2016-17 CNC Basketball Preview

RIVERTON - After going 19-4 and reaching the state tournament the last two years, the Riverton boys basketball team will be rebuilding. With 23 out, first time head coach Bronson Schaake said of the Rams, “We’re young and fairly inexperienced, but our skill set is further along than I thought we would be. We took 18 players to three tournaments last summer. They got experience, and we got a chance to meet each other.”

Coach Schaake is new to the area, as a graduate of Basehor High School outside of Kansas City. He played basketball at St. Mary’s College in Leavenworth, and was an assistant at Immaculata Catholic High School in Leavenworth. Long time assistant Brandon Pate is again back, along with J.D. Heatherly, a graduate of Girard. The Heatherly name is a familiar name in the Riverton area. His father and grandfather coached in Riverton and Baxter Springs.

The Rams have 6 members from last years squad, with none being seniors. Juniors returning are 5’ 10” Levi Zustiak, 6’ 2” Bailey Landsford, 5’ 11” Travis Comer and 6’ 1” Gage Kirby. From the sophomore class are 6’ 1” Carson Shockley, 6’ 3” Matt Tiel, 5’ 8” Max Marrow, and 5’ 11” Tyler Zustiak. Two freshmen are projected to see some varsity action, Bryce Johnson, a 6’ 3” guard, and Carter Brown, a 6’ 3” swingman.

“We plan to prevent, and delay everything” said Coach Schaake. “We will be small so we can’t set back and wait.”

Twenty-one girls are out for the Lady Rams, with 13 being freshmen. Coach C.J. August, who is entering his third year as head coach, returns six ladies from last season. With solid leadership up front, senior Macy Williams, a 5’ 4” point guard, will be a fourth year starter. Four other seniors have banded together throughout their high school careers. Shelby Edwards, 5’ 8”, Jaylee Hopkins, 5’ 7”, Sam Greninger, 5’ 6” and Olivia Patterson, 5’ 8”. Two juniors return, 5’ 7” Neali Weaver, and 5’ 10” Kimmi Qualls. CNC League selectee in both softball and volleyball junior Jamee Compton will try her athletic hand at roundball.

The girls and boys teams start the season this Friday, traveling to Cherryvale. A 6 p.m. tip-off is scheduled for the girls with the boys to follow.