The 2021-22 season ended with Delta boys basketball just under .500 (10-12), but they hope to continue progressing in the 2022-23 campaign.
“We have a lot of experience coming back this year. Some of our guys have been playing at the varsity level for the last two or three years, and we look to use that leadership and experience to our advantage. Our competition within practices will help us improve throughout the season, and we look to build off the positives we had last year,” said second-year coach Matt Brighton on his outlook for the upcoming season.
Notable returnees for the Panthers include Bryce Gillen, second team All-Northwest Ohio Athletic League and honorable mention All-District 7 and Nolan Risner, honorable mention All-NWOAL and in District 7. Gillen averaged 9.25 points per game a year ago while Risner averaged 8.67 ppg.
Also returning for the Panthers are Bryar Knapp (3.15 ppg), James Ruple (5.38 ppg), Justin Ruple (4.92 ppg) and Jude Gibbons (2 ppg). They will be adding newcomers Luke Reinhard, Reece Verdin and Brodey Roth.
Experience and work ethic are strengths for Delta this season, while they will be weak in overall size and depth, according to their head coach.
The Panthers will need to replace departing seniors Josh Tresnan-Reighard, DJ Davis and Alex Hodge.
Delta finished just 1-6 in the league a season ago. They have been grinding all off-season with the hopes of improving that number.
“The NWOAL is a very competitive league with a number of great coaches. The play is physical and there are many players who can execute at any time during a game, and that has helped guide our offseason workouts,” said Brighton. “We have worked hard in the weight room as well as finishing around the basket. We are hoping that the work our players have put in this off-season helps us compete with other teams in our league.”
Delta visits Pettisville this Friday to begin the season.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.