Starters give PBHS boys scoring depth

Staff writer

The Peabody-Burns High School boys’ basketball team features five seniors and three returning starters. Having played on the varsity squad for two years, the three returning starters give the Warriors the depth to compete early in the season, even though team roles have yet to be defined. The team is hoping to improve its 5-3 Wheat State League record from last season.

“Our seniors will have to step up to fill leadership roles, not only during games but at practice as well,” coach Brian Simmonds said. “We want to build on the solid season we had last year but we can only do that with discipline and hard work.”

Hunter Pickens is a 6-foot senior. He shot 31 percent from the last season, averaged 4.2 rebounds, and averaged 7.1 points per game. Pickens is quick and likes to be in on the action.

Austin Savage is a 5-10 senior. Savage shot 35 percent from the floor last season, 28 percent from the 3-point line. He scored 10.8 points per contest. Savage is a strong outside shooter with a calm presence on the court.

Seth Topham is a 6-2 senior. He shot the ball at a 35 percent clip last season, and hit 53 percent from the free-throw line. He averaged 5.3 points per contest last season. Topham is taller and can jump higher this season. He hopes to improve his average of 3.6 rebounds per game.

Christian Gard is a 6-0 senior. He shot 28 percent from the floor last season, averaged 3.1 rebounds, and 4.2 points per game. Gard received significant playing time last season. He is fast on the court and has good jumping ability.

Senior Tommy Morris moves up to the varsity this season. He is quick and not afraid to go after the ball.

Newcomers Xavier Jabary and Garrett Schroeder are juniors that will add depth to the varsity squad.

Sophomores Braxton Kyle, Kevin Baatrup and Vince Newman will help fill gaps as needed.

Brian Simmons is in his fifth season as head coach of the boys’ basketball team. He is assisted again by Caleb Good, also in his fifth year.

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