WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW: Cardinal basketball will have different look in 2013Comets return just two seniors
Head Coach: Jay Olson, 2nd year
Key Returnees: Charlie Rachford (Sr.), Kaleb Durflinger (Jr.)
Outlook: The Comets will have to rely on their stars for production. There are 11 juniors in the Cardinal basketball program, meaning much of the roster will get quality varsity experience before next season.
Cardinal’s 2013-14 basketball team will look very different than the team that lost in round one of last year’s district playoffs to Albia.
The Comets will be without last season’s leading scorer Dakota Showman, who led the team with 99 baskets and a 52.6 field goal percentage. Cody Carter, who led the squad in three pointers made, also graduated. Fellow graduates Jonathan Pederson and Neil Urtado have also walked out of the door.
“We’re looking to play more consistent this season,” second year coach Jay Olson said, “both offensively and defensively.”
The Comets will look to Charlie Rachford, one of Cardinal’s two seniors, for a lot of the offensive production. Rachford was second on the team last season in field goals made and three-point field goals. Olson will also look to junior Kaleb Durflinger, who is a rebounding machine under the basket.
“He’s more of a forward than a center,” Olson said. “Kaleb has the ability to score down low and from the outside.”
Durflinger averaged 6.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. His 164 rebounds were 50 more than any of his teammates managed, and his statistics can only go up now that he’s stronger as a junior.
Junior Nathan Yeager will be looking for prominent playing time inside as well.
Only five players have experience at the varsity level coming into the season. Summer basketball helped the Comets get more experience against quality competitors.
Cardinal will have to deal with stiff conference competition, including Van Buren, Holy Trinity Catholic, and Danville, who was the number one seed in the 1A State Playoffs last season and finished in second place the two seasons before that.
“We will have tough games night in and night out in conference play,” Olson said.
As for rivalries, the Comets have a two-day stretch where they play at Pekin Dec. 19 and then at Van Buren the very next night.
Cardinal starts the regular season Tuesday at home against Central Lee.
SEISC South Division: 2012-13 Standings
Team, Conference Record, Overall Record
Danville 20-0 27-1
Burl-Notre Dame 17-3 18-5
Holy Trinity 14-5 16-6
Van Buren 12-8 14-9
Cardinal 10-8 11-11
West Burlington 7-12 7-13
New London 7-12 7-16
Central Lee 7-13 7-16
Maharishi 1-17 3-19
Harmony 1-18 3-20
* Playoffs counted towards conference record
Cardinal 2013-14 Schedule: Varsity Basketball
12/3 vs. Central Lee
12/6 vs. Notre Dame
12/10 @ MSAE
12/13 @ New London
12/17 vs. West Burlington
12/20 @ Van Buren
1/3 @ Harmony
1/7 vs. Holy Trinity
1/10 vs. Danville
1/14 @ Central Lee
1/24 vs. New London
1/28 @ West Burlington
1/31 vs. Van Buren
2/4 vs. Harmony
2/7 @ Holy Trinity
2/11 @ Danville
2/14 SEISC Shootout