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Youthful Cedar team has high expectations

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HARTINGTON - A youthful Cedar Catholic boys’ basketball team looks to make some noise this year in Class C2.

The Trojans lost to the eventual state champion Ponca Indians in the Subdistrict finals last year. Cedar returns its starting scorer from last year, and Cedar looks to stretch the floor with shooters.

“Matthew Becker is going to be our main returning starter,” said Cedar head coach Matt Steffen. “He is a senior, and Josh Pinkelman is the other senior; we only have two this year. Matthew has gotten a lot better over the summer. I expect him to have a really good year. Myles Thoene is coming back, last year he was a freshman and at the end of the year he was shooting really well so I expect him to score. Brady Steffen started a few games last year as well as a sophomore and will be a really good player.”

Becker will look to leads this team, and his head coach Matt Steffen says the senior is not shy about his goals for the team.

“My goal is to get to State and see what happens,” said Steffen. “Matthew Becker says we will win State so we will have to wait and see.”

Cedar is far from the only area team to lose a strong core of seniors. In fact, Steffen says most of the Mid-State Conference lost a chunk of experience to graduation.

“Basketball is so cyclical and a lot of teams from our conference lost a lot of seniors from last year so it is kind of up for grabs.”

For Cedar, that means losing players like Riley Arens, Jason Becker, Jackson Eickhoff, and others that were able to find their way onto the court by finding where they fit in the team’s system the best.

“Last year we had a lot of seniors and a lot were role players, but we had some younger players who played quite a bit. We are just missing that big guy, but we didn’t have one last year, so we will see.”

The last time Cedar had an impact post player was two years ago when Stephen Hillis averaged a double-double in his senior year.

Cedar starts the season hosting Boone Central/Newman Grove on Friday night.