Coach Cody Slate is using this season to stabilize the planks he put in place last year in starting the rebuild of the Sterling City boys’ basketball program.

“We’re a lot more confident and have a much greater sense of who we are and what we’re trying to do,” Slate told Texas Scorecard. “We’re starting to see tangible improvements, and are starting to have a lot more fun and with fun comes confidence.”

The Eagles return three starters from last year’s 7-15 team that also finished near the bottom in the 1A Region II District 11 standings.

Juniors Wyatt Sisco and Quintin McMullen and sophomore Cross Knittel give Eagles fans cause for optimism.

“Wyatt’s our point guard and team leader,” Slate said of the 5-foot-8-inch, 150-pound junior. “He’s got a real calm demeanor and paces everything we do. He knows the game pretty well and averaged 9 points, 4 assists and 4 steals for us as a sophomore.”

After averaging 8 points and 10 rebounds last season, Slate said he is looking for even more production from junior forward McMullan this season.

“He’s our workhorse,” Slate added. “He’s always hustling and battling and runs the front of our press on defense. He’s a tireless worker who’s got good speed and won’t back down. He’s a big part of everything we want to do.”

As a freshman, Knittel proved he belonged, averaging 7 points, 3 assists and 3 steals per game.

“He’s very basketball savvy and a great shooter,” Slate said of the 5-foot-7-inch, 150-pound sophomore. “He’s still growing, but we’re looking for big contributions from him again this season.”

The Eagles open the season with five of their first six games on the road, including their first four.

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