Wellington's 3 keys to a successful season include their athleticism, experience, and teamwork

Greg Williams
Wellington Daily News
Wellington boys basketball huddled up during a timeout

Last season Wellington finished 6-13; however, if you saw their games, the Crusaders played better than what their record showed. 

It was a unique season with COVID-19 playing a role. Wellington had to deal with players being gone due to sickness and having to quarantine.

The Crusaders felt like they never got into a rhythm, but they still had some moments during the season. This included former Crusaders Tanner Meyer earning First Team All-League honors and junior Banks Hinshaw breaking the Wellington record for the most made individual three-pointers in a game (8).

As a team, Wellington defeated Andale 62-59. This was the Crusaders' first win over the Indians for the first time in a decade. Then, Wellington lost a double-overtime heartbreaker to Collegiate, a team the Crusaders have never beaten.

The good news for Wellington is that they can rely on their talent and experience with five returning seniors and will have six juniors on their roster. 

"This group is athletic, talented, and experienced," said Wellington head coach Joe Newman. "The question is will we come together, eliminate distractions, and work as a team. In order for us to be successful, we'll need to be tough on the defensive end, rebound, and limit points in the paint."

Wellington understands they might not have a true rim protector but in order to still make their presence known on defense with their tough style of defense. This includes preventing teams from getting into the paint, pass deflections, drawing charges, and using that athletism to their advantage. 

Last year the Crusaders drew 22 chargers, but 16 came from Meyers and two came from Berkeley Wright. The other four charges came from Montel Tate. 

Hinshaw is the top returning scorer for the Crusaders. The junior is coming off a season after averaging 11.3 points per game. Other returning scorers include juniors Jack Wright (6.9 ppg) and Tate (6.2 ppg).

Meyer also led the way for Wellington in rebounding, but the Crusaders hope that Tate, Wright, and Hinshaw can pick up more of that productions after all three finished behind the former Crusader.

"Ultimately, the goal each day is to have fun and get better, but discipline, maximum effort, and toughness are the fundamental staples of our program," said Newman. "Win, lose or draw if we demonstrate those characteristics I'll sleep well at night."

Wellington will start their season on Friday, Dec. 3 with an AVCTL Div. IV matchup at 7:30 p.m. against Mulvane.

Greg Williams has been the reporter for the Wellington Daily News and Butler County Times-Gazette since May 2021. You can reach him at GWilliams@gannett.com or on Twitter at @GregWilliams28.