MOUNDRIDGE – Size up front combined with a highly proficient point guard will key the push toward a trip to the state tournament in 2022-23 for the Moundridge boys basketball program.
In 2021-22 the Moundridge boys basketball program tied for a Heart of America league title and went 18-4 overall before falling in sub-state by a heartbreaking three points to county rival Inman. In 2022-23, they look to push forward toward a hopeful trip to the Class 2A state tournament.
Beginning his 36th season as leader of the Wildcat boys program, head coach Vance Unrau has an overall record of 543-258 that includes nine trips to the state tournament with five of those being crowned state champions. Among those state championships was an outstanding run of four straight state trophies from 1990 to 1993 as well as another in 1997.
“This team is perhaps the most skilled offensive group that I have coached in some time,” noted coach Unrau when sharing his thoughts on the upcoming season.
What helps is having a pair of first-team all-league and all-state players returning to the court in Logan Churchill and Landon Kaufman.
Churchill is a six-foot-seven senior forward/guard who hit for 18.5 points per game last season while hauling down 6.4 rebounds and making 2.3 blocks per game as well.
Balancing out Churchill’s size is Kaufman, a five-foot-eleven senior guard who chipped in with 16.1 points per game while grabbing 2.2 rebounds and dishing out a whopping 6.7 assists per game last season.
Also returning to the court will be sophomore Barrett Moddelmog who had a strong freshman season where he averaged 8.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game while earning honorable mention all-league honors.
A pair of guards, six-foot-one sophomore Henry Hecox and six-foot-one senior Alec Huddle also return to form a strong nucleus to build with for 2022-23.
“We do have (Logan) Churchill and (Landon) Kaufman as well as (Barrett) Moddelmog returning after earning all-league and all-state honors,” added coach Unrau. “All three were starters and major contributors from last season’s 18-4 team. (Henry) Hecox played a key role last year and is expected to play a much larger role this season while (Alec) Huddle has had a good off-season, and although he has had limited varsity experience, he played an important part in the team’s summer development.”
When questioned about any weakness the Wildcats will need to deal with for the upcoming season, coach Unrau said, “Depth is a big question as we play with a short bench, at least early in the season until our younger guys develop. Deficiency in consistent defensive and rebounding play will also be something we have to do better at and make a priority.”
According to the Wildcat coaches, Inman, Bennington, and Berean Academy appear to be the teams to beat in the Heart of America League while other top teams to contend with on their 2022-23 schedule will be Little River, Hillsboro (defending state Class 2A champions), Wichita Independent and the teams in the annual Canton/Galva tournament.
Coach Unrau concluded his pre-season reflections by commenting, “I want this team to play free, fast, and confident. Having said that, we will play in the half-court and ball control as necessary. These guys have a high ceiling of how I think they can play and what we can accomplish.”
The Wildcat boys will open the 2022-23 season on Friday, December 2 on the road at Elyria Christian.
(The Staff covering McPherson County Activities can be reached by email at email@example.com)