Bright outlook for experienced Tigers

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff

ETHAN BRINKMAN, shown dribbling downcourt versus Sheboygan Lutheran last season, heads an experienced Howards Grove basketball team. Brinkman, a senior guard, was an All- CLC second-team pick last season. – Review file photo ETHAN BRINKMAN, shown dribbling downcourt versus Sheboygan Lutheran last season, heads an experienced Howards Grove basketball team. Brinkman, a senior guard, was an All- CLC second-team pick last season. – Review file photo HOWARDS GROVE – With a vast amount of experience, the Howards Grove Tigers look to be in thick of the Central Lakeshore Conference boys basketball title chase this season.

The Tigers return nine letter winners, including four starters, from last season’s squad which shared third in the CLC at 9-7 and finished 14-10 overall. Senior guard Ethan Brinkman leads the group of starters, having been named to the All-CLC second team last season.

Brinkman was the Tigers’ top scorer as a junior with a 16.6 points-per-game average. He ranked fifth in the league in scoring with a 15.8 average. Brinkman, the Tigers’ Co-Most Valuable Player last season, tied for third in the CLC in three-point goals with 32.

The other starters back include senior forward Trent Beninghaus, senior guard/forward Andrew Reinemann and senior forward Luke Stanczyk. Beninghaus paced HGHS in rebounding last season at six per contest and averaged seven points per game. He was fourth in the CLC in rebounding at six per game.

Reinemann was the team’s Defensive MVP and Beninghaus, the Most Improved Player.

“The outlook is great. I have 10 guys returning from last year and the guys understand what the expectations are here at HG,” said second-year Tiger head coach Eric Worth.

“They have been bringing it each and every day and we’re enjoying the start to our journey together. The guys understand that this is a process and they’re striving to get better each and every day.

“If we can keep that focus throughout the season I think we’ll end up at the destination we in- tended,” Worth pointed out.

The other letter winners are seniors Jonah Gerber, Alex Strege, Zach Fritz, Derrick Grimm and Nick Brickner.

Worth said the team’s primary strengths are senior leadership, depth and a strong desire to compete.

“Lack of size is a concern but our work ethic should help us in that area,” said the coach.

“We have a great deal of depth and balance throughout our lineup. We have a number of kids who are ready to compete and it has been showing with the competitive levels at practice.

Worth expects Brinkman and Beninghaus to be the key players who will lead the squad but said there are a number of players who “could go off on any given night” [offensively].

Worth said all of the varsity newcomers have impressed him one way or another thus far.

“They all have contributed in some way and I think the biggest compliment I could give is that they’re bringing it every day,” he noted.

Worth thinks the keys for the Tigers to be successful are spirit, communication, hustle, approach, precision and enhancement.

He predicts a very competitive conference.

“There are a number of good teams that could take the top spot and I’m hoping we’ll be one of those teams competing for that top spot,” Worth said.

Sheboygan Lutheran is the defending

CLC champion. The Crusaders finished 16-0 in the league and 25-3 overall and were a Division 5 state qualifier. Lutheran returns senior guard Jacob Jurss, an All-CLC first-team pick last season.

Oostburg captured second last season with a 12-4 mark and is led by senior guard Lukas Meerdink, all-league honorable mention as a junior.

Worth pointed out his top goals for the campaign.

“Obviously, we’re trying to contend for conference [title] and make it deep into the playoffs but those are all by-products of what we do daily,” he said.

“We’re focused on our controllables, and those things are mainly how we go about our daily business.”

The Tigers advanced to the Division 4 regional semifinals, losing to St. Mary’s Springs (Fond du Lac), 67-48. HGHS defeated Random Lake in the first round, 64-39.

Varsity/JV1 and JV2
Nov. 29 – @ Algoma
Dec. 2 – @ Sheboygan Christian
Dec. 5 – Cedar Grove (JV1-V), here
Dec. 9 – @ Kohler (JV1-V)
Dec. 16 – Oostburg (JV1-V), here
Dec. 19 – @ Sheb. Lutheran (JV1-V)
Dec. 23 – St. Mary’s Springs, here
Dec. 30 – Chilton, here
Jan. 3 – New Holstein, here
Jan. 6 – Elkhart Lake (JV1-V), here
Jan. 10 – @ Mishicot
Jan. 13 – @ Random Lake (JV1-V)
Jan. 16 – Ozaukee, here
Jan. 22 – Sheboygan Christian, here
Jan. 24 – @ Cedar Grove (JV1-V)
Jan. 27 – Kohler (JV-V), here
Jan 30 – @ Oostburg (JV1-V)
Feb. 5 – Sheb. Luth. (JV1-V), here
Feb. 10 – @ Elkhart Lake (JV1-V)

Feb. 16 – @ Kiel (JV1-V)
Feb. 19 – Random Lake, here
Feb. 26 – @ Ozaukee

Name Gr. Ht. Pos.
Trent Beninghaus 12 6-4 F
Ethan Brinkman 12 6-2 G
Zach Fritz 12 5-9 G
Jonah Gerber 12 6-1 G/F
Willie Goedeke 12 6-4 F
Dakota Rabe 12 5-10 G
Andrew Reinemann 12 6-1 G/F
Luke Stanczyk 12 6-2 F
Alex Strege 12 6-1 G/F
Nick Brickner 11 6-2 F
Devin Gallenberger 11 6-2 F
Derrick Grimm 11 5-8 G
Jordan Miller 11 6-4 F
Travis Stanczyk 11 5-11 G

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