Mountain Home High School
Conference: 4A Southern Idaho Conference
Head Coach: Brion Bethel
Years as Head Coach: 3rd season
Previous Experience: 10 years
Record Last Year: 7-16
Written by: Chris Langrill
Coach Brion Bethel and his boys basketball players have some expectations for the upcoming season, but they're keeping them to themselves.
“No one really expects a lot out of Mountain Home basketball,” Bethel said.
And the Tigers are just fine with that.
“We're just going to be silent and do our thing and fly under the radar,” Bethel said. “Hopefully, all the work we've put in this summer pays off.”
One of the reasons that Bethel can be quietly optimistic about the 2014-15 season is the amount of depth that his team has.
“We lost one senior who didn't start (from last year's squad),” he said.
Returning are two players who were named honorable mention all-conference: Jarek Schetzle and AJ Woodruff.
Woodruff, a 5-foot-9 guard, earned that recognition while playing last season as a freshman. But Bethel said Woodruff returns to Mountain Home with a lot more experience under his belt than the average sophomore.
“He played a lot of games in the offseason … and the kid just lives in the gym,” Bethel said.
The coach has every reason to believe that Woodruff will continue to improve.
“The kid's special,” Bethel said. “He was a point guard last year, but he'll play a little (shooting) guard this year, also.”
No matter what position Woodruff is playing, you can be sure he'll be keeping an eye on Schetzle as he comes up the court. And Schetzle, a senior, won't be hard to miss. A few years ago, he went through quite a growth spurt. Now, he's 6-10.
Bethel said it took some time for Schetzle to be comfortable in his body.
“But he has just blossomed,” Bethel said. “He's 6-10 and 235, 240 pounds and he runs the floor like a forward, like he's 6-3, 6-4.
“All around, he's just a completely different player from what we had last year. … He'll be our go-to guy, for sure, this year.”
Add in a well-rounded group of players who return with some experience, and you can see why the Tigers hope to make some noise in the 4A Southern Idaho Conference this season.
“We've got a lot of kids back,” Bethel said. “It's one of the first years where we can just kind of pick up where we left off and not have to put in a whole new offense.”
Still, while his team has promise, Bethel also remembers that the Tigers went 7-16 last season and games that could have been won ended up in the loss column.
“We've struggled for so long,” he said, “and this year we want to make sure we know how to win. It's one thing to have talent, but we've got to go out and win those games.”