January 20, 2022

Cincy looks to seniors for success

High School Boys Basketball

basketball stock image

The Cincinnatus boys basketball team hasn’t had a winning season since the 2017-18 season. Since that season, the program has had a 9-33 record. However, this season could be when things change thanks to the wealth of senior leadership.

The Lions’ senior class has been the anchor of the program since they were sophomores. Now entering their final season, things seem to be coming to a head for them.

“It feels like we’ve finally made it,” senior Kooper Vosburg said. “We’ve waited and worked really hard these past two years and we’re finally here to show the work we’ve put in.”

With Cincinnatus being such a small school, most of the players on the basketball team play one or two other sports. Seniors Cason Stafford and Scott Schuyler led the Lions to the top seed in the Section III Class D soccer tournament, but fell short. They now have another chance to give Cincinnatus a sectional title in their final year together.

“In basketball, we’ve never really had a successful program,” Stafford said. “But this year we’re loaded with seniors so I think this is finally our chance to go at it and get a sectional title maybe.”

Last season, the Lions went just 2-3, with both wins coming over Otselic Valley. They lost twice to DeRuyter and once to Madison. According to head coach Jim Halstrom, last season was crucial for the program because the players could see the progress they have been making.

“It (last year) was great because the kids could play and they saw improvement from the year before,” Halstrom said. “The year before that we were a sophomore-heavy team playing varsity; we were up against it every game playing bigger, stronger, faster guys. Last year, we started to catch up a bit.”

With this season back to a normal length, Cincinnatus is ready to get back to playing non-league games and facing the entire league.

“It’s actually really exciting because we usually just stay in our league, but expanding our schedule gives us a better chance to see how good we actually are and test ourselves,” Schuyler said.

Cincinnatus has an unbalanced schedule, playing seven of its eight home games from Dec. 14 to Jan. 17. That stretch is sandwiched between three-game road stretches.

“I don’t think it (the schedule) is an advantage,” Halstrom said. “It’s difficult to schedule games now. Obviously you’d rather stagger the games and play some home and some away. I don’t think it’s an advantage for us, but I guess you can say that there will be a stretch of games where we’ll be prepared and hope that we can play well enough to win.”

The Lions open their season at 7 p.m. Wednesday with a league contest at McGraw.