West Liberty Boys Basketball

Comet boys team lacks scorers; open season Tuesday

Mid-Prairie tough opening test

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With three returning starters, the West Liberty High School boys basketball team is hoping to play off some “valuable experience” of a year ago.

The Comets had a dismal 4-16 record a year ago including a 2-14 showing in the talented River Valley Conference for coach James Laughlin, now in his 16th season, toting a 135-264 career win-loss mark.

With South Division All-Conference talent Caleb Wulf, a senior, returning as well as junior Ty Jones and sophomore Jayce McHugh, the young Comets hope to build a team that will compete.

Wulf, who averaged 13.8 points per game a year ago at guard is the only offensive player who boasts double figures while Jones, another guard, averaged 6.o points per game a year ago. McHugh, a forward, averaged 2.0 points per game. Wulf was also the team’s leading rebounder last year, averaging 7.4 a game.

Eion Bardell, a senior forward is also a returning letter winner for the Comets while Diego Hernandez is the tallest player on the team as a junior forward, standing 6-2.

Other players on the team including junior guard Mason Young, senior guard Josh Perex-Echevarria and sophomore guard Ryan Noble.

Laughlin says scoring will be a concern for his team, noting he will be looking for more consistency on the offensive end of the floor and hopes to develop more offensive players beside Wulf to guide his squad. “We need to develop some depth so we can play an up-tempo style,” the coach said.

The team lost Hector Adames to graduation a year ago. He was averaging 6.9 points per game while Chance Thrasher also graduated with his 6.5 points per game. Jahsiah Galvan, who scored at a 5.5 clip last year as a junior, decided not to play basketball this season, moving to the wrestling mats.

The Comets hit just 31 percent of their field goals a year ago including just under 31 percent from the three-point range.

The team also hit just 45.1 percent of their free throws last year.

Laughlin knows Mid-Prairie, Wilton and West Branch will be the teams to beat in the South Division of the conference and says Monticello and Camanche should battle for the north division title.

That may mean a tough opener for the Comets, who will play against Mid-Prairie High School on Tuesday, Nov. 30, in their home opener at 7:45 p.m. before visiting Durant in another RVC contest at 7:35 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3, the second outing of a 21-game schedule.

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