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DC boys post first winning season in six years

March 7, 2019 GMT

David City boys basketball posted its first winning season since the 2012-13 season when the Scouts went 12-11 this past season

In coach Cole Carraher’s third season, the Scouts had winning streaks of four and five, scored just over 52 points per game and started the year 4-1.

“I feel good about it,” Carraher said. “We set our goal to be a winning team, to finish the season with a winning record. Our seniors felt pretty good about doing that. I felt good about them getting that done.”

The Scouts finished the regular season 12-10 after defeating Clarkson/Leigh in the season finale on Feb. 15. David City then faced a loaded sub-district that included two of the top-five teams in Class C-1.

David City started with No. 1 Wahoo and saw the season come to an end in a 79-31 final.

When Carraher took over, the Scouts had won just one game the previous season. Before that, David City had won at least nine games every year since the 2005-2006 season.

In Carraher’s first year, he sensed he had something in his sophomore class.

“I kind of challenged them a few years ago,” Carraher said. “We had three or four pretty good sophomores at that time. We were coming off a one-win season. Then we won six as they got through their sophomore year. Then last year as juniors, they won nine. This year we had four seniors and three of them played huge minutes, starting every game for us.”

The seniors weren’t the only players that played a role in getting David City back on the winning side of .500. Key juniors like Josh Seibert and Hunter Behrns were major contributors as well.

“A couple of juniors helped out a lot too,” Carraher said. “To go from one to six to nine to 12-11, just steady improvement throughout those years. It felt overall pretty successful this year. We achieved what we set out to do, in terms of wins and losses.

Perhaps the most noticeable improvement has been on the offensive end where a team often inept scoring the basketball became a real threat every time out. Where once the Scouts were struggling to get into the high 30s and 40s, depending on a near-perfect defensive effort for a win, they went over 60 eight times this year and became much more efficient.

Maybe the biggest win for the Scouts came against Shelby-Rising City on Jan. 15. S-RC was ranked at points during the season by the Lincoln Journal Star.

“I challenged our guys to not just beat the teams on our schedule that were .500 or below .500 teams. We needed to get some quality wins in there, too,” Carraher said. “Shelby was definitely that. They finished out the year with 17 wins. That was big for us.”

There was also a bundle of individual performances that Carraher mentioned as season highlights - senior Luis Salazar hitting seven 3-pointers against Sandy Creek, senior Josh Seibert tying a school record with eight made 3s against Madison and senior Will Danielson coming one assist short of a triple-double against East Butler.

“It was really neat to see those guys accomplish those things,” Carraher said. “They’re our most dedicated players, our hardest workings guys and the guys that put in the most time over the summer. I was really happy to see them accomplish some things like that.”

Those three seniors, along with fellow classmate Justin Escamilla, helped put David City on the right trajectory.

“They’re competitors. They’re not big guys. They’re not track stars. They just really work at the skill development part of things and have worked at it ever since I took over when they were freshmen turning sophomores,” Carraher said. “To go from a one-win season their freshman year, they were motivated by that. They wanted to be the group that started that change of makings David City basketball a little more competitive again.”

Carraher is hoping that the success continues next year. With five juniors returning, David City has the pieces to be just as successful.

“The biggest class since I’ve started a few years is going to be our senior class next year,” Carraher said. “It’s going to be different next year for sure, maybe slowing the game down a little bit more, making it more of a half-court game than our up and down transition style.

“In terms of our success and being competitive, I think that this next group of seniors is going to be right there.”

Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net.