By William / www.mcpherson-county-ks.com

CANTON – During the 2020-21 season the Canton/Galva boys basketball team spent a lot of time learning a new system of basketball under first year coach Larry O’Connor, now they are ready to take their arduous work to a new level for 2021-22.

Just like last season, the Eagles will have a late start in hitting the hardwood at full speed due their football team once again still playing in the state playoffs and the opening night of basketball is just around the corner.

Now in his second season, Eagle head coach Larry O’Connor looks for the team to improve on the 9-10 finish they had in his first season.

“We spent a lot of time learning about me and a totally new system of basketball,” explained Coach O’Connor. “These kids are very diligent workers, very athletic and we have numbers, so it should equal out to more success on the court.”

Replacing graduates Brayden Collins, Brandon Huff, Brayden Minson and Andrew Prieb would be more difficult if it were not for the number of Eagles returning.

Canton/Galva may have a head start on the offensive end as they return 39.6 points per game in seniors Tyson Struber, Christian Darrah, and Xavier Westbrook along with juniors Garrett Maltbie, Cason Mastre and TJ Koehn.

Combine that with four talented sophomores and the Eagles could find success that will equal a winning season and hopefully a shot at a trip to the state tournament.

Here is a complete summary of the upcoming 2021-22 season for the Canton/Galva Eagles:

CANTON/GALVA EAGLES OPENING MONTH OF THE 2021-22 SEASON =

Friday, December 3 = Host Rural Vista

Monday, December 6 – Saturday, December 11 = Play in the Bluebird Classic at Goessel

Tuesday, December 14 = At Lyons

Friday, December 17 = Host Solomon

Saturday, December 18 = At Wakefield

WHAT YOU GET WITH EAGLES HEAD COACH LARRY O’CONNOR =

  • Entering his second season as head coach of the Eagles.
  • Coach the Eagles to a 9-10 mark in season one as they place 4th in the Wheat State League.
  • Overall coaching record of 398-141 with previous stops at Brewster (126-9), Sharon Springs/Wallace County (213-122).
  • Assistant/Junior Varsity Coach = Ted Regehr

CANTON/GALVA EAGLE PLAYERS WHO GRADUATED/TRANSFERRED =

  • Brayden Collins
  • Brandon Huff
  • Brayden Minson
  • Andrew Prieb

KEY RETURNING EAGLE PLAYERS FOR 2021-22 =

  • Tyson Struber = senior – averaged 12.7 points per game – All-Wheat State League Player.
  • Christian Darrah = senior – averaged 7.1 points per game.
  • Xavier Westbrook = senior – averaged 2.7 points per game.
  • Garrett Maltbie = junior – averaged 8.6 points per game – Team Defensive Player of the Year.
  • Cason Mastre = junior – averaged 5.4 points per game.
  • TJ Koehn = junior – averaged 3.1 points per game.

INCOMING EAGLE PLAYERS TO PAY ATTENTION TO =

  • Brayden Doughman, senior
  • Preston Minson, junior
  • Jaden Ediger, sophomore
  • Wyatt Collins, sophomore
  • Lane McMannis, sophomore
  • Jory Ratzlaff, sophomore

WHAT COACH LARRY O’CONNOR HAS TO SAY =

On the 2020-21 Season = “It was my first season as head coach, so it was a lot about learning about me and a totally new system of basketball.”

On the Eagle team strengths = “We will be deep with numbers, very athletic, and they are all diligent workers.”

On the Eagle team weaknesses = “Many are still picking up the fundamentals of basketball while they also need to work on their shooting. We gradually gaining more knowledge of the game of basketball itself.”

What do the Eagles need to concentrate on in 2021-22 = “We need to continue working on getting the new system to work while also continue on learning to know how to win.”

{Canton/Galva Eagle Previews are SPONSORED by CrossDove Creations}