Varsity Basketball

GARDEN PLAIN BOYS: Owls not starting late this year

Todd Hague is used to being woefully unprepared.

It's not necessarily his fault, though. It's just what happens when you're the boys basketball coach in a football-crazy town like Garden Plain, where the Owls expect to contend for state titles each year.

Two years ago, Hague had four practices with his team before their first game. Last year, it was eight.

Not that he's complaining. Because the less practice his team gets in the preseason, well, the better the football team did.

This year, for the first time in his five seasons, Hague actually had a full team for his first day of practice after Garden Plain lost to Collegiate in the first round of the state playoffs.

"It's not something you ever complain about, because you're happy for the kids," Hague said. "But most of our team is football players, so when they're gone we only have like three or four kids.

"When (Garden Plain) plays in the state title game, it's the Saturday after Thanksgiving and we play the next Friday, so it can be pretty rough."

Hague will be happy to have the extra time this year with 6-foot-1 senior shooting guard Jake Becker, an honorable mention All-Central Plains League selection after averaging 11 points.

"Jake is a slashing-type guard, and his quick first step is what he really has relied on," Hague said. "We'd like to see him step it out a bit more and be consistent with his jump shot, which is something I think he's worked on."

Hague also returns 6-5 junior Chris Sponsel, who averaged 5 points last season, and 5-11 senior forward Thomas Bugner.

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PLAYERS TO WATCH



















PLAYERS TO WATCH







OUTLOOK

Hubert is 5-foot-10 and can rebound and score with the best, averaging 14 points and nine rebounds as a junior. Senior guard Pauly (13 points, 8 assists) will have to pick up the slack until Hubert’s possible second-semester return.

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