With the graduation loss of four seniors, experience isn’t an early strength for the Greenwood Christian Academy boys basketball team.
But 11th-year coach Jamie Satre is confident the Cougars will be a competitive postseason force by the end of the regular season — just as they were last season.
Greenwood Christian finished 9-16 last year but still advanced to the Class A sectional championship game, where it lost to Lutheran.
“The season record isn’t what’s important. There is no seeding when the sectional comes around, so everyone has an equal opportunity,” Satre said. “And as everyone knows, the Edinburgh Sectional is always competitive.
“We have a good group of seniors, and they’re all willing to continue to improve and gel together with our newcomers.”
Satre likes the Cougars’ athleticism and expects to employ an uptempo offense.
“We definitely want to push the ball to be able to score in transition,” Satre said. “If we’re able to do that, we’ll get more possessions and allow us to score more.”
Among the Cougars’ top returners is 6-foot-6 senior center Krae Sparks, who recently signed a letter of intent to play at Indian Wesleyan University. He scored a game-high 22 points in a season-opening win against Metropolitan and had 18 in a Game 2 loss against Class 4A Greenwood.
“At the (Class) A level, we have an advantage with Krae Sparks in the post,” Satre said. “With his size and strength, he brings a lot to the table.”
Greenwood Christian’s other senior returners are guards Jared Davenport, Hunter Slater and Troy Healy.
“We already know what’s expected of this senior group,” Davenport said. “We’re going to do what is necessary to stay motivated, stay positive and remain a family. The kind of competition we face will only make us stronger for the state tournament.”
“We have a good core group,” Sparks said. “As long as we keep working together, playing hard and stay within ourselves, we’ll be able to play our game, not the other team’s game.
“I really think we’re going to be able to shock some people this season in big games.”
Members of the Pioneer Academic Athletic Conference, the Cougars finished fourth behind Attucks, Shortridge and Liberty Christian in last year’s conference standings.
Nov. 24;Metropolitan;7:30 p.m.
Nov. 28;at Greenwood;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 4;at Heritage Christian;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 5;at Edgewood;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 11;at Indian Creek;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 12;Lutheran;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 19;at Whiteland;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 29;Monrovia Tournament;TBA
Jan. 2;at Southwestern;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 8;Attucks;8 p.m.
Jan. 9;Shortridge;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 12;at International;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 23;at Eminence;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 29;at Central Christian;7:30 p.m.
Feb. 2;at Irvington Prep;7:30 p.m.
Feb. 4;at Morristown;7:30 p.m.
Feb. 6;at Arlington;1:30 p.m.
Feb. 13;PAAC playoff;TBA
Feb. 16;Waldron;7:30 p.m.
Feb. 19;Brown County;7:30 p.m.
Feb. 23;University;7:30 p.m.