12.24.2019 - 10:33 AM - Kaden Hartmann

With the Prentice Buccaneer Boys basketball season off to some early wins and tough losses, it comes with no surprise the amount of excitement there is in the air. Playing in the tough Marawood North conference, there is always strong competition in each game. The team is playing with a much younger roster than last year with key losses of graduated seniors Trace Brayton, Kai Vedder, Garret Blomberg, Breydon Johnson, and Logan Parisi. “Although it hurts to lose some of the older veterans,  we still continue to focus on what’s ahead.  We’ve got guys coming up that are able to fill in and be constructive parts of the team,” noted senior guard Josh Jast. Along with Jast, this year's team is lead by seniors Peyton Enders and Austin Dobson. 

Some would say that starting the season off 2-3 sounds rocky but not for the Bucs. With a close loss to the rival Phillips Loggers and a loss to the impressive Stratford Tigers (ranked #3 in Division 4). They followed up the 0-2 start with a bounce-back win over conference rivals 7th-ranked Rib Lake in their first home game of the season.  The Buccaneers bested Rib Lake by a score of 64-54, with Prentice junior Trent Heikkinen being the leading scorer with 28 points. “It was one of the best feelings in the world,” stated senior Peyton Enders. “That was one of the most fun games I have ever played in.” The Buccaneers also had a big win against their conference opponents Abbotsford Falcons, by a score of 69-44, led by Enders who added 31 points, followed by a loss to Edgar.

Having a younger team could be a problem for some, but it hasn't turned out that way for the Buccaneers. As Enders states, “I love to have the younger guys around.” The jump from playing on the junior varsity team isn’t always an easy one. “I’m glad these younger guys are starting to get some time on varsity,” adds Jast “I’m even happier they are able to step up and make the transition from JV to Varsity, which isn’t easy.” With the loss of so many graduated seniors, it’s no surprise that some younger guys will have to step up to the plate. 

With a long season ahead of them, the Buccaneers are goal-oriented, whether it be goals they have set individually or goals that players have set for the entire team. One of the goals senior guard Josh Jast has set for himself is to make all conference honors, “I’m looking to be first or second team all conference,” he adds. The goal to compete is a big one for the team, as one as Enders explains: “My biggest goal for the season as both a player and a team is to lead a team right back to the regional finals and take home the plaque,” exclaimed the senior. The winning mindset is a shared one in the locker room as Jast adds to the goal of winning: “We’re looking to compete for Conference and a Regional Championship.” The team looks to bring another winning season back to Prentice. 

Up next, the Buc boys will be at Mellen on Thursday, January 2, and at Chequamegon for a doubleheader on Friday, January 3.