By David Stenklyft and Brian Kalish

November 21, 2018

Schofield– When talking to coaches in the Wisconsin Valley Conference about who might rise to the top of the boys basketball standings in 2018-19, one team that is mentioned time and time again is  D.C. Everest.

And it’s not difficult to see why.

After a respectable 11-12 overall record and a 7-5 record in the Valley in 2017-18, the Evergreens return three seniors and nine juniors.

That experience figures to give the Evergreens an edge in wide-open conference where most teams feel– for the first time in five years– like they have a shot to contend for the title.

Among the returning seniors is Zion Turner who averaged an eye-popping 25.6 points per game in Valley play last season.  Turner’s scoring average was second in the conference only to SPASH’s Drew Blair and Marshfield’s Seth Anderson, both of whom graduated.

If anyone in the area wasn’t familiar with Turner’s offensive ability to this point, they’re sure to be well acquainted with it in 2018-19.

Bryan Halambeck, a junior guard, will join Turner in the back court.  Halambeck was fifth in the conference in scoring last season with a 18.3 points per game average.  He also led the conference in assists per game at 4.8.

Joining Turner and Halambeck in a returning role is junior Ethan Ostrowski, who led the conference in three point percentage (.529) and pulled in 4.7 rebounds per game.

That experience will provide the Evergreens with a tremendous advantage as they kick off the regular season on November 27 in Antigo.

Everest coach Rocky Bouldin said that the team’s goals will be evaluated throughout the course of the season, but he acknowledges that this group has the ingredients to become something special.

“They really dedicated themselves over the summer to being good basketball players, which is a huge thing to have that kind of commitment,” Bouldin said. “Since last spring I saw this building as a really good unit.”

Turner identified guard play as a key to the Evergreens’ attack.

“We’ve got a lot of athletic guards,” Turner said. “We’re got a good back court combination, so we’re looking forward to getting that worked out.”

“We’re very athletic. We use our athleticism very well to our advantage, which helps out for our lack of size,” Ostrowski said. “We have fun playing well together and have good chemistry.”

Everest will try to keep expectations in check, especially at this early juncture.  But there is no question the Evergreens are a team to keep an eye on as the season progresses.