Sandpoint High School
Conference: 4A Inland Empire League
Head Coach: Kent Leiss
Years as Head Coach: 1st season
Previous Experience: 24 years as head coach in Minnesota, Montana and Idaho
Record Last Year: 8-13
State Titles: None
Mike Roos, Jake Peterson and Blaine Schultz
That was the trademark of Kent Leiss' teams in his previous 24 seasons as a high school boys basketball coach, including 10 seasons at Coeur d'Alene High from 2004-13.
This year, he heads up U.S. 95 some 45 miles to take over the boys basketball program at Sandpoint.
"Our motto is to be relentless in everything we do during practice and games," Leiss said. "It is my first year at Sandpoint and this is the type of culture we are trying to create."
Sandpoint went 8-13 last year and lost its top scorer from last season in Jeremiah Gagnon, an all-4A Inland Empire League player who was selected to play in the Idaho high school all-star game at North Idaho College in March.
Back for the Bulldogs are Carlos Collado, a 6-foot-4 junior forward; Matt Timothy, a 6-1 senior guard; Dylan Kuzmich, a 6-0 senior guard; and Cooper Spalding, a 6-3 senior forward.
"We will try to attempt to play as fast as possible," Leiss said. "We will try to play 10 or 11 players and hopefully wear down our opponents."
Leiss said he has been working to improve the team's ball handling, shooting and overall scoring ability.
Newcomers include Jake Aguirre, a 5-9 transfer from nearby Clark Fork, and Davin Norris, a 6-2 guard/forward who transfered from Phoenix.
"We will attempt to play full court man-to-man defense with some occasional trapping," Leiss said. "We might mix in some zone at times. We will try to use our depth to wear down the opposing team."
Leiss said what has him excited about this year's team is "I think we have a lot of kids we can play. Our depth should be pretty good. Our SHS weight program is outstanding. We have very good athletes. We want to put them in situations where they can succeed. We will press and run at all times. We are all excited about the possibilities."
Asked for the "X-factor" for the Bulldogs' success this season, Leiss said, "Not sure how well we can score.
If we can get better offensively, teamwise and individually during the season, we have a chance to be good by tournament time."
Like most other coaches surveyed, Leiss said Idaho needs a shot clock in high school basketball.
"Everybody else in the world has one," he said. "Just because it was good enough in 1947 to not have a shot clock doesn't mean it's a good reason not to have one now."
Asked why he coaches high school basketball, Leiss said, "Love the game. Love helping young men reach their potential. Love to see young men become successful in their post-high school years. Love the competition. Also love watching the team improve in practice each day of the season."
Asked what he likes about coaching at Sandpoint so far, Leiss said, "SHS is a five-star high school. We have quality kids, teachers and administration. Plus, the community really supports high school athletics."