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Local Sports News
Holton Basketball Preview Story
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports
11/22/2023

Editor note: In our Courtside Guide basketball preview magazine, much of the Holton boys story was inadvertently omitted and part of story got cut out when continuing to another page. Therefore we are publishing this boys story in its entirety on MSC Sports. Grab a free copy of our Courtside guide to read all local high school hoop previews!  

The Holton boys are coming off an exciting first season with Coach Eric Tate in which they went 10-4 to place third in the ultra-tough Big 7. The Wildcats had 13 total wins and had six games decided by five points or less including a trio of overtime affairs. Led by nine seniors, including all five starters, Holton put together a couple four-game win streaks and won their opening Sub-State game before falling to Baldwin to end the season. Although Coach Tate returns, it’s a process of starting from scratch as only three players are back with any varsity minutes and there are only a few seniors on this year’s squad. “I believe we will play through guys cutting their teeth at the varsity level,” Tate noted. “We are going to need to mature quickly and stay together and stay positive to find success.”

GUARDS: Holton will continue to play up tempo and try to get out in transition. However, they have some tall post players that should enable them to play inside-out on offense in the half court. Bodie Dillon (5’10, junior) will be the main point guard and played significant varsity minutes last year. He can create and score and is asked to be a leader on the floor. Korben Fox (5’8, sophomore) is another true point guard that is likely to find a varsity role with good shooting and ball-handling skills. Like Dillon, Brayden Peek (6’1, junior) averaged about three points per game last year off the bench and used his length and athleticism to be a difference making on both side of the court. Peek needs to be assertive and help create offense. Brayden Binkley (5’11, senior) is also athletic and can hit the open shots and looks to be a regular contributor, while Kerrick Dedonder (5’10, sophomore) could also earn prominent role. A third senior is expected to join the team as Marcus Barnett moved to Holton this fall and provides some great athleticism and ball handling skills that will be a bonus. 

UP FRONT: The Holton boys will likely be the tallest team on the floor with a bevy of lengthy athletes. Kyler Kathrens (6’3, senior) is the only experienced forward back and started early last season. He has a nice shot and can soft touch from about 15-feet in. He is asked to be a leader for this inexperienced team. Brody Meyer (6’4, junior) and Luke Lassey (6’6, junior) use their height well to rebound and defend and will look to develop more physicality to give Holton an advantage in the paint. Kayden Gale (6’, sophomore) and Ethan Cundell (6’3, junior) add more size and a strong defensive presence to help make other teams earn their points.

SYNOPSIS: After losing 96 percent off all the stats and varsity minutes from last year, there are a lot of questions and opportunities for the Holton boys. There are some pieces to worth with, but they are just unproven and still developing without much varsity exposure. “We will be young and might take some time to mold as a unit,” Coach Tate said. “But while we may struggle at times, I think we can be tough defensively and I think this group has a chance to make big strides during the season and surprise some people.” Overall, boys Big 7 basketball looks to not be as strong or top heavy this year and Holton does have a lot of games at home.

The Wildcat boys will also play in a new mid-season tournament this year leaving Tonganoxie to play in the Thunder Classic at Seneca. While there are a lot of questions and uncertainty, there is also some talent and opportunity. Coach Tate has a tall task of finding and putting the right pieces together on the floor and figuring out which buttons to push to get the most from this year’s team. Watching the players develop and the progress this team makes should create optimism for the future.


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