GOSHEN – A mix of experience and youth with characterize the Goshen High School boys basketball team in 2013-14.
Goshen head coach Brian Bechtel is in his 13th season guiding the Redskins with a 130-171 record at Goshen. Bechtel is 143-199 in 17 seasons overall.
Bechtel likes what he sees in his team as the Redskins prepare for the 2013-14 season opener Tuesday night.
Key players back for the Redskins include sophomore point guard Brady Bechtel, the coach’s son and the leading returning scorer at 6.9 ppg; and senior forward Austin Woolett at 5.5 ppg.
And seniors Deric Haynes and Alex Hartsough both saw significant playing time at the varsity level last season and will be expected to provide both points and leadership this season.
Juniors Isaac Huerta and Jack Gingerich, both guards, are expected to be in the mix and scoring points for Goshen.
Brady Bechtel is coming back from a knee injury and his practice time has been limited, and Coach Bechtel said it’s unclear at this point how many minutes the Redskins’ floor general will be able to play on a given night.
“He’s a guy who’s hard to take off the court,” Bechtel said of his son.
“We have to be smart, and Brady has to be honest with us.”
“We’ve got some decent experience back,” Bechtel said. “We’ve got a good inside-out mix of players, and I think we have a very unselfish team. They know how to play basketball very well.”
Team speed will be a key strength for the Redskins, Bechtel said. “We’ll be able to pressure the ball.”
Bechtel also likes the Redskins’ length and athleticism, and both of those areas could pay dividends in a key area of improvement for Goshen in 2013-14: Rebounding.
Haynes will play a combination 2-3 position, part shooting guard and part small forward. And Haynes said it’s going to take a total team effort for the Redskins to be successful in 2013-14.
No one guy is going to be expected to carry the load, Haynes said.
“We’ve got a lot of shooters,” Haynes said. “We’ve got some inside post players, and we’ve got some guys who can create off the dribble.”
The Redskins must replace three players – Sam Stegelmann, Jesse Good and Austin Henke – who accounted for almost 30 points per game.
That was almost 60 percent of the 52.8 ppg. Goshen averaged in 2012-13.
As far as the NLC race in 2013-14, Bechtel pegs NorthWood at the early favorite. Concord, Plymouth and Warsaw should also be strong, Bechtel said.
The Redskins open the 2013-14 season Tuesday night on the road at Mishawaka Marian.
Follow sports editor David Vantress on Twitter at dvantress_tgn.