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Tigers look to build off 10-win season

Senior Danton Allen goes up for a layup during Meet the Tigers Night on Thursday, Nov. 9 at Excelsior Springs High School. Allen is one of seven seniors on this year’s team. (Photo by Bryce Mereness)

November 17, 2017 – For the first time in more than a decade a Tigers basketball team won 10 games a year ago as the boys team finished with a 10-14 record, reaching the semifinals of the Class 4 District 15 tournament.

Now, the team is looking to build off of that success in coach Chad Wright’s third season in charge.

“Hopefully we have some experience for the last two years of me instilling myself into the program,” Wright said. “Hopefully we’re stronger defensively. We have seven seniors, all of which will contribute in different ways. They’re all solid kids. Hopefully with their leadership we can build off of what we did last year.”

Leading the way is senior Peyton Soria, the team’s returning leading scorer from a year ago. Soria will be the focal point of a revamped offense after the graduation of Logan Littrell and Dakota Rimmer who provided strong guard play a year ago.

“We’re trying to get everyone involved.” Soria said. “We have seven seniors and we’re trying to get everyone in it. We lost a couple of offensive weapons last year so we have to lock down our defense so we don’t have to score as much.”

The Tigers have plenty of experience on paper with seven seniors, however most have not played together since middle school, with players spread over C, JV and varsity teams over their respective careers.

“We’re with each other every day in practice throughout the years, but this is the first time we’ve really played together,” Soria said. “We played really well together over the summer. This is the first time all seven of us have played together, game wise. So we’ll build our chemistry as the year goes on.”

Seniors Nick Butler, Chris Whitmore, Landon Seely and Danton Allen each saw significant varsity playing time a year ago. Dalton Allen and Alex Courson will get their first taste of steady varsity action this year.

Sophomores Brandon Gluhm and Breydon Haight will also step into larger varsity roles this year.

“I think people will see a lot of new faces,” Wright said. “Even though we have seven seniors, not many of them have a ton of varsity playing time outside of Peyton and Landon. We’re going to have to bring up some kids who gave us big minutes at the JV level last year.”

By Bryce Mereness • bryce@esstandard.com

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