Tigers’ new coach upbeat about season

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


ETHAN BRINKMAN of Howards Grove attempts to dribble past Mishicot’s Quenten Haack in basketball action Nov. 22. Brinkman, a junior guard, was an All-CLC first-team guard last season. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley ETHAN BRINKMAN of Howards Grove attempts to dribble past Mishicot’s Quenten Haack in basketball action Nov. 22. Brinkman, a junior guard, was an All-CLC first-team guard last season. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley HOWARDS GROVE – New head coach Eric Worth is very high on his young Howards Grove boys basketball team which is off to a 3-0 start this season.

“I believe we’ll be able to compete with most teams because of the hard work we put in on a daily basis,” said Worth who replaced Mark Christenson who stepped down after last season.

“We’re young and lack experience in a number of areas. However, I think our daily preparation will help us prepare for those situations we may face later on in the season.

“I love my guys. This is a great group of kids who are very coachable and I’m extremely excited to see where this journey will take us,” said Worth who coached and played basketball for legendary Sheboygan North head coach Tom Desotell.

Howards finished 16-8 overall last season and reached the Division 4 regional finals.

The Tigers have only three seniors on the roster but two of them earned All-Central Lakeshore Conference honors last season – junior guard Ethan Brinkman on the first team and senior guard Austin Edge who made the second unit. Brinkman led the Tigers in scoring with a 17.8 points-pergame average, three-point goals, 58 and three-point shooting with 42 percent.

Brinkman, selected the Tigers’ Most Valuable Player for the 2012-13 campaign, was the CLC scoring champion with an 18.6 average and first in three-point goals with 39. He ranked second in three-point shooting at 45.3 percent.

Edge led Howards in steals with 38 (1.6 average), and was second in scoring at 11.4 per contest and assists with 58 (2.4 average). He ranked fourth in the CLC in assists with 47 (2.9 average per game).

Brinkman and Edge are the team’s returning starters. Senior forward CJ Berg joins the other two players as the Tigers’ returning letter winners.

Worth pointed out his team’s strengths and weaknesses.

“Our size could hurt us against the bigger teams that we’ll face. I think one of our strengths is that the kids are willing to do whatever it takes to get better,” he observed.

“They are very coachable and I think they’re buying into the motto of ‘get comfortable being uncomfortable.’ They have pushed through everything that we have thrown at them so far this season and we will continue to break barriers each day we spend together.

“We have a number of guys that are about the same size and I can put in at different positions. If one guy is having a tough night we’ll be able to put another guy in there. I think we’re capable of going pretty deep on the bench if we need to,” said the coach.

Worth expects key contributions from all of the Tigers.

“I believe everyone has their role and will lead us in one way or the other. Some guys are scorers, some guys are distributors and some guys bring the toughness,” he noted.

Worth stated the keys for his team to be successful.

“Have faith in the process. Focus on one day at a time. I always tell our guys, on this journey we don’t just jump from here to there,” he said.

“We have to progress and build on each day. I believe we installed a solid foundation through the first two weeks and we’re looking to build each day.”

Worth said that according to the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook, defending champion Oostburg and last season’s runner-up Sheboygan Lutheran are the leading CLC title contenders.

Oostburg finished 16-0 last season in the league but lost three All-CLC first-team picks to graduation. Lutheran has a firstteam player back in senior Tyler Zastrow. The Tigers tied for third with Ozaukee at 11-5.

Worth’s top goals are to get better each day and keep pushing throughout workouts. He said if the team can focus on those two areas then he thinks the players will be able to compete at a high level.

HOWARDS GROVE BOYS
BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Varsity/JV1 and JV2
Nov. 22 – Mishicot, here
Nov. 26 – @ Cedar Grove (JV1-V)
Nov. 30 – Algoma, here
Dec. 3 – Kohler (JV1-V), here
Dec. 6 – @ Oostburg
Dec. 12 – Sheb. Lutheran (JV1-V, here
Dec. 17 – @ Elkhart Lake (JV1-V)
Dec. 28 – @ St. Mary’s Springs
Jan. 3 – @ Denmark (JV1-V)
Jan. 7 – Random Lake (JV1-V), here
Jan. 10 – @ Ozaukee

Jan. 13 – Kiel, here
Jan. 16 – @ Sheboygan Christian
Jan. 18 – Cedar Grove (JV1-V), here
Jan. 21 – @ Kohler
Jan. 24 – Oostburg, here
Jan. 30 – @ Sheb. Lutheran (JV1-V)
Feb. 4 – Elkhart Lake (JV1-V), here
Feb. 10 – @ New Holstein
Feb. 13 – @ Random Lake
Feb. 18 – Ozaukee, here
Feb. 21 – Sheboygan Christian, here
HOWARDS GROVE VARSITY
BOYS BASKETBALL ROSTER
Name Gr. Ht. Pos.

C.J. Berg 12 6-4 F
Austin Edge 12 6-0 G
Jordan Siemers 12 6-0 F
Trent Beninghaus 11 6-2 F
Ethan Brinkman 11 6-2 G
Zach Fritz 11 5-7 G
Jonah Gerber 11 6-1 F
Willie Goedeke 11 6-4 F
Dakota Rabe 11 5-10 G
Andrew Reinemann 11 6-0 G
Luke Stanczyk 11 6-1 F
Alex Strege 11 6-0 G
Nick Brickner 10 6-2 F
Derrick Grimm 10 5-5 G


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