Several members of the Gibault soccer squad that made a third straight trip to the state tournament earlier this month will try to bring that same winning attitude to the basketball court this winter.
The Hawks went 10-20 last season under legendary longtime head coach Dennis Rueter, but hopefully another year of experience from several returning players can turn those won-loss totals around in the 2018-19 campaign.
Among those returners is senior guard Karson Huels, who earned all-area honors last season after averaging 17.5 points per game. Also returning is fellow senior guard Logan Doerr, who averaged eight points per game last season while providing solid defense.
Both were the leading scorers on the soccer team this fall.
“Our guards will be the strength of this team,” Rueter said.
Doerr led the Hawks with 18 points in the team’s season opener on Nov. 20, which was a 61-31 win over Dupo at the Metro-East Lutheran Thanksgiving Tournament.
Other returning players include 6-foot-1 senior Johnny Adams, who started a number of games last season and provides quickness on the court, and 6-foot-2 senior Will Janson, who Rueter described as a strong rebounder.
“Will provides good energy,” he said.
Another returning player, Austin Sweeney, came off the bench last season and has shown to be a solid player, Rueter said.
“He thinks the game very well,” the coach said.
Dylan Altadonna, a senior who started last season, is injured and may not be able to play this year, Rueter said.
Gavin Kohnz, a junior, is a “quick, penetrating guard” who will be counted on for key minutes, the coach added.
A newcomer who should contribute significantly this season, according to Rueter, is 6-foot-2 sophomore John Sweeney.
“He can score the ball in a number of ways,” Rueter said.
Eric Schreder, Will Simonton and Ryan Bollinger will also see playing time off the bench, Rueter said.
“All are good shooters who have improved significantly from last year,” he said.
Key early games on this year’s schedule for the Hawks include Dec. 8 at Nashville, Dec. 14 at home against Mater Dei and Dec. 15 at Waterloo.