Century High School
Conference: 4A District 5-6 Conference
Head Coach: Lester Stewart
Years as Head Coach: 1st season
Previous Experience: 2 years Head coach at Sho-Ban High School (2011-2013) 1 year head coach at Aberdeen High School (2014)
Record Last Year: 16-11
State Titles: 2002 & 2004
Photo By: Jason Duchow - #3 Malek Harwell
Written by: Sven Alskog
There are few better situations than the one Lester Stewart enters into as the new head coach of the Century Diamondbacks after a year in Aberdeen.
Stewart takes over a team which lost in the 4A state final last season, a group that will no doubt be hungry to make that next step in the new year.
After falling in decisive fashion, 46-29 inside the Ford Idaho Center to the Twin Falls Bruins during that state championship matchup, the Diamondbacks will be relying on some familiar faces to get back to the big stage.
The talent core presiding in the Snake Pit this season will again be led by the number one ranked player in the state of Idaho, senior swingman Malek Harwell, a Boise State commit.
After earning 4A All-Idaho First Team Honors and many other local accolades, the senior will look to go out with a bang and get his Century team to the top prior to taking his talents to Taco Bell Arena next season.
Harwell averaged 22 points per game, while piling up 60 3-pointers, adding in plenty of highlight reel dunks for good measure.
Seniors Leo Behrend and Grant Foulger will be relied upon even more this season with the losses of Shane Rominger and Damon Leach to graduation. Both aforementioned players contributed heavily in pushing the Diamondbacks into the state title game.
Even with the losses of some big time talent from Pocatello, Century has plenty of reasons for optimism in the new campaign.
“I am very optimistic for our team this year because we have good chemistry,” said Stewart. “The guys have love and respect for one another; as well they are buying into having a new coach. Not to mention we have the best player in the state and guys who can and will fill their roles to give our team the best chance to win.”
While plenty of reasons to expect another breakthrough season on the south side of Pocatello, consistency will be a focus point this year after falling in some games they expected themselves to win in 2013-2014 including a four game losing streak in the middle of the season, with losses to both Pocatello and Preston sandwiched between defeats to Highland and Bonneville.
With plenty of talent to avoid losing streaks like the one last season, Century should again have more than enough firepower to compete and potentially take home the 4A District 5-6 Conference.
Watching the Diamondbacks play this season is expected to be as exciting as ever.
“It will be fundamental, fast-paced and aggressive on both ends of the court,” said Stewart. “Coming to a Century basketball game this season will have fans excited and looking forward to each one afterwards.”