Mott-Regent boys basketball presents great balance, talent heading into new year

Nate Zachmann has seen his Mott-Regent boys basketball team exhibit some serious competitiveness in the weeks leading up to its season.It's no surprise, though, considering how he asked his team to play last season."Last year we didn't have any s...

2193660+1210 Brady Wegh.jpg
Mott-Regent junior Brady Wegh dribbles into the lane against Killdeer in a game Dec. 17, 2014, at the Roughrider Tournament at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Press File Photo)

Nate Zachmann has seen his Mott-Regent boys basketball team exhibit some serious competitiveness in the weeks leading up to its season.
It’s no surprise, though, considering how he asked his team to play last season.
“Last year we didn’t have any seniors, so everybody had to jump up,” he said. “We said the juniors had to play like seniors and the sophomores have to be juniors, and they really bought in on that. That creates a better practice. The intensity and competitiveness has been at a really high level.”
The Wildfire now have four seniors - Brett Messmer, Carter Honeyman, Chance Roth and Brodie Ambers - to lean on in the new season. Juniors Brady Wegh and Sean Hertz also return valuable experience.
“Those guys have played a lot of minutes at the varsity level,” Zachmann said. “Brett played as a freshman. Chance and Carter started as sophomores. Brady started as a freshman. So we’re hoping that experience helps in all game situations. They’ve seen a lot of different scenarios.”
For a team that finished 10-13 overall and 5-7 in Region 7, Zachmann believes he has the pieces in place now to make a run at the top of the region.
Messmer, at 6-foot-3, averaged 14.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game last season en route to being named all-region.
“Brett is kind of an underrated defender too. He’s good off the ball and directing traffic,” Zachmann said. “With his points and rebounds also, he’s the complete package.”
Wegh returns his 14.5 points per game average from a season ago, and Zachmann is quick to praise what he brings to the floor.
“Brady’s biggest contribution is he’s a great passer. He sees the court really well,” Zachmann said. “He gets a lot of points off his hustle. He’s been our hustle guy since the eighth grade. He’s a guy other guys can rally around. He has an unbelievable work ethic. On the court, what he does with his rebounding and passing, he’s just super athletic and that helps him excel.”
Zachmann’s comfortable with the rotation he has, especially because all players are now used to performing beyond what their class would suggest.
“Carter brings consistency. He’s worked extremely hard on his game to get where he is now,” Zachmann said. “Carter has really developed a nice jump shot too, and we hope we can break some zone with his shot. Chance is a really good ball handler and excellent of defense. His shot has come a long way too. Throw Sean Hertz in that group also. All are good ball handlers and can shoot. They put in the time without a doubt.”
Mott-Regent will also benefit from sophomore Josh Wallace’s presence; Zachmann said Wallace - who broke an ankle in Mott-Regent’s playoff football loss to Hettinger-Scranton - is back and healthy, and will be a good defender off the bench.
Zachmann said the players have to prove they’re willing to hustle on defense this season; he won’t let a well-rounded team be dragged down by poor defense.
“We have depth right now for the first time in a long time,” he said, “and if you don’t play defense, you’ll have limited playing time.”

Mott-Regent Wildfire
Head coach: Nate Zachmann (third season)
Last year: 10-13, 5-7 Region 7
Returners: Brett Messmer, Sr. (14.3 ppg, 10.2 rpg); Carter Honeyman, Sr. (5.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg); Chance Roth, Sr. (8 ppg, 3.2 rpg); Brodie Ambers, Sr. (2.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg); Brady Wegh, Jr. (14.5 ppg, 8 rpg); Sean Hertz, Jr. (5.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg); Josh Wallace, Soph. (2.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg).
Newcomers: Tanner Zentner, Soph.; Hunter Crist, Soph.; Cody Perkins, Fr.

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