2016-17 Harding Boys’ Basketball Preview

Senior Derek Culver averaged nearly a double-double as he begins his final season at Harding.

Warren G. Harding Raiders High School Basketball - Warren, OH.

2016-17 Warren Harding Boys’ Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Andrew Vlajkovich, 5th season (69-31)
2015-16 Record: 23-4 (14-0), 1st place in AAC Red

More:High School Basketball previews from other teams

2015-16 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 78.0
Scoring Defense: 57.1

2015-16 Results
Garfield Heights 49 Raiders 43*
Raiders 48 Lake 42*
Raiders 62 Louisville 58*
Raiders 115 East 42*
Raiders 91 Akron Springfield 47*
Jackson 60 Raiders 45
Raiders 83 Ursuline 72
Canton McKinley 89 Raiders 74
Raiders 76 Strong Vincent 64
Raiders 109 Lakeside 51
Raiders 73 Poland 58
Raiders 82 East 57
Raiders 83 Howland 46
Raiders 78 Canfield 52
Raiders 70 Ellet 67
Raiders 75 Fitch 60
Raiders 61 Boardman 30
Raiders 96 East 59
Raiders 79 Cleveland Heights 78
Raiders 62 Poland 59
St. Ignatius 75 Raiders 62
Raiders 89 Glenville 72
Raiders 108 Howland 34
Raiders 86 Canfield 50
Raiders 70 Fitch 57
Raiders 106 Lakeside 63
Raiders 79 Boardman 52
*-Post-Season

Returning Statistical Leaders
Scoring: Derek Culver – 15.1
Rebounding: Derek Culver – 9.4
Assists: Derek Culver – 2.0
Field Goal Percentage: Derek Culver – 54.6%
Three-Point Percentage: Tiryn Frank – 31.7%
Free Throw Percentage: Tiryn Frank – 69.6%

2016-17 Schedule
Dec. 2 – at Boardman, 7
Dec. 6 – Poland,7
Dec. 13 – at Lakeside, 7
Dec. 16 – East, 7
Dec. 18 – at St. Vincent-St. Mary, 7:30
Dec. 20 – at Fitch, 7
Dec. 27 – St. Ignatius, 7
Jan. 3 – at Howland, 7
Jan. 6 – at Kennedy Catholic, 7:30
Jan. 8 – vs. Cleveland Heights at Baldwin Wallace, 3:45
Jan. 13 – Boardman, 7
Jan. 17 – at Canfield, 7
Jan. 20 – Shaw, 7
Jan. 24 – Lakeside, 7
Jan. 27 – at East, 7
Jan. 31 – Fitch, 7
Feb. 3 – Canfield, 7
Feb. 7 – at Howland, 7
Feb. 14 – Ursuline, 7
Feb. 17 – at Canton McKinley, 7:30
Feb. 21 – Maple Heights, 7

Key Returnees
The Raiders lost three starters and five letter winners from last year’s 23-win team. However, optimism is high with the return of their four-year starter and Mr. Basketball candidate, Derek Culver. The future West Virginia Mountaineer scored 15.1 points, hauled down 9.4 boards, blocked 2 shots and even finished with 2 assists per game last winter. Culver compiled a 54.6% field goal percentage (124-227) while attempting 159 free throws (made 95). He’ll be joined by quintet of lettermen – Lynn Bowden, Tiryn Frank, Dom McGhee, Marlin Richardson and Lynn Williams. Bowden averaged 5.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game as a junior. He also shot 50.6% (39-77) from the floor. Frank shot 31.7% (20-63) from three-point land as he accumulated a 6.7 scoring average and 1.8 assists. Richardson scored 3 points per game last season. Juniors Trivell Trimble, Terrion Jackson and Delmar Moore will look to play a key role on this year’s group. Harding has a trio of newcomers who should be contributors this winter – Andrew Ziegler, Mike Hughes and Chris Hughes. Coach Vlajkovich says, “I think this team has the potential to be the deepest team we have had in my five-years here.”

Outlook
Harding will play one of the toughest schedule in this part of Ohio with trips to St.Vincent-St. Mary, Canton McKinley and Kennedy Catholic all on the out of conference slate. The schedule will also feature home dates against St. Ignatius, Ursuline and Maple Heights along with a neutral site matchup against Cleveland Heights. “Our goals remain similar,” states Vlajkovich. “We are focused on competing for a league and district championship. (We look) to make a deep tournament run and are hopeful to make a trip to Columbus. As with any team – our defense, rebounding and offensive chemistry will be the key to us succeeding.”

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