With football season ending, basketball is rearing its head in school's across the nation, and Hulbert is itching to get the season going. Under coach Jordan Hill, the Riders have very high expectations on where this season could take them.

A number of students are returning for their junior season and are hoping to make a huge impact on the game.

Standing 6 feet 5 inches, Gabe Lewis, center, is returning to make his presence known. Last year, Lewis averaged over 10 points, seven rebounds, a block and a steal each game he played while only averaging about 18 minutes of playing time. Hill is hopeful that Lewis's size, strength and tenacity will make him a force to be reckoned with this year.

"Lewis is excellent with his back to the basket under the goal, but he also has a nice jump shot to go along with it," said Hill. "He's great at knowing where the ball is going to be and he is a huge leader for our team."

Bringing speed to the offense, Ethan Chuculate, shooting guard, uses his ball handling and smaller stature to break to the basket, allowing him to average 12 points, two steals, three assists and 4 rebounds a game. The use of his left hand during his drives tends to catch his opponents off guard.

"[Chuculate] is a lefty and that is usually a surprise to the opponents," said hill. "If we are ever getting pressured, he's the guy we get the ball to because we are confident that he will take care of it and not get a turnover.

After a four inch growth spurt this summer, Nolan Edmundson, high post, hopes to use this newfound height to his advantage. Now standing 6 feet 2 inches, he has moved from shooting guard to the high post position.

"Edmundson has a great touch on his three point shot," said Hill. "He does a great job not forcing shots when he is not open, but also in confident when he has an open shot to take."

Lews, Chuculate and Edmundson have been playing with one another since the sixth grade, making this their sixth year of playing side by side. The chemistry they bring to the game could definitely give them an edge over their opponents.

Another player to keep an eye on this season would be Jonathon Jones. While Jones is primarily known for his ability to play football, he can definitely being his natural athletic abilities to the court in a positive way.

"Jones is an absolutely outstanding athlete," said Hill. "He's currently still in football shape and has a lot of basketball fundamentals to perfect, but he will definitely bring raw talent onto the team."

Hill desires to change the way that his team plays basketball. A lot of teams love to score a lot of points, but Hill thinks stopping the other team from scoring a lot of points is just as effective.

"We want to be a defensive team first and an offensive team second," said Hill. "We love scoring points, but we need to have a very defensive mind this season."

Hulbert will play their first game of the season on at Hulbert on Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. against Keys.

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