Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Boys basketball preview: RCW Jaguars relies on speed, athleticism

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RENVILLE — The

Renville County West

boys basketball team will look to play at a fast pace in the upcoming season.

The Jaguars, who were 4-23 overall and 3-15 in the Camden Conference in 2022-23, enter the new season undersized. RCW is led by 13-year veteran head coach Matt Huhnerkoch and assistants Rich Schrupp and Brady Holwerda.

“We will be a very undersized team this season,” Huhnerkoch said. “We will try to turn that disadvantage into a positive by using our speed and athletic ability and speed up the game.”

RCW has lost Isaac Haen and Adam Schrupp due to graduation. Haen averaged 8.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game a season ago. Adam Schrupp averaged 1.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.

RCW eighth-grader Jonathan Driggs, 31, brings down a rebound during a Camden Conference game against YME on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023 at Renville.

Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

The Jaguars return an All-Camden Conference selection in junior Ryan Schrupp and another starter in 6-foot-2-inch senior guard Jack Wertish.

Ryan Schrupp, a 6-1 guard, averaged 15.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 2.2 assists per game as a sophomore.

“Ryan is a ‘do it all’ kind of player,” Huhnerkoch said. “He can get his shot whenever he wants and is one of the best defensive players in the conference.”

Players to watch are 6-0 junior guard Jacob Valdovinos and 6-3 freshman forward Jon Driggs.

Valdovinos averaged 3.2 points and 1.1 steals per game. Driggs averaged 5.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per contest.

“Jacob is a very quick guard with good shooting range and a great ability to get to the basket,” Huhnerkoch said. “Jon showed very good promise as an eighth-grader playing varsity last season. He’s a lengthy young kid who can play every position on the court.”

(All games at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted)’

Dec. 4 — vs. Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart

Dec. 8 — at Tracy-Milroy-Balaton

Dec. 12 — at Lakeview, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 14 — at Canby, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 19 — vs. YME, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 29 — vs. Red Rock Central, 1:45 p.m. at Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall

Dec. 30 — vs. Murray County Central, 12:45 p.m. at SMSU, marshall

Jan. 4 — vs. Benson, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 9 — vs. Minneota, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 12 — vs. Ortonville, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 15 — at Central Minnesota Christian, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 16 — vs. BOLD, 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 19 — vs. Dawson-Boyd, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 25 — at Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 29 — vs. LQPV, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 1 — at MACCRAY, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 6 — vs. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 9 — vs. Lakeview, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 13 — vs. Canby, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 16 — at YME, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 19 — at Sleepy Eye, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 20 — at Minneota, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 23 — at Wabasso, 7:30 p.m.

Michael Lyne joined the West Central Tribune as a sports reporter in May 2022, following his graduation from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where he graduated with a bachelors degree in journalism and a minor degree in Spanish studies.

You may reach Michael at mlyne@wctrib.com, or by calling (320) 214-4345.

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