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Prescott a favorite for MBC boys' hoops title

Prescott's Charlie Tayson tries a pump fake on a Durand defender.

Prescott High School head boys’ basketball coach Nick Johnson does not think the Middle Border Conference will be down in prep boys’ basketball for the 2013-14 season.

“I think it will be very competitive league,” Johnson, the Cardinals’ third-year head coach said. “Somerset, Baldwin-Woodville, New Richmond and Ellsworth too, all are going to be tough teams to beat. Osceola is going to be improved too.”

But judging each team by who is coming and going, it’s clear Prescott should have the best team on paper.  Although the Cardinals lost All-MBC center Nick Jacobsen to graduation (along with Nate Sobolewski, Mike Hovel and Jordan Koski), they return nine lettermen from a squad which went 16-7 overall (9-5 in the MBC).

PHS will begin its season Friday at home against river rival Hastings. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.

“Losing someone Nick will affect us but we have the players who can step up to fill the void,” Johnson said. “I think this one of the most talented teams we’ve had here.”

Johnson was thinking specifically of junior frontcourt players Joe Haas and Charlie Tayson. Both players helped to back up Jacobsen last season and will move into more of the scoring, rebounding and defending role.

“It’s important because these are guys are coming off the bench and we need them to step up” Johnson said.  “Charlie can score in the wing and the posts and Joe has a very good touch with his shot. Hopefully they’ve developed the confidence to be big factors on offense.”

Other lettermen returning for PHS are All-MBC first team guard junior Clay Seifert, junior guards Michael Brookshaw, senior guard Myles Garvey and forward and wing players junior Garrett Ryan and seniors Tate Nahorniak and Alex Helmer. Also on the varsity is junior Marty Stenroos.

Seifert led the team in scoring at 13.6 points per game while Brookshaw scored nearly nine points per game. Johnson wants more consistency from the team’s offense this season.

“I thought we played very well on defense but our offense was very inconsistent,” Johnson said. “It made a big difference in some games. We need to overcome this and we need to get more players scoring in double digits besides Clay.”

 Besides consistency on offense, the Cardinals need to be more consistent in road games.  Road losses have cost the Cardinal opportunities to win the MBC title the past two seasons.

“We need to start playing as well on the road as we do at home,” Johnson said.