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Wonderview DaredevilsPublished October 27, 2013 at 5:00 a.m.
Conference: 1A-5 North
Coach: Jerod Squires, 11th year
Assistant coach: Josh Sensabaugh
2012-13 record: 25-11 overall and 10-6 in conference; lost to West Side Greers Ferry in the opening round of the Class 1A Region 3 Tournament, 80-51.
Returning starters: John Beck, 5-11 junior guard, 13 points per game, all-conference, all-region, all-state; Hunter Gunderman, 6-1 senior guard, 11 ppg, all-conference; Corey Collins, 5-6 senior guard, 5 ppg; and Milwin Rainey, 5-11 senior guard, 6.5 ppg.
Best inside players: Michael Beck, 6-0 senior forward, 4.5 ppg; Ben Ingram, 6-1 senior forward, 6 ppg; Brady Paladino, 6-1 junior forward; and Josh Gangluff, 6-3 junior forward.
Best outside players: Returning starters John Beck, Gunderman, Collins and Rainey, as well as M.J. Griffin, 6-3 sophomore guard; Jordan Wright, 6-0 junior guard; and Brandon Crafton, 5-9 junior guard.
How will you match/exceed/fall short of your success from last year?: Squires said the Daredevils’ major goal was to make it to the state tournament. “We look to exceed last year’s finish by making a run at a regional championship as well as qualifying for state and having a deep run in the state tournament,” he said.
Team strengths: With several good shooters, expect Wonderview to excel at the guard positions. The Daredevils will also have good overall team speed, depth, experience and team chemistry.
Team weaknesses: Lack of overall size inside.
Games to watch: Squires said games with Sacred Heart and Nemo Vista will also be interesting because they are Conway County and conference rivals. “There’s always a great environment when we play either of those teams,” he said.
Toughest opponent: The 1A-5 North will be very competitive, the coach said, especially with KIPP Delta, Sacred Heart, Nemo Vista, Mount Vernon-Enola and Guy Perkins. The nonconference schedule will also test the Daredevils, who will face County Line, West Side Greers Ferry, Scranton, Jessieville, Southside Batesville and Valley Springs.
College prospects: Squires said John Beck, Gunderman and Griffin were all very talented players with tremendous upside and work ethic. “The best attribute about each of them is that they are great young men with outstanding character and leadership abilities,” he said.
In a nutshell: The coach said the Daredevils have been very motivated since their season ended in 2013 and that they worked hard in the offseason to compete for conference, district and regional championships. “If we can do that, we are confident that we can make a deep run in the state tournament,” he said. “With 11 of our top 12 players returning from last season, we have high expectations. This group understands that nothing will come easy or will be given to them, and they look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”