Scoring figures to be a specialty for the Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca boys’ basketball team this year.
Although the 25 member roster will face some injury-related uncertainty, the ability to score is not in question.
Coach Mark Hrabik said the scoring chances is enough to make a conservative ball coach opt for high flying tactics.
“I think we are going to be a team with players who have good offensive skills and who can put the ball in the hole,” said Hrabik.
The dangerous nature of the Rocket attack stems directly from diversity.
“On any given night, we could have one, two, three or all five of them be on—that could be fun to watch,” said Hrabik.
Back to those injuries, the Rockets were without one of their guards and post men during the preseason.
The guard, Monty Roberts, will return. He had suffered a clavicle injury during football and was kept out of scrimmaging during the preseason.
He did work on timing and went through the drills with medical clearance for full participation coming in time for the opening game.
As for post presence Jake Heitkamp, the news isn’t as good. Heitkamp’s knee injury will keep him out for the duration of the season.
That leaves Ethan Zastera, a senior forward, as the tallest man on the Rocket roster and the go-to-guy in the paint.
Zastera does return with significant experience and should be a major player on the squad.
Other players to watch for the Rockets this year include Trevor Brinkman, a junior who logged solid playing time last year, and Ben Nannen, who has logged some good court time as well.
The Rockets will enter the season looking for the fifth, sixth and seventh players to round out the line up.
There are definite options.
Blake Zoller, a senior, saw extensive JV time last year and had a good summer.
Christian Frederick, a junior, went out for wrestling last year. He was a basketball player his freshman year.
Coach Hrabik said having Frederick back on the basketball team is great news and noted that the Rocket possesses great athletic ability and a good shooting touch.
Cody Ryan, a senior, and Colby Buller, a junior, will be counted on as well.
The line up will likely fall into place as the Rockets find out how to play to their strengths this year.
Last year’s squad definitely found its way in that regard. S-D-A posted a 17-win campaign in 2015-16 and went unbeaten in the Capitol Conference to claim the regular season league championship.
Coach Hrabik said that was an accomplishment the program hadn’t achieved in many years and noted that even some of the best teams he coached were unable to go through the conference slate without a blemish.
The conference should be solid this year. Top teams figure to be Platteview and Wahoo.
Subdistrict wise, the Rockets face what Coach Hrabik said is a competitive field of teams. And Boys Town waits on the other side for a possible district final match up.
The road to state won’t be easy. But with the scoring ability of this team and its cohesive nature, don’t count the Rockets out.
“I am looking at my team and I am saying that we can be a really good team,” said Hrabik. “I like the way they play together. They trust each other.”