By Chris Parker
Billings boys basketball graduated three players from last season’s 16-12 squad. The Wildcats do return their leading scorer in junior Colton Plowman who earned second-team all-conference honors as a sophomore. He averaged 13.6 ppg to go with 3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.8 steals.
“Colton has worked hard in the off-season on his overall game. He is a gym rat and wants to shoot any time he can get in,” Billings head coach Kendall Tilley said. “He has become a more vocal leader since last year’s seniors have departed. He is our point guard but might move to shooting guard because of his scoring potential.”
Hayden Fender and Kyler Tennis each averaged 8.6 ppg as sophomores and return to solidify a solid junior core for Billings. Fender led the team in rebounds (6.3 rpg) and blocks (2.6 bpg).
“Hayden will be a tough matchup for people because of his height and his ability to rebound and outlet the ball. Kyler can score inside or outside. He rebounds well and score on anybody in the paint. Hayden will play center and Kyler will play a little of both small forward and power forward,” Tilley said.
Braden Ray returns for his senior season after starting some last year. Jacob Henry is another junior guard that will have an expanded role this year.
Senior Jace Bradley is a senior, but coming out for basketball for the first time. He has good height and will be an asset in the paint. Junior point guard Nick Newkirk helped lead an unbeaten junior varsity squad last year. AJ Collins (junior), Kobe Clinton (senior), Julian Moody (junior) and Tryton Davis (junior) will look to factor into the varsity equation.
“Our strengths should be our height, and playing experience,” Tilley said. “Defense will be a focus this season. We also need to improve on mental toughness and late game execution.”
Billings opens the season on Nov. 26 at Chadwick.