NEW PARIS — National Trail’s boys’ basketball team will feature a mixture of youth and experience.
The Blazers return two starters and two other players who saw varsity time on last year’s team, which was 11-12 overall and 6-6 in the Cross County Conference.
“We are very young but do have a lot of experience mixed in. Dalton Mason and Travis Hunt are two-year starters and both Adam Eyler and Zach Woodall received significant varsity minutes last year. We have a little more length and quickness than in the past but not as many mature physical bodies,” Trail Coach Mike Harrison said. “If we continue to be unselfish and improve our basic passing skills we have a chance to be one of the better offensive teams we’ve had here in a while, but we have to find a way to become consistently tough on the defensive end, and we need kids to step up and replace a great deal of leadership that last year’s seniors provided.”
Mason, a senior, averaged 11.1 points per game and 7.9 rebounds last season.
Hunt, a junior, scored 9.7 points a game and handed out 3 assists per contest.
Newcomers this season include senior Malachi Short, who returns to basketball after not playing the last two years, junior Hunter Michael and sophomore Zac Petry are posts moving up from junior varsity. Evynn Short is a junior guard that will likely see some varsity time, and freshman Cameron Harrison.
Harrison, in his 14th season, said Bethel is the team to beat in the CCC.
”Bethel will obviously be extremely talented. We played right with them once last year and were not really in the other game. Hopefully we close that gap this year and can compete,” he said. “I really feel there are a host of other teams, including the other two county schools (Twin Valley South and Tri-County North), and hopefully we can find ourselves in this mix too, that are very comparable and competing for some of those top spots.”
Trail is schedule to begin the season on Friday, Dec. 1 against Dixie at the Twin Valley South Tip-Off Tournament. The game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. There will not be a junior varsity game on Friday.
The Blazers will play at either 4 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. on Saturday against either Eaton or Twin Valley South. Trail’s junior varsity will begin its season on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Dixie.
Trail will open its home schedule on Friday, Dec. 8, against Arcanum. On Saturday, Dec. 9, the Blazers are scheduled to travel to Preble Shawnee.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH