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Eight seniors called on to lead BV boys back to state
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

December 12. 2013 10:04AM
Eight seniors on the Brandon Valley boy’s basketball roster have a tall order to fill this season.

Coming off a second place finish at the Class AA state tournament last year, Lynx head coach Brent Deckert says this year’s squad is equipped with enough talent to return to the state show again this season.

“I think we have a very good chance to go West River (in March),” Deckert said.

But before the team plans their post-season road trip, they’ve first got business to tend to on this side of the state. “We have a chance to be a very good team again this year but our seniors will have to play great,” he said. “They will have to learn to be more competitive than they were last year, and if they come together, play through the highs and the lows of every game and become more comfortable in uncomfortable situations, we have a chance to be a decent team in February and March.”

Deckert will look to eight seniors – four more than on last year’s 18-7 squad – to become that “decent team.”

The path to the post-season starts behind Nic Peterson, last year’s the second leading scorer. He’s currently hampered by an ankle injury, and could possibly sit out this first week. But Deckert says the 5-foot-10 senior “is as good as anyone who’s played basketball at Brandon Valley” and is the team’s biggest threat from 3-point territory.

He’ll be joined in the ranks by 6-foot-3 Jacob Adams, one of the program’s leading rebounders and scorers, who also likes to throw it up from beyond the arc.

In the first weeks of practice, Deckert said he likes what he’s seeing from Derek Johnson, a 6-foot-3 post player he cites “as good as a shooter as we have on our team.” Johnson, he says, “Is a kid that could fill a huge hole left open when Chase Marso graduated.”

Deckert anticipates the lanky Kevin Petersen (6-6) to be the difference in many games for the Lynx this season. “He provides us some length inside,” the coach said.

Seniors Ryan Sjoberg, Devan West, Ryan Immeker and Dominic Nealy will also get the call this year. Sjoberg, one of the team’s most consistent scorers, will definitely see varsity action this season. “If Ryan’s hitting shots, he’s going to be on the court,” Deckert assures.

West, who played most of his minutes as a back-up point guard last season, will see more playing time inside the paint this year “because he has that attack kind of attitude,” Deckert said. “He is a fun kid to coach because of how tough and competitive he is on the court,”

Nealy, a 6-foot-2 senior, who was a reserve player last season, will be called on to step up to play a major role on the court this year. “He’s a high-energy guy who deserved to play last year,” Deckert said, “and although he’s more of a slender kid, he’s long and he can extend his defense.”

Six juniors close out the varsity roster: Drew Reinschmidt, a 6-foot-0 point guard, who Deckert coins as “good of a ball defender as we’ve had,” and Tyler Erck, a 6-foot-4 post, “who has just been an animal (on the court) and in the weight room all fall.”
Austin Trevino (6-4 guard) is a quality shooter, who Deckert said, is a potential starter. Peter Choudek (6-4 post), Reid Grode (5-10 guard) and Ryan Larson (6-4 post) will also see playing time. Grode, however, is coming off surgery and likely won’t be in the mix until January.

The Lynx open their 2013-14 campaign this Friday at home against Brookings and on Saturday they pay a visit to the O’Gorman gym. They’re two of only three games the team plays this month. Ten games are on the January schedule.

Deckert cites Roosevelt and Lincoln as the top two programs in the Metro Conference. The Riders return with a plethora of talent. “They could easily do what they did last year,” Deckert said, despite graduating six.

As for the Lynx, Deckert says the team has the ability to be competitive against those programs.

“I like our team, but right now we’re having a hard time finding our niche because Nic’s not around,” he said. “I think once Nic hits the floor, everybody will feel a lot better.”

As for the ESD Conference, Huron and Yankton have Deckert’s respect this year.
Huron returns with three starters and is backed up by a very talented bench. As for the Bucks, the Lynx coach says they’re the most improved team and return a wealth of young talent. “Their bench might have been better than some of the kids starting last year,” Deckert said.

So how will the Lynx stack up against their ESD competition?

Deckert says the team is poised to finish in the top two or three of the league.

“Right now, I think our biggest issue will be putting the ball in the basket,” he said. “I think we’ll be good at other things, but without Nic it changes the dynamics.”
2013-14 Lynx Basketball Schedule
Dec. 13 Brookings
Dec. 14 at O’Gorman
Dec. 21 Pierre
Jan. 4 at Huron
Jan. 7 Mitchell
Jan. 9 S.F. Lincoln
Jan. 11 at Yankton
Jan. 14 Watertown
Jan. 18 Harrisburg
Jan. 23 at Brookings
Jan. 24 at Aberdeen Central
Jan. 31 at Pierre
Feb. 4 at Watertown
Feb. 8 at S.F. Roosevelt
Feb. 10 Yankton
Feb. 13 at Mitchell
Feb. 15 Huron
Feb. 21 at Harrisburg
Feb. 25 Aberdeen Central
March 1 District play-in game
March 3 District 2AA
March 7 District 2AA
March 11 Region 1AA
March 20-22 State AAs at Rapid City

Eight seniors will lead the Lynx boys this season on the hardwood. The group includes (kneeling) Nic Peterson and Ryan Sjoberg; (standing): Kevin Petersen, Dominic Nealy, Jacob Adams, Derek Johnson, Devan West and Ryan Immeker. Photo by Jill Meier

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