Indians rely on seniors for leadership
Picking up a Class B district win before ending its season last year with a loss to Onsted in the second game of districts gave Tecumseh’s varsity boys basketball team an overall record of 6-16.
The district win was a highlight that coach Marc Comstock want’s to repeat but another goal for the team is to improve on the amount of wins recorded. Several of the team’s losses may have been wins had the Indians not lost control of the contests after having a lead.
“We do want to attack a little bit more that we did last year,” said Tecumseh coach Marc Comstock. “We were a little too cautious at times last year”
The Indians opened their season at home on Tuesday evening against Parma Western and despite having a slow start, defeated the visiting Panthers 61-46.
This year Onsted and Gabriel Richard are in another district and the coach said, “It’s really wide open this year” as to what team is expected to win the title.
The Indians went 2-8 in the Southeastern Conference last year and the competition in the division is just as tough as it ever was.
Members of the White Division are Adrian, Chelsea, Dexter, Lincoln, Tecumseh and Ypsilanti.
Members of the SEC Red Division are Ann Arbor Huron, Ann Arbor Pioneer, Ann Arbor Skyline, Bedford, Monroe and Saline.
“We’re going to try and win a few more games in the league but we’re also realistic, too, that with Ypsi in the league and some of the dynamics they bring, it’s tough to say let’s win the league and the next thing you know you find yourself five games behind,” said Comstock. “So, our goal again is to win the district and be playing our best basketball in February going into the district tournament.”
Tecumseh has seven members from last year’s squad returning as well as four new faces on the team.
“We think we’re improved,” said Comstock. “We’ve got a lot of kids back with a large senior group. All those kids put in a lot of minutes for us last year.”
Returners include seniors Jacob Britt, Eric Eldred, Kyle Bryan, Nick Coffin, Casey Hunt, Ben Kasper and Ryan Watkins.
Comstock is starting Coffin at the point with sophomore Jimmy Terry as his back up.
Kasper is the number two-man at shooting guard with Watkins and junior Ben Vannatter as his relief.
Last year starter Brad Vannatter graduated but his brother Ben was moved up from the junior varsity team. Ben has a much different style of play than his brother and is expected to back up a couple of positions.
Senior Eric Eldred will start as the number three small forward with first year varsity player Vannatter also stepping in as his back up.
“Inside we’ve got a three man rotation — Casey Hunt, Jacob Britt, and Kyle Bryan — and those three will rotate inside,” said Comstock. “Right now we have an eight man rotation.”
Also joining the Indians are junior Derien Mattson, sophomore Jimmy Terry and junior Phil Carey.
For his first season, Comstock was unable to defeat archrival Adrian in both meetings. The Maples beat the Indians 59-27 the first game and 44-35 in the second match-up.
“We changed a few things offensively that we weren’t doing early in the year last year, but we’re pretty similar,” the coach said. “We still play the match-up zone, which has been good for me and good for us last year. Our kids are much better at it. They understand it more.”
The Indians overall schedule is a bit lighter than last season giving the Indians a good opportunity to earn more victories.
“We’re hoping we can push maybe the ten win mark,” said Comstock. “Our schedule is a little better for us this year with home games and some non-conference opponents we think we’ll be very competitive with.”