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Trojans look to balance veteran leadership with youth this season

Tri-Center Boys Basketball Preview 23-24

Tri-Center Coach Chad Harder is pleased with a 5-2 start for the Trojans this season. Tri-Center has opened the 23-24 season with wins over Lo-Ma, Audubon, West Harrison, and Missouri Valley. They started a tough week leading up to winter break with a win at MVAOCOU and will host undefeated Underwood and travel to play a tough Riverside squad to wrap up the 2023 portion of their season.

Versatility on Display: Tri-Center has kicked off the season with a strong sense of versatility, showcasing different playing styles in their first seven games. In the initial match against Logan, they emphasized an inside game, while the second game saw a barrage of three-pointers. Coach Harder expresses satisfaction with this adaptability, emphasizing the goal of spreading out scoring and making each player better. The balance has lead to a strong 5-2 start to the season.

Filling the Void: The departure of standout players like Michael Turner and Kent Elliott presented challenges for Tri-Center, both in terms of leadership and on-court performance. However, Coach Harder highlights the strategic approach of building a program that prepares players for the next step. Five seniors have stepped up, taking on increased responsibilities and leadership roles, ensuring that the team doesn't rely on a single player to fill the void left by Turner and Elliott.

The Freshman Sensation - AJ Harder: A notable addition to the Trojans roster, AJ Harder, has had an impressive start in his freshman campaign. Harder currently leads the Trojans in scoring. Despite his young age, AJ has embraced the role of point guard, focusing on making his teammates better. Coach Harder acknowledges AJ's familiarity with the program, having been around it since birth. The coaching staff is impressed with AJ's understanding of the game and his commitment to the team's success.

Team Chemistry and Culture: Tri-Center places a strong emphasis on team cohesion and culture. The coaching staff is pleased with how quickly the team has gelled, crediting the seniors for their leadership in bringing younger players along. The commitment of the players to the program's values and the overall goal of playing for Tri-Center since their early years has fostered a positive and hardworking team culture.

Looking Ahead: As the season progresses, Coach Harder emphasizes the importance of maintaining versatility. The team believes they can press, play zone, play man-to-man, and win in different offensive schemes. Key players like Christian Dahir, Isaac Wohlhuter, and Zach Murley bring essential skills to the team, contributing to its overall success. The coaching staff is focused on taking one game at a time, continuously improving, and not becoming complacent.

Final Thoughts: Tri-Center enters the 2023-2024 season with a mix of experienced players and promising younger talent. The team's commitment to versatility, teamwork, and a strong work ethic positions them well for success. As they navigate the challenges of replacing key players, Tri-Center remains optimistic about their chances and looks forward to an exciting and competitive season.

You can follow all the stats, rosters, and results of the Boys Basketball team on their Bound page.

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