Evergreens hope this is one of the up years
MINONG -- The Northwood boys basketball team has had its ups and downs in recent years. One of the top teams in 2003 and rewarded with the school's first trip to the WIAA State Boys Basketball Tournament in Madison, not much has gone the Evergree...
MINONG -- The Northwood boys basketball team has had its ups and downs in recent years.
One of the top teams in 2003 and rewarded with the school's first trip to the WIAA State Boys Basketball Tournament in Madison, not much has gone the Evergreens way in recent years.
With a 9-13 record and a 5-7 mark in the Central Lakeland Conference last year, first-year coach Paul Vaara will look to return Northwood to its winning ways.
"With a new coach comes new ideas," Vaara said. "This year's team will focus on some differences in their style of play while keeping some things that have made this program successful in the past. We'll all have to step up and work hard to blend those styles together."
The 'Greens will have to develop their new identity without Josh Haynes and Jake Radzak, an all-conference player a year ago.
Hopefully filling the void for Northwood will be returning starters; seniors Kevin Brisky and all-conference player Derek Denninger, along with junior Zach Haynes.
Juniors Kevin Pagorek and Mike Benson, with sophomores Reese Stariha, Joe Martin and Tom Ross will also be counted on for contributions this season.
Vaara believes this lineup will excel with its quickness and shooting ability and a strong dose of senior leadership. Concerns include a lack of height and inexperienced sophomore players.
Northwood will need to tighten up those weaknesses in order to contend with conference favorites Clayton, Cameron and Clear Lake.
Vaara hopes to place the Greens in the middle of the pack with Shell Lake, Turtle Lake and Prairie Farm.
A good showing in the conference could provide Northwood hopes in the postseason.
"Our region will be wide open and we expect to be competitive in it," Vaara said.
Nov. 21 -- vs. Unity
Nov. 28 -- vs. Birchwood
Dec. 5 -- at Shell Lake
Dec. 8 -- vs. Cameron
Dec. 11 -- at Drummond
Dec. 14 -- at Clayton
Jan. 2 at Solon Springs
Jan. 5 -- vs. Turtle Lake
Jan. 12 -- at Frederic
Jan. 16 -- at Prairie Farm
Jan. 19 -- vs. Shell Lake
Jan. 23 -- vs. Webster, 6 p.m.
Jan. 26 -- at Cameron
Jan. 30 -- vs. Clayton, 6 p.m.
Feb. 6 -- vs. Clear Lake
Feb. 9 -- at Turtle Lake
Feb. 13 -- at Luck
Feb. 16 -- at Siren
Feb. 23 -- vs. Prairie Farm