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CURRENT ARTICLE
11/29/2011 - 2011-2012 HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL PREVIEW: STERLING


STERLING JETS
Head Coach: Jimmy Motz, 5th season (80-24)
Assistants: Andy Saathoff & Jerry Motz
2010-2011 Record: 23-6, Class D-2 3rd place champions
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS
Colin VanGroningen, 6-0, Sr.; Archie Keebler, 6-2, Sr.; Michael Lucas, 6-5, Jr.; Ryan Zuhlke, 6-0, Jr.; Kody Benson, 6-5, So.; Chris Wenzl, 6-0, So.
OTHERS TO WATCH
Levi McCartney, 6-2, Sr.; Ceaton Malone, 6-6, Jr.; Trevor Huls, 5-8, Jr.; Trey Trauernicht, 5-11, So.; Jesse Phillips, 6-3, So.
OUTLOOK
The Jets are looking to make it four straight state tournament appearances in 2011-12, but will have to fill some major holes due to the loss of eight seniors from last year's 3rd place winner at state.  Senior Colin VanGroningen is the lone returning starter and will shoulder most of the load for a team that only returns six letterwinners.  VanGroningen is the team's returning leader in points, rebounds, assists, and steals.  Junior Micheal Lucas and sophomore Kody Benson showed promise a year ago and are expected to fill the voids inside the paint.  Football injuries will hinder some of the progress early on, as Ryan Zuhlke and Chris Wenzl aren't expected to return till mid-January.  Motz, in his 5th season, likes the make-up of his front line, that has eight guys listed over 6-2 or higher.  Guard play will be critical, as VanGroningen is the only one with any varsity experience.
KEY GAMES
December 2 @ Falls City Sacred Heart; December 10 @ Hanover, KS; December 16 Pawnee City; January 3 @ Johnson-Brock; January 21 Nebraska City Lourdes; January 24 @ Sutton; February 17 Freeman
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