2021-22 Winter Preview: Seneca Boys Basketball

By Chris Parker

Seneca boys basketball is looking for a bounce-back season with a team that will be comprised mostly of juniors and sophomores. The Indians won four games last year.

Quinton Plotner was expected to be a senior leader of the team, but an injury on the football field has thrown his availability for the basketball season into doubt.

A trio of returning junior starters will provide most of the experience for Seneca. That group includes: Conner Ackerson, Hayden Gaines and Cooper Long.

Ackerson averaged 8.9 points, and 4.3 rebounds per game last year.

“Conner provides athleticism on both ends,” King said. “He was one of our most consistent scorers.”

Gaines is averaged 4.2 points, 3.1 assists and 2.4 rebounds last season.

“Hayden ran the point for us and gives us great energy and quickness both on offense and defense,” King said.

Long averaged 7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

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“Cooper is able to step in various roles for us. He can score. He can rebound. He can guard,” King said. “He brings us a lot of versatility.”

That junior group will be joined by a trio of returning sophomores who all saw varsity action last year. That group includes: Gavyn Hoover, Blake Hurn and Morgan Vaughn.

Hoover played in 17 games and averaged 2.6 points per contest.

“Gavyn is a smart player who helps us handle the ball and provides some shooting,” King said.

Hurn scored 3.8 points and had 2.8 rebounds per game last year.

“Blake is a versatile player that can play any position and plays with great energy,” King said.

Vaughn played in 16 games last year and averaged 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds.

“Morgan is another player that brings athleticism and can find ways to score in a hurry,” King said.

Three more sophomores in Ethan Altic, Jackson Marrs and Eli Olson along with Zane Grotjohn will be newcomers to watch. Altic is a good shooter and defender. Marrs is a defensive stopper. Olson has a high basketball IQ and good shooter. Grotjohn is a versatile player with good shooting.

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Seneca will travel to Cassville for a jamboree on Nov. 16 with Nevada and Cassville. The Indians open the regular season Nov. 29-Dec. 4 at the Clever Tournament.

“I am always excited for another season,” King said. “This group is still young but gained valuable experience last season and throughout the summer. I believe we will be a more competitive group this year especially in our conference and district. Our program focuses on two things: hard work and good attitudes. With those two things, I believe we will be successful both in basketball and in life.”

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