For the first time on Friday, Jan. 10, East will face the new SM North coach, Steven Stitzer, during the varsity game. A 1-4 start to the season for the Indians overshadows high expectations under Coach Stitzer.
North’s single victory came in a tournament prior to the holiday break during the Sportscare Shootout tournament during a decisive 74-63 win over SM West, their only district opponent leading up to Friday’s matchup against the 5-1 Lancers. This same tournament resulted in the Lancers’ single loss of the season in a buzzer beater finish to the tournament final. The rivalry game will be the first time the Lancers face a district opponent this season immediately following a Thursday night 66-31 defeat of Harrisonville.
Historically, the matchup has favored East. SM North has not won more than five games in a season since 2005, but players aren’t thinking about past seasons heading into the home game for the Lancers.
“They’ve gotten a lot better,” junior guard Gunnar Englund said. “They’re going to try and take advantage of their speed.”
That speed comes from several shooting guards for the Indians, including senior Scott Johnson, who has led the team in points four games so far this season. East looks to exploit the guard heavy Indian team by distributing the ball to forwards Lucas Jones and Joey Wentz.
Can’t make it to the game? Watch the live broadcast here. Tip off is at 7 p.m.