Braves boys hoops begin new chapter under first-year head coach Streit
With major turnover from last season, including eight seniors and the departure of its head coach, the Bonner Springs boys basketball team understands the difficult task of the coming year.
The Braves took their first steps of preparation when their 9th- and 10th-grade squad finished third in the “B” bracket at the Mid America Youth Basketball Tournament last weekend in Bonner Springs.
“It was a kind of evaluation tool to see what I have for next season,” head coach Dan Streit said.
Having the tournament at the home gym was also a plus.
“To stay at home and play, you can’t beat that at all,” he said.
Although Streit was the assistant coach behind his predecessor Andy Price for two seasons, he believes his relationship with many of these players has grown well through other coaching experiences.
“My strong asset has always been my communication,” Streit said. “Having coached many of these young men in 7th- and 8th-grade football, they know me. So I knew that transition would be easy.”
Since Streit was also one of the tournament directors, he relied on former player Anthony Brown to help with coaching this weekend.
With shakeups between coaches and teachers moving around, Streit thought this would be a good time for Brown to try his hand at handling the clipboard.
“He was really receptive of that and he really enjoyed it,” Streit said. “He couldn’t stop thanking me enough after the tournament was done.”
In their first game of the weekend, Bonner Springs came back from a 20-point deficit to win in overtime against Paola on Friday.
Then on Saturday, the Braves luck changed on Saturday when they lost to the Topeka Titans by six in their first game.
Later, the Columbia Clippers also nipped Bonner Springs to put it into lower pool play on Sunday.
Battling back in their bracket, the Braves grabbed a victory in their first game on Sunday against a team from Lawrence Seabury Academy.
From the beginning, the Braves were in charge defensively, which led to an easy win.
Bonner Springs then went onto face Lansing where it lost in a nail biter by only six points.
The Braves started out well, but couldn’t hit some shots down the stretch, according to Streit.
In the final game of the weekend, the Braves got after their opponent from Eudora defensively and eventually pulled away by a 17-point margin.
Juniors Jordan Jackson and Travis Dooley have the only varsity experience to rely on for next season.
However, two brothers stood out to Streit on the weekend in sophomore Brenden Dotson and his older brother, Zshavon Dotson. Streit said Zshavon led the team in scoring in all six games.
Streit believes the younger Dotson could be a very capable point guard.
“We saw him grow last year and he has the potential of being a point guard in this league,” Streit said.
Along with the Dotson duo, having this group come together for a dozen workouts this summer helped them mold together and develop continuity early.
Streit said that he saw some chemistry this weekend, even players anticipating passes and cuts from fellow teammates.
Still, with eight seniors gone from last season and a new leader at the helm, the process to win has a long time to develop before the season starts.
“I look at it like we’ve got a lot of work to do, but they’re good young kids,” Streit said.