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Posted On: 03/9/18 10:00 AM
Over the course of the high school basketball season, it is always great to see the programs that turn around their fortunes from one year to the next. Here are some of those teams that experienced big turnarounds from 2017 to 2018.
Spokane: The Owls won only three games last season, but they came back to win 17 games and a Class 1 district championship this season. They were led by 6’1″ 2019 guard Isaiah Bean and 2018 guard Jack Rigdon, plus a talented group of freshman who saw lots of playing time.
Dora: The Falcons were 12-13 a year ago, but turned things around in a hurry to win 23 games and a district championship with victories over such teams as Walnut Grove in the process. The catalysts for the turnaround were the talented 2021 class, led by 5’10” bucket-getter Isaac Haney and the 5’11” Luna triplets, Bryson, Mason and Auston.
Joplin: After compiling a 12-16 mark a year ago, the Eagles came back this year with an 18-9 record and a Class 5 district championship, which was their first since 1994. The Eagles have a young and talented nucleus led by 6’2″ 2020 guard Evan Guillory, who can do a little of everything.
Green City: After winning only 10 games in 2017, Green City came back to win 21 game and a district championship in Class 1. The key to the turnaround was 6’1″ 2019 do-it-all performer Devin Fields, who averaged 24 points and nearly 10 rebounds a game.
Milan: The Wildcats were a solid 14-11 a year ago, but they exploded this season to a 27-3 record and a berth in the Class 2 state quarterfinals. Expect the winning to continue as young players drove the bus in 6’3″ 2020 forward Ryan Dabney, 6’1″ 2020 guard Hunter Shaw and 5’10” 2021 guard Hunter Dabney.
John Burroughs: The Bombers were 8-17 year ago, but they turned it around in 2018 to finish 17-9 and win the Metro League title and a berth in the Class 4, District 5 championship game. First-year coach Corey Frazier is one of the best in the state and he worked his magic, along with 2018 shooting guard Jake Goldfarb and brothers, 2019 D.J. Miller and 2020 Brandon Miller.
Lesterville: After winning only five games last season, Lesterville got things turned around with 15 victories with a young nucleus, led by 2020 guard Holden Laughman, 2020 guard Brendan Myers and 2019 guard Mathes Riley.
Slater: After winning nine games in 2017, Slater rebounded to win 18 games to earn a berth in the Class 1 state quarterfinals. Class of 2018 guard Keshawn White was the catalyst of the big turnaround with his athleticism and big playmaking ability.
Lakeland: The Vikings won 14 games a year ago, but improved this season to 26 victories and a Class 1 district championship. They were led by talented 2021 performer Rafe Kalberloh, who averaged nearly 19 points a game
Vienna: The Eagles went from winning only six games in 2017 to a 19-8 record in 2018. The reason was simple. They had a healthy Isaac Weider. The 6’3″ 2018 scoring machine suffered a season-ending knee injury last year and the Eagles plummeted. A healthy Weider returned to average 25 points a game to lead the Eagles to a healthy winning record.
Southwest Livingston: A big improvement was had here as Southwest Livingston went from eight victories to a 21-6 record and a berth in a Class 1 district championship game. They were led by 6’5″ 2020 forward Mack Anderson, who averaged 20 points a game.
Raytown South: The Cardinals won only 12 games last season, but they finished the season on a surge in the playoffs. This season, Ray South sits at 21-5 with a Class 4 district championship and a strong chance to advance to the Final Four. They are led by the dynamic duo of 6’6″ 2018 forward Sevon Witt and 6’3″ 2018 guard Jamar Madge.