28 On Opening Roster For Hillsboro Boys Basketball

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Twenty-eight candidates for the 2021-2022 boys’ basketball squad began practice for the upcoming season on Monday, Nov. 8. The season itself begins Tuesday evening, Nov. 22, in Rochester. The junior varsity game there begins at 5:30. 

Coach Kyle McBrain (assisted by Corbin Govaia as the junior varsity coach; Judge Chris Matoush and Jeremy Connor) has scheduled the annual sports drink scrimmage for 6 p.m. Friday evening, Nov. 19. Junior varsity candidates will begin the festivities, with varsity to follow; elementary school players will not participate this season.

After the Rochester trip the varsity will be in the Kaskaskian Classic in Carlyle; the Toppers open that always tough tournament by facing perennial power Woodlawn at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 27. The other first round games are Pinckneyville vs. Okawville at 4:30, Nokomis vs. Greenville at 6 p.m., and host Carlyle vs. Flora at 7:30. Nokomis and Greenville are both in Pool B; Hillsboro, Carlyle, Flora, and Woodlawn make up Pool A. 

After the opening session, the Toppers face Flora at 6 p.m. on Monday, November 29, and Carlyle at 7:30 on Wednesday, Dec. 1. Nokomis plays Okawville at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, and Pinckneyville at 6 p.m. the next night. The tournament will conclude with four games matching cross-pool teams based on records on Saturday, Dec. 4.

Four of the five Topper starters from the team that finished 14-0 in the pandemic shortened last season return; only Jace Tuetken graduated. Two of the returners (Gavin Matoush and Drake Vogel) are seniors; the other seniors are last season’s second man off the bench Bryce Connor, transfer Blaine  Stewart, and Dominic Haggard. The other returning starters are among the five juniors. Blaze Helton and Will Christian started as sophomores; Brayden  Fowler is a transfer. Dillon Devlin primarily saw junior varsity action; Zion McKinney is the fifth junior. 

The sophomore group includes Deklan Riggs, Dylan Lessman, Mitchell Lowe, Landon Summers, transfer Jace Stewart, Peyton Brown, Adrian Harston, and Ketch Mills. The biggest class is the freshman with 10 hopefuls: Drake McSperritt, Jackson Tuetken, Nate Matoush, Atticus Bertolino, Peyton Chesney, Nathan Schaake, Brodie Clinard, Caleb Greenwood, Clayton Rufus, and Dominic Clark.

The full varsity schedule is still in flux because of pandemic considerations; it changed as of a South Central Conference athletic director’s meeting on last Tuesday. When available it will be printed in The Journal-News.

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