The West Central Area Knights boys basketball team opened the 2021-2022 season with a 71-45 win over the Menahga Braves on Saturday, Dec. 4, in Barrett.
There are always a lot of unknowns coming into the first game of the season, said Kraig Hunter, who is entering his 26th season as a head coach.
“Like any first game of the season, there are a lot of areas for improvement,” Hunter said. “With many guys playing their first varsity game, it was a good day as far as intensity and playing unselfishly. All 14 of our players that played contributed. It was a good team win.”
Ryder Staples led the Knights with 18 points, five rebounds and four steals. Jacob Strunk added 13 points and team-high nine rebounds while Cole Anderson also finished in double figures with 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Nas Dotts had five steals to aid the Knights defense that forced 26 turnovers and held the Braves to just 27 percent from the floor.
The Knights, 1-0, hosted Staples-Motley on Tuesday, Dec. 7, in Barrett, and will travel to Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley for a Pheasant Conference game Thursday, Dec. 9, in Graceville. Next week, the Knights play Minnewaska Tuesday, Dec. 14 and Ortonville Thursday, Dec. 16, in Barrett. They close out the week at Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta Friday, Dec. 17, in Morris.
WCA – 71
Menahga – 45
WCA – Scoring: Ryder Staples 18, Jacob Strunk 13, Cole Anderson 12, Cam Anderson 8, Nas Dotts 8, Mitch Dewey 6, Bryce Kjesbo 4, Tyler Biss 1, Brayden Stark 1… Rebound leaders: Strunk 9, Cole Anderson 7, Staples 5, Dotts 5… Assist leaders: Cam Anderson 5… Steal leader: Dotts 5, Staples 4, Cole Anderson 3, Stark 3
Menahga – Scoring: Christian Johnson 13, Nick Wurdock 10, Alec Aho 9, Ryan Tolkkinen 4, Knaylor Howard 4, Brayden Aho 3, Connor Korvela 2.