By TYLER HENRY
Salina Post contributor
On the heels of a fantastic 22-4 season that saw them take third place at state, the Southeast of Saline boys’ basketball team will return 100% of its scoring and look to run it back in 2022-23.
The Trojans will once again be under the direction of head coach Bryson Flax, who enters his fifth season at the helm for Southeast.
Without any big losses in the offseason, the Trojans should be a force to be reckoned with in Class 3A, returning a familiar starting five that should look like this come tip-off.
PG- Drake Augustine
G- Danny Kejr
G- Luke Gebhardt
F- Nakari Morrical-Palmer
F- Eli Sawyers
SES will also look to the bench for big minutes from Kayson Lilley, Jake Gebhardt, Drew Richardson, and Caden Isaacson.
Ahead of the start of the 2022-23 season, we had a chance to sit down with coach Flax to get his thoughts on this year’s Trojans.
Q: What were your overall thoughts on the 2021-22 campaign?
A: We exceeded external expectations, I think people thought we had a chance to be pretty good and we were but our guys put in a lot of time and effort to be as successful as they were and I was very happy with a third-place finish.
Q: How excited is everyone to get back on the floor and back to playing real games after a long offseason?
A: That’s the key, back to real games. We played about 22 games in the month of June and that was really good for our team but as you go on in practice you get excited to play someone besides yourself. You never know how you’re going to come out and respond to adversity but we’re ready to figure all of that out.
Q: Coming into the year what would you say is the biggest strength of this team?
A: We bring most meaningful parts of our team back and we have a lot of experience. We’ve played in tight games, we’ve played in blowouts, and we’ve played in big tournament games. That’s all so beneficial to those kids to widen their experience and they were really good about taking those challenges on last year.
Q: What are the biggest question marks about this team as we head into the first few weeks?
A: Whenever you get a long postseason run in football season like our guys had a lot of them end up missing some time. As an offensive unit we’re operating a little sluggishly right now and we’re going to rely on guys to play some extended minutes. We need everybody to be locked in and accept their roles which could change as the year goes on.
Q: What are the goals and expectations of this team for this 2022-23 campaign?
A: Externally we could seen as the odds-on favorite to win it all because we bring everyone back but the coach and the competitor in me understands that nobody hands you anything. The goal is the same as last year, we want to put ourselves in the best position to play in a sub-state championship on Saturday. If you’re fortunate enough to make it to Hutch, the environment changes things and anything can happen.”
Southeast will open its season with a colossal matchup on Friday, December 2nd as the 2nd-ranked Trojans host the top-ranked Hesston Swathers, likely for the #1 ranking in Class 3A.
For continuing coverage of SES boys’ basketball all season long, stay tuned to the Salina Post.