Senior leadership on this year’s Longhorn boys’ basketball team will come from, from left, Kass Cochran, Jack Bauerle and Jace Clevenger. A total of 26 boys are out for basketball this season. (Johnson Publications photo)

New coach leading Longhorns into basketball season

    This year’s Longhorn boys basketball team will take the court Thursday under the leadership of a new coach.
    Chris Bartels takes over the helm in his first head-coaching assignment. He served as an assistant the past two years under Carl Zuege.
    “I’m really enjoying it,” Bartels said that week. That’s easy to say just two weeks into the season, he added.
    Bartels sees lots of potential in a young squad that includes just three seniors and 26 in all.
    He said they’ve really bought into his system and have been energized during the opening weeks of practice.
    Look forward to seeing a fast-tempo pace from the Longhorns this season.
    Without a wealth of height, Bartels said they will make up for that with their team speed.
    His plan calls for getting the ball up the court quickly, but not out-of-control quick. That gives the offense an advantage, he said.
    Offensively, Bartels said the players have worked hard on their shooting in the offseason and expects them to shoot better this year.
    Defensively, his team will concentrate on cutting off the passing lanes and putting pressure on the ball as part of their man-to-man defense.
    With a fast-style pace, conditioning comes into play. “We’ve worked them hard,” Bartels said. “Their conditioning is solid.” He only expects that to improve as they move towards the end of December and into January.
Season opens at Cozad
    The Longhorns open the season, along with the girls, in Cozad tonight (Thursday).

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