On paper the Cambria-Friesland boys basketball team looks like they will be a factor in the Trailways West Conference this season and if things go right have a chance to be in the mix for their first league title since 1984. Coach Derrick Smit’s Hilltoppers return three starters from last year’s squad that went 19-6 overall and 10-4 in the conference which set them in 3rd place behind co-league champs Randolph and Markesan. Mark Miller’s Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook picked the Hilltoppers to finished 2nd behind two-time defending champion Randolph.
“We’re excited about that and just want to take it one game at a time. Our goals are like every other team in the conference is to win that conference title.” Smit told DailyDodge.com. “Our league, the Trailways West is extremely strong. We’ve got a lot of very good basketball teams. I think you’re going to see a lot of great games throughout the conference each night and we just hope to take it one game at a time to play well, defend well and give ourself that chance in the end.”
1st Team All-Trailways pick Griffin Hart is back after averaging 17 points and nine rebounds last season while 2nd team all-league choice Kobe Smit scored 14 points and 6 rebounds per contest a year ago. Senior Cade Burmania also returns and averaged 11ppg last year. Also back this season are senior Gavin Winchell, and juniors Owen Jones and Parker Quade. Smit also says sophomore Drake Burmania has a chance to play a key role on his squad this season. C-F will also look to get a boost from varsity newcomers who were part of the 20-2 JV squad last season.
“If we can stay healthy, if we can defend for 36 minutes each night as we talk about.” Smit said. “You know, we are not overly big so we have to compete on the boards, but if we can do those things each night for 36 minutes it will give us a shot. (to be in contention for a league title).”
The Hilltoppers hope to get their basketball legs under them quickly as a good number of his players have been in quarantine 28 of the last 38 days.
Cambria-Friesland opens up their season Friday night when they host Fall River.
Click the line to hear a full interview with Hilltoppers boys basketball coach Derrick Smit
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