Prairie Home faces building year with just one starter back

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
The Prairie Home boys basketball team (front row, left to right) Wyatt Case, Oliver Lock, Peyton Pitts and Christian Nieves. (back row, left to right) Grant Milne, Landon Case, Tripp Kendrick, Jackson Pitts and Blayne Williams. Not pictured is Layne Brandes.

With only one returning starter back from the 2020-21 season, the Prairie Home boys basketball team will look to the upcoming season as a learning and building year-at least from the start under head coach Trever Huth.

Although the Panthers finished just two games under .500 for the season in 2020-21 at 9-11, they were 2-1 in the Central Activities Conference-which was good enough for second place.

This season with only nine players suited out for the season, Huth said the Panthers have a lot of players getting a lot of varsity time this season so there will be some growing pains to start but even through that they will still be a tough team to handle night in and night out.

Huth also sees a competitive conference this season even though there are only three teams. He said the Panthers fit somewhere towards the top but noted that Jamestown and Calvary Lutheran are also going to be good.

The key to Prairie Home’s success will depend on how well they play together, playing hard and never giving up on each other. “The boys work hard every practice and that will take us in a positive direction for games,” Huth said. “We move the ball well and move it well as a team. Defensively, we play hard and fast and will look to get every ball we can. Offensively, we are getting better every day. Taking care of the ball will be important for us this season.”

With just one starter and six letter winners back from a year ago, Huth said the youth and inexperience will be a weakness to start the year. He said when the players get some minutes under their belt that will slowly change. “As we learn, we’ll catch up with the speed of the game,” Huth said. “Like any team, our goals would be to play every game until the last second and play hard.”

Although the Panthers may be young and inexperienced this season, Huth still returns several players who saw varsity action last year. Huth said Oliver Lock will play the point guard position and will look to lead the team this season. “Oliver has varsity time and handles the ball well by making good decisions and passes,” Huth said. “He can stretch the floor with his jump shot and get to the rim when needed.”

Another player who saw playing time last year on varsity was Peyton Pitts. Huth said Pitts is a flexible player that will get moved around a lot this season. “He’s a do-it-all kid that works hard and has improved his game from last season to really have an impact this season,” Huth said.

With Pitts at the power forward position, Huth will also look for Tripp Kendrick to play down low at the center position. Huth said Kendrick will hold down the post spot this season. “Trip works hard in the post by rebounding and getting position,” Huth said. “He has a good jump shot to go along with a good basketball mind.”

Other players that will see playing time at the power forward position this season for Prairie Home are Landon Case and Wyatt Case. Huth said Landon is a tall, long kid that works hard and has learned a lot from last season. “He hustles and works hard every day to improve his game,” Huth said. “As for Wyatt, he hustles for every ball that he can. He is a smart kid that plays the game well. He plays bigger than he really is while having a little touch to go with that.”

Also, playing the guard position for the Panthers this season are Layne Brandes and Jackson Pitts. Huth said Brandes got some time last year on the varsity level and has improved and learned a lot from last season. “Layne has a good jump shot and is fast,” Huth said. “We will look to him to handle the defense. As for Jackson, he has worked hard to improve his defense and knowledge of the game. He’s a good shooter that can handle the ball well. Jackson rebounds the ball well for his size and fights for position well.”