Boys Basketball: Stevens Raiders looking to new faces for success
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Last season, the Rapid City Stevens boys basketball team qualified for the State ‘AA’ Tournament for the seventh year in a row.
The Raiders are hoping to make it eight straight this season, but it might not be that easy.
The Raiders are coming off a 15-9 season and an 8th place finish at the state tournament.
But the lineup for Stevens will be vastly different this year after losing three starters to graduation including Dylan Pourier who averaged 16 points per game.
Daniel Vigoren and Mason Steele are the two returning starters this year for the Raiders.
Vigoren averaged 8.7 points per contest while Steele averaged seven points and seven rebounds.
“We’re going to ask Daniel to score more than he did last year,” Stevens boys basketball coach Chris Stoebner said. “Also be more of leader for us. Then Mason inside, I think ideally that’s where we want to start our offensive positions is inside out and having him get a post touch. Yes, we’ll be asking a lot out of them. Then obviously, we’re going to ask more out of kids that don’t have the experience of those two.”
The Raiders will rely on several players to help fill the void including Colton Hartford, Bridger Nesbit and Bransen Kuehle.
Stevens is currently dealing with a couple of injuries right before the start of the season.
Both Blake Weaver and Alex Bilbruck, who transferred from Hot Springs this year, are expected to miss the first few weeks of the season.
Coach Stoebner feels his team has a good chance of being a pretty good basketball team if they can get healthy and stay healthy.
“We’re hoping after Christmas sometime that we’ll be at full strength,” Stoebner said. “That’s kind of been our Achilles really the last couple of years of just being healthy come tournament time. So there’s always bumps in the road throughout the year. Hopefully our bumps are at the beginning and not the end.”
Stevens open the boys basketball season against three ranked opponents.
The Raiders will play at Brandon Valley and Yankton on Dec. 13-14 before hosting Huron on Dec. 20.