OTIS – The Otis-Bison Cougars graduated one giant piece of their offensive puzzle – 6-9 Kyle Patrick. The Cougars finished 13-9 and 4-4 in Central Prairie League action.
But head coach Kyle Patrick returns four starters — Nick Higgason (5.1 ppg), Brandon Keller (6.9 ppg), Hayden Maier (12.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and Kade Urban (5.5 ppg). Six-four freshman sensation Maitland Wiltse will step in and provide height inside. Sophomore Clade Anderson (6-2) is a promising newcomer.
The Cougars (13-9, 4-4 CPL) were stunned by Macksville in the substate semifinals last year.
Patrick likes the height and athleticism he sees so far.
“We expect to have another winning season and I expect to be a competitive team,” Patrick said. “We believe we can compete for a substate championship. We must shoot better and we must be more efficient on offense.”
Patrick believes the team’s strengths will be defense, rebounding and familiarity with the Cougars’ style of play.
“We will be a tough defensive team and should be a aggressive rebounding team,” Patrick said. “We need to be efficient on offense and score points and will lack depth and will need some younger boys to develop quickly. Should be a contender at state, barring any injuries.”
The biggest change is a shift to Class 2A where the Cougars will see Hodgeman County, Kinsley, LaCrosse, Minneola and Satanta at the Kinsley substate. The Otis-Bison boys were Class 1A state runner-up in 2012.
Otis-Bison standout Taylor Regan scored 30 points against Class 2A state champion Central Plains last season.
Regan provides the Cougars with a reliable scorer to mix with senior veterans Megan Tammen and Haley Vondracek. Juniors Cayla Steinert, Caitlyn Scholowsky and Alix Schneider will also contribute.
Class 1A-Division I
Coach: Erin Patrick (3rd, 27-18) (209-93 career)
Last year: 13-9 (4-4, 4th)
Nick Higgason, 5-11, sr., 5.1 ppg; Brandon Keller, 5-9, sr., 6.9 ppg; Hayden Maier, 6-4, sr., 12.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg; Kade Urban, 5-11, jr., 5.5 ppg; Trevor Trapp, 5-9, jr.; Lapo Corsi, 5-9, jr.; Blake Bahr, 5-8, so.; Clade Anderson, 6-4, so.; Tanner Loucks, 5-10, so.; Jared Vondracek, 6-2, so.; Caleb Cheely, 5-6, fr.; Tanner Welsh, 5-8, fr.; Maitland Wiltse, 6-4, fr.; Anton Foust, 6-1, fr.; Luke Higgason, 5-11, fr.
Coach: Robert Trapp (1st year)
Last year: 6-15 (2-6, 6th)
Haley Vondracek, 5-9, sr.; Megan Tammen, 5-5, sr.; Taylor Regan, 5-9, jr.; Cayla Steinert, 5-6, jr.; Caitlyn Schilowsky, 5-5, jr.; Alix Schneider, 5-6, jr.; Ross Cody, 5-5, so.; Lacey Mitchell, 5-5, so.; Jenna Hlavaty, 5-5, so.; Madison Schneider, 5-9, so.; Nicky Barlow, 5-0, fr.; Sidney Schneider, 5-4, fr.; Kailyn Loucks, 5-2, fr.; Sheridan Ewy, 5-4, fr.; Kaleigh Maier, 5-4, fr.; Kaylin Knaple, 5-5, fr.
12-8—Cunningham at Fairfield Classic
12-11—at Flinthills at Fairfield Classic
12-12—at Fairfield Classic
1-18 to 1-23—at Hoisington Winter Jam
2-23—at St. John
3-3 to 3-5—at 2A Kinsley substate