Small, but mighty Raiders fill key losses with experienced players
For the Richardton-Taylor boys basketball team, last season was one of development with the fruits of their labor now becoming ripe.
Though the 2020-21 ended in the preliminary round of the postseason and with a 2-18 overall and 1-13 region record, growth has been their reward for their enduraning campaign. Head coach Kari Dohrmann has confidence that her returning squad will be bringing back with them the much needed experience that they lacked last season.
“They (last year seniors) are a tough group to fill, but I'm looking forward to this group as far as speed wise,” Dohrmann said. “We didn't have a lot of kids that had a lot of varsity minutes last year and this year we have quite a few … It is going to be different from last year. It's going to be night and day, if my plan works.”
The Raiders have lost four seniors from last year, but are filling their shoes with four pacey upperclassmen who experienced a good deal of varsity play as juniors. The four seniors are Collin Grage, Jace Olson, Chance Isaak and Mack Hoselton.
“The four returning seniors that will see the most minutes, I have no doubt in my mind that they will show me and show everybody else that even though we may be small, we are mighty,” Dohrmann said. “Mack will fill the shoes of point guard and shooter. Jace and Collin are quick and great defenders but can also score if we need them too. Chance will be a threat down low.”
They also have two juniors and a sophomore that Kari Dohrmann believes will be beneficial to their team offensively, including Caisen Dohrmann who will be their post player.
“Caisen, who is going to be our big guy inside,” Kari Dohrmann said. “He can shoot and he can rebound and he has great timing.”
They are dealing with an injury to Olson that he suffered during the Hazen summer basketball league.
“They thought he blew out his knee and went in for surgery, but luckily it wasn't as bad as they thought,” Dohrmann said. “He sat out all football, which was heartbreaking. It is never easy to do it, especially your senior year, but we were lucky to have him back.”
The Raiders are expecting a competitive season from the depth of quality in Region 7, but have set goals to help guide them to the postseason, using their speed to try and outperform their opponents.
“This year we are kind of in regroup mode. We don't have a ton of size, but we are going to have to be quick. We are going to have to be the team that is going to get up and down the floor,” Dohrmann said. “My goal for this team is to finish above 500. I think that is an attainable goal, I really do.”
As far as team chemistry and determination, Richardton-Taylor reigns among the best. Their senior class is a close knit group who have put in a lot of time together.
“The kids that we have are a tremendous group of kids with great comradery … Our kids have a lot of heart. That was one common denominator from last year that I had heard from other coaches, athletic directors and the media is that kids don't give up," Dohrmann said. “We have had huge improvements … some of the developmental things that they have covered in a short time is just phenomenal and I am looking forward to it.”