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MTZ boys basketball aims high with hard work ethic at the center

Jc Anderson goes up for a dunk in the first week of practice for the Mt. Zion boys basketball team.

Staff Writer

Last year, the Mt. Zion boys basketball team made it to the regional championship and lost two points to MacArthur and placed second in both holiday tournaments last year. Head coach Dale Schuring said the goal for his team has to be more being a champion, than winning a championship.

Coach Schuring said that it feels good to be back at practice and it looks like his players are enjoying being back and are looking forward to it with some big goals. During the off-season, the Braves focused on improvement by playing tougher competition and what they did last year, but tweaked it a little bit adjustment wise.

The Braves graduated starting center Carson Cuddy. The Braves return seniors Grant McAtee and Owen Owens along with starting junior guards Sam Driscoll and Lyncoln Koester along with forward Brayden Trimble and sophomore center Jc Anderson.

“I think legitimately we are nine-10 deep. Is there gonna be a little bit of drop off, you know, from the first five to the second five or whatever? Yeah, or maybe drop off on eight, nine and 10 compared to the first seven. But, I think we’re extremely deep and I think the thing is we have so many interchangeable pieces, so we’ve got a lot of different combinations we could put out there and still be successful, whether that’s very quick, very tall, whatever.”

With seven seniors and a handful of juniors on his roster, Coach Schuring said that has to become better at communicating on the floor and know where they’re supposed to be on the court.

“Leadership to me it has to be a player led team, yes, and I think they’re old enough now and familiar enough with what we’re going to do or what we have done that we’re gonna continue to where, they can help each other out with the finite details of stuff,” Coach Schuring said.

“It’s not so much you’re supposed to be there, not here, it’s now that you’re where you’re supposed to be, what’s the key to that particular aspect of it. So, I think they gotta become better communicators on the court too, is the other thing. Some of them aren’t talkers and then we have to do a better job of talking and that’s, and I think that’s part of just growing up in the leadership part as well.”

Coach Schuring said that the team had a meeting the other night and goals were heard that were expected to be heard, but the goal for his team is to become a champion and winning a championship will come with that.

“We had a meeting the other night and some of the goals you would expect them to throw out they did and I’m not saying those aren’t goals, but I think the goal has to be more of being a champion rather than winning a championship,” Coach Schuring said. “Because to be a champion you have to commit to everything on a daily basis and if you commit to everything on a daily basis, those other tangible championship things are more likely to happen. So it’s more about being an everyday go to work, focus, go hard, be a great teammate, all that stuff that goes into a championship level team has to happen on a daily basis and let’s not focus on “we gotta win this tournament.”

Coach Schuring’s overall message to readers and the community is that his team will be expected to be good, but will be fun to watch.

“I think we certainly are expected to be good. We certainly have the potential to be very good,” Coach Schuring said. “I think we play a very watchable, fun type of game and we’re going to add some things that we haven’t done in the past that may make it even a little bit more fun to watch. So,come out and see something that’s been building for a couple years and it’s getting close to where we want it to be and hopefully, we can be champions, not only on a daily basis, but as we go through the season.”

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