For four years, Kyle Stidom was the offensive force behind the Greenwood Christian Academy boys basketball team.
But with the graduation loss of Johnson County’s all-time scoring leader (2,059 career points), the Class A Cougars will try to fill the void collectively.
Stidom is also Greenwood Christian’s career rebounding leader (1,040).
“Replacing Kyle Stidom will be next to impossible,” eighth-year Cougars coach Jamie Satre said. “He was a great player who helped us a lot. However, we will be more balanced this year.
“We will have to play as a team to optimize our potential.”
The Cougars won their second consecutive Pioneer Academic Athletic Conference and closed out the most successful season in school history with a record of 18-3. They were ranked No. 13 at the end of the season and peaked at No. 11 in the Coaches Poll.
Despite the graduation loss of Stidom, last year’s only senior, Satre is confident the Cougars return enough experience to build on last year’s unprecedented success.
“Our underclassmen had an important role last season,” he said. “And we are hoping that success will translate to this season.”
Greenwood Christian returns four starters in juniors Gunnar Rastenburg, Lucas Peters, Morgan Booher and Jacob Stephenson.
All four are gifted outside shooters, Satre said. And Booher and Stephenson can both play guard and forward, giving the Cougars flexibility.
Peters hit a school-record eight 3-pointers in the Cougars’ 68-49 win last year against Oldenburg Academy, and had a career-high 32 points in the game. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 13.5 points per game and was 15th in the state in 3-pointers, making 58 of 123 (47.2 percent).
Even with the team’s prolific scoring ability, Satre said the emphasis will be on defense and rebounding.
“If we can win the battle on the glass and keep the other team from scoring in bunches and making big runs, then we are going to be in good shape,” Satre said. “Every year there is a new excitement in the challenge of bringing together a new group of guys who have different skills.
“Our goals are simple. Win every game we play in and continue to improve in order to be playing our best basketball come sectional time.”