New faces create new opportunities for Panthers boys’ basketball
By Jacob Heid
STEVENS POINT — The Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH) boys’ basketball team loses the top three scorers from a season ago. That means a new team gives the Panthers different opportunities to succeed with similar expectations. Head coach Jonathan Krull enters 2022-23 with new faces to plug into the game plan.
SPASH finished in third place in the Wisconsin Valley Conference last season, keeping expectations the same entering another year. Krull’s belief does not change just because they lose production.
“Our expectations never change from year to year. We have a new team, new faces in new places,” Krull explained. “A lot of these guys have had a year or two in the program up at the varsity level. Now they have an opportunity to come in, step up and play different roles they have in the past. But expectations stay the same. The way that we play and how hard we work stays the same.”
Ever since Krull took over at the helm for Scott Anderson, the defensive side of the ball is something he has talked about a lot. A Friday afternoon practice did not change how much the coaching staff harped on defensive fundamentals.
“Every year, you have to be able to play both ends of the floor. I think we can be a good defensive team,” Krull said. “We have some younger guys with not as much experience as we’ve had in the past. We know the tone we set on the defensive end will keep us in games.”
The local winter sports teams are consistent, taking it one day at a time when searching for goals. The same goes for SPASH’s boys’ basketball. The Panthers look at each practice as a chance to get better.
“We have the same team goals set every year. We concentrate more on one day at a time,” Krull stated. “Don’t look at the last goal until you can get to the first goal. We’re going to build experience as we go, and we will see if we can check off some boxes toward the end of the season.”
Lastly, the WVC, where SPASH finished towards the top, is expecting even more fireworks this season. Krull commented on the competitiveness of the conference from top to bottom.
“I think it’s going to be better,” he said. “From top to bottom, everyone has built some experience. There are some great players in this league; you have to take care of business at home. And hopefully you can play well on the road and steal some at someone else’s place.”
The Panthers are excited to get the season underway, with the first game being on Nov. 26 at home against Bay Port.