Ten seniors expected to lead Parker basketball this year
The Vikings open the 2007-2008 season with five seniors in the starting lineup and 10 seniors overall as they try to improve on last year’s 2-14 record in the Big Eight and 3-18 overall mark. Leadership shouldn’t be an issue.
Parker opens the season at Clinton at 3 p.m. Saturday.
“With a lot of seniors, we will have veterans on the floor,” said second-year Parker coach Jim LeMire. “I’m extremely pleased with the way they are pushing each other in practice.”
Riley Grafft leads the senior class. He is 6-foot, 10-inches tall and averaged 11 points and 10 rebounds last season.
“Riley has played a lot AAU basketball and has improved each summer,” LeMire said. “He is versatile. He can pull someone big outside or cause a match-up problem inside.’’
Grafft has a big upside, LeMire said, but he has a tendency to “hover around the three-point line.’’
“He moves very well for a big kid,’’ LeMire said. “He can handle the ball and pass it.’’
Jared Fox, a 6-foot senior, is a two-year starter who adds pop to the Vikings’ roster.
Fox is quick and plays good defense. A standout football player, Fox averaged five points and three rebounds last season.
“Fox has had success in football, and we’re hoping to channel that to the basketball floor,” LeMire said. “Fox should be more of a contributing factor this year. He should play with more confidence and realize his potential.’’
Fox’s football teammate, D’merius Holbrook, a 6-3, 225-pound senior, is a three-year varsity player who brings a strong physical presence to the Vikings. Holbrook averaged six points and three rebounds last season.
“D’merius takes up a lot of real estate on the floor,” LeMire said. “He has to learn to use his body.’’
Senior Trent Moe will take over a point guard.
“Moe is a humble kid who works extremely hard,” LeMire said. “Moe didn’t log a lot of minutes last year, but he is an unselfish kid that can find the open man.’’
LeMire expects 6-foot senior B.J. Scharenbroch, the football team’s starting quarterback, to bring poise to the team.
“He’s a savvy kid,” LeMire said. “He is fast, smart and solid on the floor.’’
Scharenbroch averaged four points and two rebounds last season.
LeMire expects 6-2 senior Jesse Logue to be the Vikings’ sparkplug.
“He is one of the kids that is most improved every single year,” LeMire said. “He has done nothing but play basketball, and it shows.
“He is extremely active,” LeMire added. “He’s my lunch-pail guy because he does the dirty work on offensive and defensive rebounds. He is always in the right place.’’
At 5-7, senior Loney Sam isn’t going to lead the Big Eight Conference in rebounding, but he may win the battle for most floor burns.
“He is not gifted vertically,” LeMire said. “But he has the biggest heart on the floor. There is no guy he won’t take a charge from. He is 100 percent hustle.’’
LeMire also expects senior Kevin Hesser’s shooting ability to boost the Vikings. Other seniors who will contribute are Ian Rung-Slatter and Chris Gunn.
Parker will also depend on juniors Logan Jones, Patrick Ackerman, Alex Hilt and Jason Knutson. Sophomore Jordan Thompson will also contribute.
LeMire said the Vikings’ first goal is to take care of the ball better than last season.
“Let’s just say we averaged double digits,” said LeMire of the Vikings’ turnover habit. “We struggled last year, and we have to work on that.’’
LeMire said Parker’s past history is just that—the past.
“It’s a new year. We have to work hard and stay focused,” LeMire said. “Every game is our biggest game.’’
The Parker boys basketball schedule:
November: x-24—At Clinton, 3 p.m. 29—At Madison La Follette.
December: 1—At Middleton, 2:45 p.m. 7—Madison Memorial. 13—At Janesville Craig. 15—At Beloit Memorial. x-27-28—Fort Atkinson Tournament, TBA.
January: 4—At Madison West. 5—Sun Prairie. 11—At Madison East. x-15—At Milton. 19—Madison La Follette. 25—At Madison Memorial. 31—Janesville Craig.
February: 2—Middleton. 5—Beloit. 9—Madison West. 12—At Sun Prairie. 15—Madison East. 19—WIAA regionals. 23—WIAA regionals. 29—WIAA sectionals.
March: 1—WIAA sectionals. 6-7-8—WIAA state tournament.
n Games start at 7:30 p.m. unless indicated.