Local Sports, Preston, Sports

Senior-heavy Knights aim for improved 2023-24 season

KINGWOOD — Things are looking up for the Preston boys basketball team. A senior-laden group brings more experience to the court for the 2023-24 season.

“I think our biggest strength this year is we will be more experienced in all positions this year,” said second-year head coach Bucky Forbes. “I also think we will have a rather deep unit this year.”

The seniors on the team include Cordell Ayers, Brier Rugg, Dillon Taylor, Zach Ferrell, Jeese DeSantis and Chase Graham.

The Knights are looking to build upon last year’s one-win campaign. The upperclassmen have another year under their belt in a new system, which should lead to more improvements on both ends of the court.

“Defensively, we need to improve and make sure all of our kids know where they are supposed to be,” Forbes said. “I think we are faster than last year, plus we are bigger than a year ago.”

Forbes hopes to develop a stronger inside presence to get better results in rebounding and scoring in the paint.

“I felt we played well at times last year but did not finish down the stretch of games,” he said. 

Juniors on the Knights are Trey Vega, Kaden Bacthael, Tristian Smith and Arron White. Sophomores are Aydin Schmidl, Easton Hayes and Slayton Manko.

Preston held its annual silver and black scrimmage on Nov. 24 with more than 300 fans in attendance. The team will also scrimmage Keyser at home before the season-opening game against Riverside, a Kanawha County school, at home on Dec. 9. 

“We are excited to see where we go from here,” Forbes said. “I have a great young team that is working very hard to get better. We will be working to clean things we put in offensively and make sure our defensive rotations are correct.”