As we inch closer to the potential beginning of the 2021 basketball season, D9Sports.com took some time to catch up with area coaches to ask them some questions about the upcoming season. Despite graduating key players on both the boys and girls teams, the Moniteau Warriors have new talent ready to fill in the gaps as both teams look to challenge for the KSAC South title.
(Photo by: Jared Bakaysa)
Moniteau Girls Basketball
Coach: Dee Arblaster
Last Season: 11-12 (4-6 in KSAC South, 5th)
Dee Arblaster’s Moniteau Warriors were 4-6 in the KSAC South last season, narrowly missing out on a spot in the D9 playoffs. Despite graduating stellar offensive contributor Kristin Auvil, Asyln Pry and Abby Rottman are ready to shoulder the offensive load in 2021. Arblaster cited a pair of freshmen in Catherine Kelly and Kendall Sankey as ready to play a big role in 2020.
Arblaster loves the Moniteau team’s ability to compete in practice, and this internal competition should help keep the Warriors at a high level when it comes time for conference play. Arblaster also believes that the Warriors need to run the floor and play fast to be successful. If Moniteau can effectively utilize their athleticism, they should be a threat for any KSAC opponent.
Moniteau Boys Basketball
Coach: Mike Jewart
Last Season: 12-11 (5-5 in KSAC South, 5th)
Lost in Round One of D9 Class AAA Playoffs
After a successful 2019-2020 campaign, the Moniteau Warriors are looking to reload in 2021. Having graduated three strong seniors who could both score and rebound, the Warriors will need to find new sources of offense to win this season. To fill the void, coach Mike Jewart has faith in Kyle Pry, Moniteau’s lone returning full-time starter. “[Pry] is going to have the ball in his hands almost every offensive possession. He averaged a little over seven points per game last year, and he is going to be the guy we lean on in important situations.”
Alongside Pry, Jewart highlighted the work of Mason Mershimer, whose strength and high motor should greatly assist the Warriors on both ends of the court. Tanner Williams’ defensive contribution and the height and rebounding of Quinton Scriven will also be vital in the Warriors’ success this season. Other contributors include Chance Diaz, Chason Delarosa Rugg, Ryan Jewart, and Brady Thompson.
To win games in 2021, Jewart knows that his team needs to play big, despite their lack of size. “We are not a big team at all,” said Jewart. “Scriven is our tallest player at 6’3” but after that we have only one [other player] over 6’0”. We need to be able to use our speed and athleticism to get up and down the court. We also need to find a way to rebound the basketball against much larger opponents.” If the Warriors can snag rebounds, the squad’s strong depth and tremendous athleticism should put them in prime position in the KSAC South.