They might want a little more practice time, but Tekamah-Herman’s basketball teams still open their seasons tonight, Nov. 26.
At least its a soft opening.
Both Tigers squads will be in Omaha to take on Omaha Christian in jamboree games starting at 6 p.m. Held statewide, the jamborees are a fundraiser for the state high school hall of fame. The games are real in every respect except the statistics and records do not count in year-end totals.
The Tiger girls, headed by coach David Eriksen, are coming off a 6-19 season that saw dramatic improvement as the year progressed. Eriksen said his team averaged nearly 40 points a game in the second half of the season, up a dozen from the first half of the year.
Three of the six wins were in one possession games, including two wins over East Husker Conference rival Logan View/Scribner-Snyder.
Among the 14 players in camp this fall, the Tigers return virtually all of their scoring and rebounding from a year ago. Leading the way are seniors Jadyn Fleischman and Anna Wakehouse. Both were honorable mention all-conference selections a year ago.
Fleischman’s 207 points and 222 rebounds made her the team leader in both areas. Wakehouse was second in scoring with 203 points and tied with sophomore returnee Elena Jetensky as the second leading rebounder with 107.
Fleischman led the Tigers with 36 steals, Wakehouse’s 29 assists were the most of any Tiger.
Eriksen said Fleischman has improved her game every year and Wakehouse really stepped up offensively last year.”
He also expects to see a big contribution in the frontcourt from senior Greta Lindberg.
Backcourt duties will be handled by juniors Maggie Sheets and Halle Olsen. He said Sheets’ scoring opens up the middle of the court while Olsen is among the best defenders in the conference.
Following the jamboree contest, the Tigers are away from competition for more than a week. Eriksen said the early start gives his team the chance to work through the opening night jitters and be ready for action when the season starts more than a week later.
The regular season opens at Pender Friday night, Dec. 6. The team’s home opener is the next night when Stanton invades the Tiger gym.
Those two games are among five East Husker Conference tilts the Tigers have before the Christmas break.
The Tiger boys are still in a rebuilding mode coming off of a 2-21 campaign. The boys won a second game for the first time in five years but will hit the court Tuesday with a very young roster.
Playing without a senior on the squad, coach Zach Rosenboom’s young charges will have to grow up quickly.
But they do have tools.
Sophomore Brock Rogers returns after leading the Tigers in scoring last year, posting 247 points as a freshman. Other Tigers with varsity experience include Wyatt Deemer, Dylan Chatt and Cole Freidel.
Friedel’s 27 steals were high for the team as were his six charges drawn.
Rosenboom said the attitude and effort among his players has been good through the team’s first week of practice.
“We are going to be small, but we’ll be athletic,” Rosenboom said. “We can use that to our advantage.”
With 16 players in camp, Rosenboom said his team will be able to play full junior varsity games as well as a few freshman games.
“I’m excited,” he said. “It’s a great group of kids and I’m looking forward to see where we can go.”