfway in Ryan Gallivan and Hayden McCarthy. Gallivan averaged 11.6 points per game while McCarthy was just behind him at 11 points per game.
Also back is Kody Jenkins (6.8 ppg), Caleb Gallivan (5.2 ppg), Dallas Dodd (3.8 ppg) and Ben Barham (3.3 ppg).
“Our speed and quickness will allow us to play with an attack mentality,” Toombs said. “I expect our defensive pressure to be the hallmark of our team and create opportunities on the other end. If our effort matches our ability we are capable of running with anybody on our schedule.”
Seniors Triston Forrester and Kody Agee along with junior Jarrett Rovenstine and sophomore Nehemiah Porter will be newcomers to watch this year.
Halfway will be undersized this year which will make defensive pressure a key to Halfway’s success.
“Our biggest weakness is our lack of a true inside presence,” Toombs said. “If we don’t focus on rebounding every possession it could cost us. But our guys are capable of overcoming that aspect with great effort and attitude.”
Toombs hopes that a strong returning core will help Halfway climb the Polk County League standings.
“We have several returning players from what was a young team last year, but we understand we aren’t young anymore and expect to turn the corner this year,” Toombs said. “It is always a goal to be in thick of things late in the season. If things go well we will be right there. These guys have worked hard this offseason and are looking forward to getting after it this winter.”
Halfway opens the season Nov. 27 through Dec. 2 at the Humansville Tournament.