Typically, when a new coach takes over a program, there are growing pains. Last year for Mountain Range, new coach Jordan Carter gave the basketball program a shot in the arm and a rejuvenated energy …
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Typically, when a new coach takes over a program, there are growing pains. Last year for Mountain Range, new coach Jordan Carter gave the basketball program a shot in the arm and a rejuvenated energy despite only a 4-19 record. With a plan in place and senior personnel making up about half the roster, the Mustangs look for and expect growth in 2019-2020.
“The first year is always going to be tough regardless when going to a new program,” Carter said last week in a phone interview. “They weren’t returning much last year, but this year, I think we have better leadership. We have the right attitude of hard work that has permeated throughout the program that I think will help. The bottom line is we have established work ethic for the rest of the program.”
Looking to pave the way for Carter and his fast-paced, tempo-style, leading returning scorer in senior Logan Dexter will be expected to take charge, particularly offensively. Looking for expanded growth in his vocal leadership also, Carter said: “we are going to have to look to him a lot.” Also carrying the leadership expectations will be seniors Clay Crosley and Dexter’s twin brother, Jacob Dexter.
“The second year normally is going to be better than your first year because you kind of establish what you are trying to do and the direction you want to move in. And with that, the guys around you that you lead start to get a feel of how you operate and have a higher comfort level with you and your style,” Carter said. “So, I think we are all very excited as a program to see the leaps and the steps we will take. I think it is very exciting.”
Contributions from younger players will be necessary as well for depth-purposes in rotating players in and out. Luckily, some upcoming sophomores and juniors — who played with each other at the junior-varsity level — have some comradery of playing with one another. But Carter knows their adjustments to a higher level of basketball may take some altering early, but in the long-run, improvement will be displayed.
A point of emphasis for Carter and his group will be the necessary advancement of play in a very competitive 5A Front Range League that the Mustangs went 1-11 in. Through a more controlled offseason matched with the understanding of expectation from Carter’s system, the Mustangs could be much more of a factor this year.
“It is a tough conference. It’s a big league, and last year was particularly tough because it was a very senior-dominated league. A lot of very experienced teams last year, so there were a lot of things that made it tough on the kids. But I think going through adversity like that can only bring positive results at the end of it. We had a good summer — got about 40-plus games over the spring and summer seasons — so we are feeling pretty confident about our ability to take steps this year and move forward. We are going to take things game-by-game, and we need to understand that each day we are going to take steps forward as a group.”
The Mustangs will start their season Dec. 2 at Far Northeast at 7 p.m.
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