Short preseason should not hurt Kearney boys

Members of the Kearney High School boys basketball team practice on Nov. 28, 2017 (KHGI)

The basketball season sneaking up on Kearney High, who is barely a week removed from their football team finishing up at the Class A championship game.

"Our skill set may not be there," said head coach Drake Beranek, who is in his third year. "The things we do set wise, special situations things we do inside a game might not be there yet, but those are all things we can coach and we'll get them going. The effort needs to be there from the very start."

Those who competed for the Bearcats on the gridiron have had a limited number of practices to shake off the rust and start getting into basketball shape.

"We're never going to have excuses in our program," said Beranek. "That's one thing we've always hung out hat on. If we're going to go play a summer game on a blacktop, I don't care if we had 3 days to prepare, no days to prepare, we're going to go compete hard. That's the number 1 expectation."

A lot of eyes expected to be watching the Bearcats as the boys try and manage expectations, coming off a season seeing them win a school record 19 straight games while advancing to the state tournament for the first time since 2008.

"We made it to the semi–finals, we didn't make it to the finals. There's definitely a lot more to be achieved for these guys. Early on we're kind of teeter–totting on what it is. We really have to figure it out as a team and what we want to do," Beranek says.

Kearney is hoping to build off last season's accomplishment, as long as complacency doesn't get in the way.

"It's funny, once you have success, you either get hungry or you get satisfied and we're kind of sitting here seeing what kind of makeup this team has," Beranek added. "Are they going to be the type that has a little bit of success and is ok with it or do they want more."

Kearney tips their season off against Papillion La–Vista South in the HAC/Metro Classic on Thursday at Lincoln High. The Titans went 9–14 a season ago.

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