North Gem High School
Conference: 1AD2 Rocky Mountain Conference
Classification: 1A D2
Head Coach: Charles Kator
Years as Head Coach: 2nd season
Previous Experience: 35 years. 7th as varsity boys and girls coach. State champion girls in 1978 and 1979. Lehi, Utah coach.
Record Last Year: 15-8
State Titles: Three
Written by: Sven Alskog
What a turnaround it was on the hardwood in Bancroft for the North Gem Cowboys last season. The boys squad was able to rebound from a 4-20 mark the year prior with a 15-8 campaign in 2013-2014, good for the best regular season record in the 1AD2 Rocky Mountain Conference.
The task for the squad this season will be to avoid any letdowns come district tournament play.
Last year during the district tournament held at Firth High School, North Gem won their first game over Clark County by a score of 49-40, following that up with a pair of losses to Rockland and Clark County.
2nd year Head Coach Charles Kator will look to make sure his team doesn’t have the same difficulties come February again this time around.
He has plenty of pieces coming back to make his job a little easier.
The talent pool is led by a strong inside-out combination featuring a pair of seniors.
Point guard Tucker Lish and big man Jay Sievers were big contributors last season and will be expected to bring more of the same to the table in the new year.
Kator sees plenty of reasons for optimism.
“A 4-20 team became a 15-8 team and won the league but faltered in districts,” he stated. “Two 6’4” returning big men and a returning ball handler form a good nucleus to go after the district title.”
The other big man alongside Sievers is junior Carson Lloyd. The duo on the post should help to separate the Cowboys from some of the smaller teams they will face this season.
Where the pair should make the biggest difference is when North Gem squares off with Rockland in league play. The Bulldogs are led by one of the premier players in the 1A classification in Rex Permann. The man known as T-Rex is one of the more versatile playmakers in east Idaho who is able to fill the basket from the interior and through the use of a strong jump shot.
Come district tournament time it appears that the Cowboys and the Bulldogs should be the teams to watch. Mackay could also compete within conference and make some noise, leaving the 1AD2 Rocky Mountain Conference up for grabs this year.
If the team is able to duplicate the success of last season North Gem could be looking at its first state tournament berth since the 2010 season.