CADOTT — The bus for the Cadott boys basketball team will be logging plenty of miles early this season.
The Hornets play 10 of their first 11 games on the road, including six in a row to start the season. Cadott has just one home game before Jan. 16, a Western Cloverbelt Conference matchup with Osseo-Fairchild on Dec. 15.
Brandon Mittermeyer enters his ninth season leading the Hornets and with one starter returning from a season ago, Mittermeyer said the early road games could help his team.
“We’ve played better on the road than at home. It might be a benefit…we’re going to find out early,” Mittermeyer said.
The schedule does even out in the second half of the season as Cadott finishes with seven of its last nine regular season games at home.
Those early games away from home will give Mittermeyer and his coaching staff a chance to see how a largely new cast of varsity players can handle the hostile environments of the road.
The one starter the team returns is senior forward Matthew Drilling, who averaged 11.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists from a season ago. Seniors Joey Starck (5.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG), Garrett Roth (4.6 PPG, 1.4 RPG) and Nicky Nesvacil (2.8 PPG, 2.0 RPG) all played in 22 games a season ago while senior Michael Emery played in 13 games and averaged around one point and one rebound per game as the Hornets finished last season with a 10-13 record, the most wins for the program since it went 19-5 and finished second in the conference in 2012-13.
“I see that we have a completely different team from last year,” Mittermeyer said. “We’re really shallow, we don’t have a lot of depth so we’ve been working on getting ourselves in better shape instead of any offensive pattern or anything like that. We’ve been mostly working on skills and getting ready to stay on the floor for most of the game.”
Bailey Davis, Ben Klahr, Coy Bowe, Mason Poehls, Andy Hinzmann, Mitch Drilling and Noah Kahl all played in at least one game last year and will be looked to for more this winter.
Mittermeyer said his team is focusing on being physical and rebounding well, two things he expects from his squad despite a lack of size up front. The Hornets opened the season on Tuesday at Cornell and begins conference play on Thursday at Eau Claire Regis.
The team will need to become road warriors early in the season, but as they do Mittermeyer said he wants his squad to focus on being smart with the ball while working to find good shots.
“My hope is we can limit turnovers, especially early on in the season so we can keep these games so they can get wild later on,” Mittermeyer said. “I think these guys with their decision making, we should be able to control the ball.”