SMOKY VALLEY LOSES 80% OF OFFENSE, RETURNS HELINE & LYSELL-STEWART

By William

LINDSBORG – While on paper it looks to be a near total rebuild for the Smoky Valley boys basketball team in 2020-21, Head Coach Doug Schneider will see the quickness and enthusiasm of those Vikings returning as the keys to success.

The Vikings will need to replace all five starters off the 2019-20 team, including 80% of their offensive scoring. Greatly missed will be second-team All-Central Kansas League guard Cade Schneider and Trey Kennedy.

But Coach Schneider is enthusiastic about the team that will hit the court on Friday, December 4 when they host Abilene.

“In the beginning it may appear to be a work in progress as I work to determine what lineups provide the best play for the season. But as always, we will have players who have been chomping at the bit to fill those roles left empty by graduation and have quickness and cohesiveness that they built playing junior varsity ball.”

Here is a season preview of the 2020-21 Smoky Valley Vikings:

OPENING 2 WEEKS OF THE SEASON FOR THE SMOKY VALLEY VIKINGS:

  • Open the season on Friday, December 4 hosting Abilene.
  • Tuesday, December 8 – on the road at Southeast of Saline.
  • Friday, December 11 – host Concordia.
  • Tuesday, December 15 – on the road at Hesston.
  • Friday, December 18 – host Halstead.

WHAT DOES COACH DOUG SCNEIDER BRING TO THE BENCH?

  • Head Coach Doug Schneider is in his 10th season leading the Smoky Valley boys basketball program.
  • Coach Schneider previously served as Head Coach at Marion High School from 1995-97 where his teams finished 7-35.
  • Coach Schneider was an assistant coach at Smoky Valley from 2000-2011 when the teams went 164-49.
  • In the 2019-20 season, Coach Schneider led the Viking boys to an overall record of 6-15 and a 2-7 record in Central Kansas League play.
  • In 2019-20, the Smoky Valley boys lost to eventual Sub-State Champion Haven during the 1st round of the sub-state tournament.

WHO DOES NOT RETURN FOR THE SMOKY VALLEY VIKINGS?

  • The Vikings will have to replace all five starters due to graduation and nearly 80% of their scoring from the 2019-20 season.
  • Cade Schneider, a second-team All-CKL guard who averaged 13.2 points per game.
  • Trey Kennedy, who averaged 11.6 points per game.

WHO DOES RETURN FOR THE SMOKY VALLEY VIKINGS?

The Smoky Valley Vikings will return no starters but several quality lettermen:

  • Ryan Heline, a senior 5’9” guard who averaged 3.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game in 2019-20.
  • Brandt Heble, a senior 5’9” forward who averaged 2.5 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game in 2019-20.
  • Ty Miller, a junior 5’10” guard who averaged 1.2 points per game in 2019-20.
  • Haven Lysell-Stewart, a junior 6’3” forward who averaged 3.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in 2019-20 as a sophomore.

RETURNEES & NEWCOMER(S) THAT MAY SEE PLAYING TIME?

Among the other returnees and/or newcomers that Coach Schneider is counting on to contribute are:

  • Jake Lucas, a senior guard who missed most of the 2019-20 season with an injury.
  • Jalen Elseth, a senior guard.
  • Joe Osowski, a senior forward.

WHAT COACH SCHNEIDER IS SAYING ABOUT THE UPCOMING 2020-21 SMOKY VALLEY VIKING SEASON?

TALKING ABOUT HIS PLAYERS:

  • Coach Schneider notes, “The Vikings will be looking for their new seniors to jump into a leadership role and take over the reins of this year’s team.”
  • “Ryan Heline is a senior who had a strong 2019 campaign and will be called upon to run the offense from the guard position.”
  • “Brandt Heble will be needed to show major production in the frontcourt for his senior season.”
  • “Haven Lysell-Stewart is a junior who also needs to show some major production in the frontcourt and build on his successes coming off the bench in 2019-20.”
  • “Jake Lucas, a senior, will be needed to get off to the good start he did in 2019-20 before an injury sidelined him for the majority of the season.”
  • “Both Ty Miller and Jalen Elseth are two other seniors that will be called on to help run the offense.”

WHAT DOES COACH SCHNEIDER SEE AS THE WEAKNESS COMING INTO THE 2020-21 SEASON:

  • “Our interior defense will be a question mark this season as the Vikings will be smaller compared to a number of teams in the paint.”
  • “Outside shooting will also be an area where the Vikings will have to show much improvement.”
  • “It will be important for the Vikings to stretch the floor to create more space to allow their inside game room to work.”
  • “In the beginning, it will be a work in progress to determine what lineups provide the best play for this year’s team.”
  • “As always, we must replace some very fine players from last year’s team, but we have players who are chomping at the bit to fill those roles.”

WHAT DOES COACH SCHNEIDER SEE AS THE STRENGTH OF THE VIKINGS FOR THE 2020-21 SEASON:

  • “Defense as the 2020 Viking team will hang their hat on their defense because the players take pride in playing hard-nosed defense and really look to shut down teams wherever possible.”
  • “This 2020-21 team has quickness across the board and a strong cohesiveness after playing together a lot during last season at the junior varsity level.”
  • “Inside the paint, while the Vikings will not be very tall, we will look to create a number of mismatches due to their moderate size and quickness.”
  • “The 2020-21 Vikings will have strong team depth with a number of players who should be able to compete for varsity playing time.”

COACH SCHNEIDER’S TEAM GOAL OR GOALS FOR THE 2020-21 SEASON:

  • “To be highly competitive in every game.”
  • “To finish in the top four (4) of the Sterling Invitational Tournament.”
  • “To have the opportunity to WIN sub-state.”
  • “To finish in the top-3 of the CKL (Central Kansas League).”

TEAMS THAT COACH SCHNEIDER SEES AS TOP COMPETITORS IN 2020-21 SEASON:

  • “The top teams in the Central Kansas League for 2020-21 should be Hesston as they are the reigning league champion while Hoisington brings back everyone from a very solid 2019-20 season, as does both Lyons and Hillsboro.”
  • “As for Kansas Class 3A – I see Beloit, Hoisington, Hesston and Wichita Collegiate as four teams that one should consider Class 3A state powers.”

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