The Faith Lutheran High basketball team won its first large-school classification playoff game last season. This year, with 10 returners, it could win the Northwest League.
“We are excited to have all those guys back,” Crusaders coach Bret Walter said. “They are hungry to move forward this season...They are excited about what they can accomplish this year.”
Guard Jaylen Fox, a four-year varsity performer who scored in double figures last season, has played in many meaningful games along the way. His experience alone gives Faith Lutheran an edge.
“Being with coach four year now, he expects me to know what to do, and I expect to know what he wants to do,” Fox said.
Faith Lutheran, who beat Sierra Vista last week in the season opener, won’t be at full strength until the new year. Forward Elijah Kothe, another multiyear starter, is recovering from a collarbone injury. Kothe averaged nearly 14 points and eight rebounds per game in 2016-17.
But, when you graduate just one player from a squad that went 9-3 in league last season, there’s plenty of capable players to fill in. Josh Hong, a Division I football recruit, and junior Brevin Walter are each returning contributors.
The Crusaders’ style of play should mirror last season with one small exception. Coach Walter says they’ll attempt to employ a more up tempo style of play.
“Our goal is to get better with each day,” the coach said.