CHURCHILL — The Manhattan Christian boys basketball team took home third place in the Class C state tournament last year, despite being a young squad. Now, another year older with more experience they’re looking to go just a little bit farther, maybe to the championship game. A key word for the team this year is selflessness.
“The big thing is addressing what humility is with our team and how important that it is," said Eagles second year head coach Layne Glaus. "It’s a team game and if you want to be good, you make the players around you better and I think our boys are starting to grasp on that.”
The defending Western C champions lost their starting point guard Caidin Hill to graduation, but are returning their top three scorers from last year in senior Logan Leep, junior Seth Amunrud and junior Tebarek Hill. Caidin was a player who put the team first and every player on the team is trying to fill those shoes.
“We got to be more selfless as a team and we got to share the rock," said Tebarek Hill. "He’s one of the greatest assists players that came out of our school and his defensive ability, obviously that’s such a big loss for us.”
A revelation last year was the play of 6-foot-6 senior center Willem Kimm during tournament time. In the offseason the big man worked hard to refine his game and get stronger.
“This year he’s more confident," Glaus said. "He’s spent a lot of time in the weight room and it shows on the basketball court. More than that, he’s a great a kid. He shows up with humility everyday in practice and he’s probably one of our hardest workers at practice.”
Having a player his size to complement the guard play can take this team far in the state tournament.
“I love fighting and I love rebounding," Kimm said. "Rebounding is definitely, I think, is what I love most. Just because grabbing that offensive board and defense and being able to kick it out or go back up. I think that’s likely my favorite part.”
The team may have higher goals for this season, but they’re taking it one game at a time, never underestimating an opponent.
“Taking third, it obviously wasn’t our ultimate goal last year but I think that going into this year it’s just pushed us to work harder and we obviously want to take home the championship this year, but we’re just going to go into each game working as hard as possible,” said Kimm.
The Eagles are off to a 2-0 start outscoring their opponents 163-52.