First-year coach pleased with Tigers’ season

by Matt Kraus Review Correspondent

HOWARDS GROVE — The Howards Grove Tigers finished the 2013-2014 boys basketball season tied for third place in the Central Lakeshore Conference with a 9-7 record and were 14-10 overall.

Head coach Eric Worth described the key to the team’s success being “toughness and character.”

He emphasized that all of the boys needed to be recognized for their contributions to the team.

“They worked very hard this year and we’re excited to see what the future has in store for them,” said Worth.

“I really was fortunate to work with such a great group of kids. Anything I asked them to do they were more than willing to go above and beyond to make it happen.”

Howards’ season ended with a Division 4 regional semifinal loss, 67-48, to St. Mary’s Springs in Fond du Lac, following a 64- 39 home playoff win against Random Lake.

The Tigers opened the season with a four-game winning streak but were only able to win two out of the next eight games. The Tigers regrouped and won seven of their next eight games.

They ended the regular season with two disappointing, hardfought home losses to Ozaukee and Sheboygan Christian, respectively, in CLC play.

Howards was the second-leading scoring team in the CLC (868 points, a 54.3 average per game), but struggles at the free-throw line (202 of 338, 60 percent), was a key factor in some of the lateseason losses.

The Tigers were third in the CLC in assists (186) and rebounds (561). Defensively, the Tigers gave up the second-fewest points in the CLC (54 points per game).

Looking forward to next year, Howards will return 11 players, including leading scorer Ethan Brinkman (15.4 points per game overall) and leading rebounder Trent Beninghaus, (six boards per game). Brinkman, a guard, and Beninghaus, a forward, were juniors this past season.

Worth said, “It’s always nice to have that experience. However, there is no substitute for hard work and that’s what needs to take place in the off-season.

“We’ll have a very competitive conference again next year and we’re very excited for the challenge.

“Our success will be based off the amount of work our kids in our program are willing to put in in the off-season,” said Worth who concluded his first season as the Tigers’ head coach.

“Overall, I thought the season went pretty well. You’re always looking to go farther and have more wins but the growth this year was tremendous.

“I truly believe the boys did a phenomenal job getting better and pushing each other every day. It was a very exciting year.”

AWARDS, FINAL STATS

All-conference recognition was given to senior guard Austin Edge on the first team and Brinkman, second team. As a team, the Tigers awarded Edge and Brinkman as the Co-Offensive Most Valuable Players.

The Defensive MVP was junior guard guard Andrew Reinemann, and Beninghaus was honored as the Most Improved Player.

Brinkman was the fifth-leading scorerintheCLCwithaa15.8 average. Edge was second on the Tiger squad in scoring overall at 12.4 per game and eighth in the CLC at 13.3.

Beninghaus was fourth in the CLC in rebounding (143, six per game). He was followed on the Tiger squad by junior forward Luke Stanczyk with four rebounds per game, and Edge’s 3.5 per contest.

Edge led the team in assists with 94 (3.9 average), followed by Brinkman (44), Reinemann (30) and Stanczyk (26).


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