ROZEL — It’s all about teamwork at Pawnee Heights High School. Pawnee Heights head boys basketball coach Gustavo Flores is an assistant coach for the girls. Head girls basketball coach Ty Josefiak helps coach the boys.
The Pawnee Heights girls basketball team finished 3-17 under first-year head coach Ty Josefiak. The Tigers defeated Deerfield twice and Manhattan Job Corps. Fowler beat the Tigers 39-39 in substate play.
The Tigers return some experience with seniors Kiersten Baier (2.5 ppg) and Catera Hoffman (6.4 ppg); junior Micaela Polson (2.3 ppg); and sophomores Regan Carlson (3.7 ppg), Allison Lupfer (6.3 ppg), Nicole Roberts (1.9 ppg) and Bailey Seltmann (1.4 ppg) gaining experience last season.
“I’m more upbeat this year because the girls are working harder,” Josefiak said. “They haven’t enjoyed much success, but I see that they want to play better basketball. They are developing a good mental attitude. They want to win more basketball games.”
Josefiak wants to see steady improvement.
“They play better basketball every day,” he said. “We’d love to get a win early in the season and see how much that helps us. These girls have kept playing hard and have never given up on getting better. They’ve learned to trust what I’m telling them and are more comfortable.”
The Tigers have worked to improve their ballhandling and being stronger with the basketball.
“They’re starting to see the floor and make a play rather than hesitate,” he said. “We want to push the pace a little and get down the court before the defense gets set up. We’re working on playing more man-to-man defense and may play some full-court defense to disrupt things.”
Three freshmen will make an immediate impact. The lack of height is a concern with no girl taller than 5-9.
BOYS — After a 1-18 season, Flores is optimistic the Tigers will be improved and more competitive. The Tigers beat Bucklin for their victory last season.
“Our goal is to exceed last year’s win total,” Flores said. “We want to compete better and give our best effort every time out.”
Colton Henbest, Caleb Karst and Spencer VanMeter are the leading returners. Freshman 6-2 Kade Scott gives the Tigers an inside presence.
“We’re better shooters and they are playing with more confidence,” Flores said. “They’ve been getting playing time during the summer and they are starting to believe they can compete. Kade Scott will give us a post player inside this year.”
The Tigers will slow teams with tough half-court defense that will mix man-to-man and zone.
“We have to be defensive oriented team and slow teams,” he said. “We’ll mix it up and play half-court man and zone. We’ll try and play some pressure defense.”
PAWNEE HEIGHTS BOYS
Head coach—Gustavo Flores 1-18 (0-7)
Colton Henbest, 6-1, C, sr.; Spencer VanMeter, 6-1, PG, jr.; Ryan Klenke, 5-8, PG, jr.; Trevor Miller, 5-9, G, jr.; Dawson Williams, 6-2, jr.; Caleb Karst, 6-0, PG, so.; Zak Solko, 6-1, so.; Kale McCoy, 6-0, fr.; Jacob Rivas, 5-5, fr.; Dalton Hamby, 5-8, fr.; Kade Scott, 6-2, fr.; Logan Williams, 6-0, fr.
PAWNEE HEIGHTS GIRLS
Head coach—Ty Josefiak (3-17, 0-7)
Kiersten Baier, sr., 2.5 ppg; Catera Hoffman, sr., 6.4 ppg; Shana Ditges, jr.; Micaela Polson, jr., 2.3 ppg; Regan Carlson, so., 3.7 ppg; Allison Lupfer, so., 6.3 ppg; Nicole Roberts, so., 1.9 ppg; Bailey Seltmann, so., 1.4 ppg; Stephanie Hands, fr.; Ashlee Miller, fr.; Katie Amspacker, fr.
PAWNEE HEIGHTS SCHEDULE
12-7 to 12-11—at Natoma Tournament
1-12—at Kiowa Co.*
1-20 to 1-22—at Dodge City, SPIAA Tournament
2-5—at South Gray*
2-12—at South Central*
2-29 to 3-5—at Burrton 1A substate