Mintare boys aim for MAC tournament title
     2013-12-19      By Lauren Smith-Kuckkahn    laurensmithkuckkahn@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Lauren Smith-Kuckkahn/Gering Citizen - The Minatare boys' basketball team front row from left are, Nate Andrew, Austin Fisher, Teren Barnett; Juan Garfro; Yovan Perez; back row, Kyler Lane; Zach Gibbons; Tyler Koke; Javier Guerrero; Dominic Longoria; Orin Starke. Not pictured: Chance McAllister. 
The Minatare boys' basketball team wants to contend for the MAC (Midwest Athletic Conference) championship this year.

"We got second in the tournament last year,” said head coach Kyle Cotton.

With the aid of his assistant coaches, J.J. Ozuna and Matt Korkow, Cotton is working on making sure each player is doing his part on the court.

“We want to get better, each and every day. We need to find more consistency this year, that’s one of our goals,” Cotton said.

Cotton said there are a lot of returning player this year, with five juniors, three sophomores, and four freshmen.

“I’m looking for all of those juniors to contribute. All of them have improved a lot throughout the summer and during these early workouts,” Cotton said. “We only lost one starter. He transferred to Gering."

Returning player Javier Guerrero, 6’0, was an all-conference player last year and the team’s reliable scorer.

"We need to have another reliable scorer, to be more consistent," Cotton said.

Cotton said based on the team's strengths, they stand a chance of holding their own on the court.

“We are quick at every position, so we can play good team defense,” he said.

“Everyone has improved a lot. They’ve all been working through the summer and doing what they need to do here at practice,” Cotton said.

One of the team's main weaknesses seems to be irremediable.

“We’re not very tall; I don't think there's anything we can do about that. We need to be more consistent,” he said.

“They have a lot of potential; they just need confidence in themselves. I don’t know how quickly they can do that, but if they do, there’s a few of them that can contribute this year,” Cotton said.

Cotton said the team does not have any new strategies it is working on this year.

“We don’t have anything new we’re doing. We’re just trying to be more aggressive in the things we did last year,” he said.

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