Minico High School
Conference: Great Basin (West) Conference
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Head Coach: Ty Shippen
Years as Head Coach: 4th Season
Previous Experience: 10 Years Boys Head Coach at Skyline, 1 Year Grad Assistant at University of Alaska Anchorage
Record Last Year: 22-5
State Titles: None
Matthew Brumley, F/C, 12
Tyson Durrant, SG, 12
Larry Vega, G, 11
Chase Chandler, SG, 12
Returning Players with Honors:
Matthew Brumley, First Team All-State, First Team All-Conference, Second Team All-Tournament
Larry Vega, All-Conference Honorable Mention
Key Players lost from last year:
Josh Pilling, G/F, Great Basin Conference Player of the Year and 4A First Team All-State. He was also 4A State Tournament First Team. Was a great leader and did so much for the team. Leading scorer and leading rebounder. Also led team in assists. Hard to replace.
Peyton Bailey, PG, best defender. Super quick and a hard worker. First Team All-Conference and the 4A State Tournament MVP last year.
Jeremy Stevenson, W, played both ends of the floor. Was long and a great finisher. Second Team All-Conference and 4A State Tournament Honorable Mention.
Incoming impact players:
Kobe Matsen, 6'7", 10, F/C
Regan Povlsen, 6'3", 11, G/F
Brant Etherington, 6'1", 9, G
Written by: Sven Alskog
If it wasn't in a program like Minico, the loss of what was an outstanding senior class from one year ago might mean a rebuilding season. However, for the Spartans, the proper word is reload.
Gone is reigning Conference Player of the Year Josh Pilling, along with fellow All-Conference backcourt players Peyton Bailey and Jeremy Stevenson.
That group helped lead Minico to 22 wins and a third place finish at the state tournament this past March.
Fourth year Head Coach Ty Shippen still has plenty to work with though on his new-look roster.
"Our strength is our balance. We can go inside and out. We have some length with Matthew Brumley [6’5"], Kobe Matsen [6’7"] and Colton Hardy [6’6"]. We have players with state experience. I think they learned what it takes to play at a high level. Their leadership will play a big role on our team this year."
That size should have the Spartans towering over teams in conference play.
Brumley looks to be the go-to scorer for this edition of the team. He has plenty of experience filling up the stat sheet already, as the senior was a First Team All-State selection last year and set a tournament record for field goals in a game with a 14-15 performance in the tourney opener against Caldwell.
What is sometimes lost in the shuffle of things after seeing an outstanding senior class graduate is the impact those players had defensively and with leadership.
"We lost two outstanding on-ball defenders from last year in Peyton Bailey and Jeremy Stevenson. Jeremy set a Minico record in steals," said Shippen. "We’ll have to really lean on our team defense this year, especially early. We will use multiple defenses to keep teams off balance. Our calling card was defense last year. We have to find our identity on defense and commit to playing hard every possession and every play. We hope to be better rebounders as well."
While those losses do hurt, the length and athleticism this Spartans team has will make things difficult for opponents.
"We feel like our strength can be hard work and communication," said Shippen. "We have some experience and some athleticism, but they will have to commit on the defensive end. We are looking for those defensive stoppers on this squad. We hope to see that play out in practice. Matthew Brumley set a Minico record in blocks. We’ll need continued rim protectors and good perimeter defensive ball pressure to be successful."
One of the things that Minico has done well over the years has been controlling the pace of the game. It is a style that can be altered to either grind it out or speed it up. Being able to do both is something many teams struggle with, but this group should be able to again do it in a variety of ways.
In order to take the top spot out of the conference the Spartans will need to gel early in the season.
"To win the conference again this year we will have to find toughness and unity," said Shippen. "The question is how well our new players will develop and how fast we can find team chemistry. This team has to buy into defense and take pride in stopping our opponents. How quickly the younger players pick up the baton will determine our team’s success."
He is most excited to work with what is an experienced team of quality talent on and off the court.
"I’m excited to get back to in-season coaching with this group of young men. They are great kids and a joy to be around. We have experience coming back. I’m excited to see the individual development of our players. I’m excited for the process from start to finish. I’m really looking forward to see how pieces fit together this season with experience and youth."
There is no question that this can be another season where Minico makes a run at things come March. With a good mix of size, speed and scoring ability, Shippen has another solid roster to put a scare into any team in the 4A ranks.