By Jordan Burton (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Yr One for Damon Seiger at Ava couldn’t have gone a lot better.
The Bears put collectively a 24-6 file and claimed a district championship for the primary time in a decade, advancing to the Class 3 quarterfinals earlier than being eradicated by eventual Class 3 runner-up and perennial energy Charleston. Whereas it didn’t finish the best way Ava needed, the run served for instance of what could possibly be for an rising program.
“It was a terrific experience as our group rallied round our guys and confirmed them the assist they so deserved,” mentioned Seiger. “I felt as if basketball was significant once more in Ava as you say it had been some time since we had had a season with as a lot success as we did. We have been merely outmatched that specific day. I do consider our guys bought an actual style of what the postseason is all about and the way thrilling it may be. We’ve got numerous holes to fill however assume our guys are prepared and up for the problem once more.”
Seiger should discover a technique to change a terrific senior class that accounted for 3 starters and 6 whole lettermen, however he can have the luxurious of returning the SCA Participant of the Yr in 6-foot-3 junior Andrew Dalton.
As a sophomore he averaged 19.2 factors, 8.4 rebounds and a couple of.5 assists. Dalton is thought to be one of many high 2022 prospects in Missouri.
“Andrew is the last word competitor that may do what it takes to achieve success,” mentioned Seiger. “Being the son of a former coach he has had the drive and data to place him forward of numerous others. He makes these round higher and his talent set permits him to play all 5 positions on the ground when wanted.”
Additionally return is senior guard Quinton Donley and junior guard Blayne Mendel. Each will tackle elevated roles, particularly with the lack of senior Zach Mendel on account of a soccer harm. Each Donley and Mendel are shifty guards that may look to make an influence on each ends of the ground.
“Quinton has actually come into his personal this summer time and devoted himself to being greater than only a shooter for this upcoming yr,” mentioned Seiger. “We anticipate huge issues out of him as he has elevated power and might assault extra off the dribble in addition to shot the three at a 40 % clip final season.
“Blayne is an excellent facilitator that may take extra of a scoring position with this yr’s group. He had a terrific summer time of exercises and we anticipate huge issues out of him as our major ball handler.”
The newcomers that may fill out the rotation is a veteran group when it comes to age, however should modify to new roles on the varsity degree.
Seniors Bryse Dodson, Mason Cole, Dylan Sawyer and Payton Evans, in addition to juniors Ethan Donley, Corey Heinlein, will see vital minutes this yr.
Dodson is an undersized put up whose grit makes him an asset within the paint. Evans and Donley each confirmed the power to attain the ball on the JV degree and the duo of Cole and Heinlein are two of essentially the most athletic gamers in this system. Seiger additionally believes Sawyer will be one other lead guard that has the power to make photographs.
The roster definitely had some turnover however the expectations didn’t. Seiger and the Bears totally anticipate to compete for SCA and district championships for years to return.
“Night time in and evening out you had higher present up able to play within the SCA,” mentioned Seiger. “This yr shall be no totally different, as we would be the hunted and everybody shall be seeking to knock us off. Highway video games at Thayer, Willow, Liberty, and Grove will show a problem for us all through convention play. Simply because the case with any yr our general well being and talent to play properly in January and February shall be key. I like our group of fellows this yr however have some new faces that should show themselves early. It’s an thrilling time to be part of Ava Bear Basketball.”
Ava will open the 2020-21 season at dwelling towards Seymour on Nov. 24.