|Lakota’s boys return six
letter winners this season. In the front (from left) are: Ryan Chalfin, Roger Guerra, and Jake Wiseman.
In the back are Dillon Winke, Scott Hoffman, and Josh Kelley. (Photos: J.D.
KANSAS – A new league won’t be the only new challenge for the Lakota boys basketball team this winter.
Aside from joining the Midland Athletic League, the Raiders will also have to face the challenge of
becoming a more half-court team.
New head coach Tim Walsh, who replaces departed coach Marc Diels, prefers a solid half-court offense to
the fast break, up-tempo style of Diels.
"We’ll combine last year’s offense with a solid half-court foundation," said Walsh, who was
head coach at Oak Harbor (2003-07), Gibsonburg (2000-02) and Fayette (1995-2000). "I think you need
to have a combination of the two to be successful.
"We’ll still look to push the ball up the floor and run when those options are available,"
Walsh continued. "But the players will learn when it’s the right time to do that."
Those players are going to be a more experienced group, though, as six seniors, three juniors and three
sophomores will make up the Lakota roster. Last season, the Raiders (4-18 overall, 2-12 Suburban Lakes
League) had just two seniors – Jacob Smith and Ronnie Park.
Leading the way is returning seniors – center Scott Hoffman, shooting guard Jake Wiseman and point guard
"We have a good group of kids coming back with a lot of experience," said Walsh.
"Particularly with this senior class, which we expect to produce for us."
Expected to run the offense will be Winke, who has experience starting at the point. Wiseman will be in
the two-spot with Hoffman, junior Ryan Chalfin and senior Josh Kelley making up the frontcourt.
"(Kelley) is going to be a matchup problem at 6-foot-3," said Walsh. "He can play both on
the perimeter and in the post."
"(Hoffman) has good size and along with it he has a lot of ability too," Walsh continued.
"He’ll be a good player for us."
Lakota doesn’t have a designated scoring threat, according to Walsh, and will look for contributions from
"The way I’ve always done it is I don’t say these are the starters and they start every game,"
said Walsh. "From one game to the next it could be completely different starters because I’ve
always stressed that players need to earn those spots."
Also expected to contribute will be seniors Keith Durst and Roger Guerra and sophomore Nick McDole.
Guerra will miss the next five weeks with a broken right hand, but is practicing on the side and
expected back at full speed.
On the defensive side, the Raiders will change from playing more of a zone to a matchup defense.
"Defensively, we’ll base our whole program on man-to-man defense," said Walsh. "They
haven’t done that in the past here, so it’ll be a little different philosophy."
Lakota was slowly and steadily improving in its last few seasons in the SLL and Walsh expects the players
to take the next step in its MAL season.
"We’ll battle and compete this year," Walsh said. "I expect this team to be improved and
for these seniors to finally get over that hump and learn what it takes to succeed."
LAKOTA BOYS SCHEDULE
Dec. 5 – ARCADIA
Dec. 8 – at Bettsville #
Dec. 11 – CAREY #
Dec. 17 – at Hopewell-Loudon #
Dec. 19 – LAKE
Dec. 29 – GENOA
Jan. 4 – at Fostoria St. Wendelin #
Jan. 8 – at Old Fort #
Jan. 15 – NORTH BALTIMORE #
Jan. 16 – at Woodmore
Jan. 21 – FREMONT ST. JOSEPH CC #
Jan. 23 – HOPEWELL-LOUDON #
Jan. 29 – at Seneca East #
Feb. 2 – OLD FORT #
Feb. 4 – BETTSVILLE #
Feb. 9 – CORY-RAWSON
Feb. 12 – at Tiffin Calvert #
Feb. 13 – at Elmwood
Feb. 19 – at New Riegel #
Feb. 20 – MOHAWK #
#-Midland Athletic League game