Boys basketball: Hornets eyeing steady improvements in tough section
The Frazee boys basketball team is eyeing a better run in year two in head coach Ryan Vigen's second stint with the program. The Hornets aim to be competitive game-to-game against a tough schedule.
FRAZEE – Frazee boys basketball head coach Ryan Vigen is thrilled to get year two rolling in his second stint with the Hornets.
Vigen was the head coach for the Hornets 20 years ago but decided to come back last season.
"Having these guys for a second year, it is easier to implement stuff, so it's been a lot of fun," he said.
The Hornets finished with a 4-21 overall record. They were 0-14 in their section and had a 1-11 record in the Heart O'Lakes Conference. Vigen hopes to take a step forward from a struggling first season back.
"We are hoping to improve on that," Vigen said. "We still have a young team. We only have three seniors. I really love the chemistry of this group. They are all a bunch of great kids, and they play really well together."
He also said that he and his coaching staff are reminding the players it is all about having a team mentality.
"We are really preaching team stuff and cheering on your fellow guy," Vigen said. "Be prepared to play, but don't expect to play. I'm not sure how minutes will fall right away but cheer on your fellow man. Whoever works the hardest and plays the best will get the most minutes."
The most significant improvement the Hornets need to make is their turnovers. Vigen wants to see those numbers decrease significantly from last year.
"We need to cut down on our turnovers," Vigen said. "That is the biggest thing we have struggled with in the past. The turnovers are my biggest thing. We have to keep it under 20. If we can keep it to about 10-15 turnovers, I think we can keep ourselves in a lot of games."
He also sees the defensive end as being a weakness of the Hornets this year because of their height.
"We need to play better defense," he said. "We are not very tall. We are going to have to rebound and focus on boxing out. We got a little bit of height, but for the most part, we are pretty small. We are going to have to play bigger than what we are."
While their size might be an issue, Vigen knows he has a great group of committed guys willing to buy into his philosophies.
"My boys are very coachable," Vigen said. "They are willing to get out there and put their best foot forward. They are buying into what we are doing. They are trying some different things defensively."
Going into year two, Vigen will lean on his three seniors to help him lead the team. The leaders will be key to the team's success this year.
"Our seniors are Zach Longfors, Kale Ovsak, and Gage Post," Vigen said. "They are willing to do anything. They are willing to play any position you put them in. I coached them in junior high, and now I'm coaching them here. They are really positive in practice."
Longfors was one of the seniors Vigen sees as a critical component of their success during the season.
"I'm pretty excited," Longfors said. "It being my senior year, it's always fun to lead these kids, push through the season, and catch some wins."
Longfors also wants to see the team limit their giveaways. He also wants to become a shooting threat from range.
"I think our biggest setback last year was our turnovers," he said. "If we can limit the turnovers and push the ball up the court, I think we can do much better than we did last year. One of my personal goals is to be considered a three-point maker. I want to have teams look for me as a threat behind the arc."
With Longfors as a leader, Vigen knows his team is in good hands. Regarding where Vigen thinks this team can finish when it is all said and done, it is a tough call with the amount of talent in the area.
"I hate to put a number on it because I thought we would be a little bit better last year with the seniors we had," Vigen said. "I think, with our section 1-16, if we can play with the North half (in the playoffs), everybody is so good. The coaches and players are so good. If we can get some wins and sneak up and get in the middle of the section to play some of the teams in the North, hopefully, we can get a first-round win."